Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Bryan MacDonald
untitled work, 1972
Whitham Road
steel, stainless

Weston Park Hospital, facing Whitham Road. (AZ p98 2B)

Rectangular steel relief, decorated with circular, cellular, shapes whose surface is made up of a number of flat planes. A central square section of the sculpture consists of smaller, broken, forms which rotate very slowly both clockwise and anti-clockwise. These represent the division of cancer cells surrounded by larger, healthy cells. The wall below the sculpture is badly stained.

Commissioned by a Dr King who was a consultant at Weston Park Hospital. The cost of the piece was £30,000 and was funded by the J.G.Graves Charitable Trust. Weston Park Hospital is one of only three purpose built specialist cancer hospitals in the UK.
The moving portions of the piece were switched off after complaints about noise from patients and staff at the hospital. Efforts were made to lubricate the moving parts and subsequent leaking fluid from the motors is thought to be responsible for the staining on the exterior wall of the hospital.
Installation of the work was a difficult and complicated undertaking requiring the use of specialist equipment including a thermic lance.

For most of the 1990ís the piece has been obscured by a Cancer Care Appeal chart fixed in front of the sculpture and registering the progress of the Appeal. This has now been removed (April 1998).
MacDonald was Head of Sculpture at Sheffield City Polytechnic at the time this work was made and subsequently emigrated to Darwin, Australia where he died in the late 1980's.

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Last updated September 5, 2006