From Israel, to the RVI, with love!
Released: Thursday 9th August 2012 at 09:55
LOVE was in the air today at the Great North Children’s Hospital at Newcastle’s RVI when it was revealed that Israeli sculptor Katya Izabel Filmus would only agree to marry her fiancé Chris Blade, Senior Manager at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, once she had finished work on some new glass sculptures to be installed at the hospital.
The National Glass Centre was commissioned by the Newcastle Healthcare Charity to produce a series of twenty seven cast glass panels to form Phase 2 in the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s vision of creating a welcoming and unintimidating environment at the hospital for children, teenagers, their families and carers.
The new glass sculptures will eventually be displayed over three floors in the hospital and use handprints from twenty-two young patients aged between 3 and 15, together with those of consultants, nurses, other hospital staff and Katya and Chris themselves. Also immortalised into the glass are messages of love and support from friends and families of young patients at the hospital. Each of the three sets of nine panels has been cast in a different colour glass. The first is a beautiful copper blue, whilst the second and third will be made using glass which changes colour under different types of light.
One of Israel’s foremost glass artists, Katya Izabel Filmus moved to the UK in 2009 and her studio is based at the National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland where she runs her business and undertakes specialist commissions. Her fiancé Chris Blade is the senior manager for enterprise at the National Glass Centre. Chris could only persuade Katya to set the date for their wedding after she had completed the handprint commission from the Newcastle Healthcare Charity. The couple are now due to marry on 14 August in Cheltenham.
For the Great North Children’s Hospital project, Katya used lead crystal melted in a kiln and poured into heat-resistant moulds containing the impressions of the hands of children and staff at the hospital. The hands were juxtaposed against three-dimensional text cast into the rear surface of the glass panels taken from ‘get well’ messages sent to young patients at the hospital. The whole process has taken Katya seven months to complete.
Commenting today, Mr Chris Blade said:
“I was delighted to accept the commission from the Newcastle Healthcare Charity for the Great North Children’s Hospital artwork and even more delighted when Katya completed her work on the commission as it means we can now get married!”
Sir Leonard Fenwick CBE, Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust described his vision for using artwork to create a more welcoming and unintimidating environment for children and their families when they come to the Great North Children’s Hospital:
“The old traditional image of a hospital is often one of an intimidating, frightening, sometimes boring place, particularly for younger patients. It has long been my ambition to change that image by striving to create a modern hospital enivronment which is bright and welcoming.
“The Great North Children’s Hospital is designed to feel as different from a traditional hospital as possible, allowing children and their families to feel more at ease at what can often be an emotionally stressful and tiring time.
“The wonderful glass artwork conceived and made for the hospital by the exceptional artist Katya Izabel Filmus at the National Glass Centre is part of this vision to create a colourful environment to enhance the experience of all our patients and visitors. It is a collaboration between patients, staff, the Newcastle Healthcare Charity and the National Glass Centre. I wish Chris and Katya both health and happiness in their forthcoming marriage and look forward to the complete installation of the artwork later this year.”