Holding, NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital

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

a woman's hands are clasped together, some white substance can be seen slightly oozing out. Part of her nursing uniform can be seen.
One of the NHS Nurse’s while participating in the casting workshop.

Over two days in May 2016, a casting workshop in NHS Forth Valley Royal 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. The process required 2 minutes of stillness while the alginate material being held between the hands took on its form. Later, I cast the alginate impressions into 56 individual plaster pieces, each was unique and a direct representation of the contact between the people who made them.

Between June and 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 was approximately 95mm x 95mm x 30mm. The full length of the installation was approximately 11 metres.

With thanks to the staff, patients, and visitors who contributed:
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

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.
Installation photo, Holding, 2016. Close up of one of the 56 plaster cast pieces. This piece was between a mother and young child following a hospital appointment.
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"
Installation photo, Holding, 2016. The plaster pieces and accompanying vinyl were installed along a window in the foyer of NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Hospital window with pink handwritten style vinyl text. The text read "that's the longest I've held your hand in ages'
Installation photo, Holding, 2016. Section of the vinyl reading: “that’s the longest I’ve held your hand in ages”
Hospital window with pink handwritten style vinyl text. The text read "sisters in the NHS'
Installation photo, Holding, 2016. Section of the vinyl reading: “sisters in the NHS” a quote from two NHS Nurses who made a cast together while telling me they worked together for decades.
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.
Installation photo, Holding, 2016. Three of the 56 plaster casts on the window ledge.