Holding, NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Participatory project and site-specific installation developed for NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital between 18 May 2016 – 31 August 2016.


In May 2016 a casting workshop in the hospital invited staff, patients, and visitors to participate by making an alginate impression of the space between our hands as we held hands.
68 people took part, many holding my hand and some pairing in other ways: a nurse and patient; a husband and wife; a mother and child. I cast the alginate impressions into 56 individual plaster pieces, each of which is unique and a direct representation of the contact between the people who made them.
From June – August 2016 56 individual plaster pieces were installed in the atrium of Forth Valley Royal Hospital accompanied by pink vinyl text and a printed handout. Each plaster piece is approximately 95mm x 95mm x 30mm. The full length of the installation is approximately 11 metres.
I am grateful to the staff, patients, and visitors who contributed and would like to thank everyone who took part:
Adam, Adele, Agnes, Aileen, Alan, Alec, Alex, Alexander, Alice, Alison, Alison, Alison, Ally, Anna, Anne, Anne-Marie, Avril, Beth, Brian, Catherine, Catherine, Charmaine, Chelsea, Chloé, Claire, David, Derek, Elle, Emily, Eric, Gladys, Hazel, Jack, John, Jordane, Julie, Julie, June, Laura, Lesley, Linda, Lindsey, Margaret, Margaret, Mark, Martin, Mary, Mathew, Moira, Monsieur, Nicola, Rachel, Rosemary, Ruth, Sarah, Sarah, Shann, Shona, Sonja, Stephanie, Tim, Tracey, Tracy, Veronica, Viki, Wilma, Xavier

A hospital corridor with floor to ceiling windows. Along the window ledge are small white plaster blocks. Some pink vinyl text on the window says "hold still...I am holding still"Hospital window with pink handwritten style vinyl text. The text read "that's the longest I've held your hand in ages'Close up of the window ledge showing three plaster blocks. Each has a unique indent of part of the palm of people's hands in it.Close up of the window ledge showing one plaster block. It shows an indent of peoples' hands, some of the fingers look small like a child's.hand out edit


It began with an invitation:


NHS Forth Valley website invitation
Vimeo link: view here
During two days of alginate casting on site 68 staff, patients, and visitors to NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital participated in the project. Between us, we made 56 impressions of the space inside our hands while we held hands. The process required 2 minutes of stillness while the alginate material is held inside the hand and takes on the form.