JCUH “Healing Arts”

The healing arts project aims to promote health, healing and a sense of wellbeing for the community JCUH serves through the use of arts and the environment.

Research has shown the thoughtful use of colours, lights, art, texture and performing arts in hospitals can aid a person’s recovery and create a lasting impression to everyone who visits and works there.

A number of artists have undertaken commissions at The James Cook University Hospital based on the theme of Captain Cook and at the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton using transport.

The Sculptures and Murals


Cook’s earth

Weighing over a ton-and-a-half, the bronze sculpture was designed by Newcastle-based artist Andrew Burton and celebrates the seaman’s life.

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Of sea and stars

Looking up, the lines of longitude are plotted by stainless steel wire rigging ropes extending from the curved beams at roof level down to the centre of the first floor bridge at The James Cook University Hospital.

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Benefactors’ panels

A specially carved benefactors’ tree now takes pride of place in the main entrance of the Friarage Hospital, with individual names carved onto the separate leaves.

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Historic murals

Two life-size murals charting the histories of Middlesbrough General Hospital and North Riding Infirmary adorn the walls at The James Cook University Hospital and in the new hub area at the Friarage Hospital showing the history and development of the hospital.

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Colourful murals

A crescendo of colour now greets many patients in wards and departments throughout the hospitals. Commercial artist Steve Robson from Ingleby Barwick has transformed many areas with his eye-catching and stimulating murals.

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Chapel windows

Middlesbrough artist Josie Kyme’s aim was to transform blank window spaces into a focal point the chapel, offering hope and harmony to anyone who goes in there, regardless of their faith.

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Children’s outpatients

Cook’s life and adventures played a huge part in the designs husband and wife Lee and Jill Brewster produced for the floor, furniture and wall panels in the children’s waiting area.

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Journey to theatre

Journey to theatre was produced by artist Fiona Rutherford working with children from the paediatric wards and local schools. Together they came up with visual and colourful designs (in panels of formica) along the route to theatre to help take children’s minds off their operation.

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Children’s sculptures

Barnsley sculptor Graham Ibbeson is probably best known for his bronze sculpture of Eric Morecambe at Morecambe Bay. But his earlier works include a number of statues of children, which were commissioned in 1986 to grace the courtyards at the Friarage Hospital.

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Football and landscape


Renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe paid his hometown hospital – The James Cook University Hospital – a visit to present on loan a set of signed prints of his works ‘The Game of Life’.

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