< Commissions

Artist In Residence: ‘Florulary’ by Lucy Steggals

In 2017 Royal Papworth Hospital Trust commissioned Lucy Steggals as their artist-in-residence during their final year at Papworth.

The artist-in-residence programme is delivered by Wysing Arts Centre and is part of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) Public Art Strategy led by Futurecity on behalf of the CBC developers, Cambridge Medipark Limited.

Lucy worked with the Trust on a project called ‘Florulary’, which explored the relationship between Papworth Hospital and flowers.

Through her initial research into the Papworth archives, Lucy uncovered images and materials relating to Papworth’s rich floral legacy. From c. 1923 – 1974 there was a very popular flower festival that took place on site each year. Other archive material includes images of circus performers searching for daisies in the grounds and a visit by HRH Duchess of York who gifted roses to patients throughout the hospital.

“Lucy explored and uncovered existing evidence of the floral on site and created playful ways to reintroduce flowers into the hospital environment as organic flowers are no longer allowed on wards. She worked with the Papworth community to record and celebrate the non-clinical aspects of care.

Lucy co-ordinated a series of photo shoots, inviting Papworth staff, patients and visitors to have a portrait taken of themselves with flowers, such as yellow roses, alliums, lavender and chamomile in Papworth Woods. She worked with ten patients on the Cystic Fibrosis ward over a number of weeks to introduce playful interventions using floral imagery such as projections, tattoos, socks and puzzles, resulting in gifts of bespoke floral bedding which the patients co-designed.

The final publication captures the ideas and imagination of the Cystic Fibrosis patients, their floral designs and photographs of the staff and from the Papworth archive. It will be gifted to each ward and each bed in the new hospital.”