Artist donates artwork to hospital which saved her mother's life

Friday 14 September 2018

Tacita Dean artwork at St Thomas' Hospital

An internationally renowned artist has donated a limited edition print series to Guy’s and St Thomas’ to thank staff for saving her mother’s life.

Tacita Dean makes drawings, prints and photographic works but is particularly known for her 16mm and 35mm film installations, and for championing the continued use and production of photochemical film.

She has donated a series of 14 limited edition handmade prints entitled FILM Stills, 2011, which have been installed on the 1st floor of North Wing at St Thomas’ Hospital.

The prints are based on stills taken from her project FILM, an 11-minute silent film, which was exhibited in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2011/2012 as part of the Unilever series. Tacita was the 12th artist to be offered this prestigious art commission.

Together with her brother Ptolemy and sister Antigone, Tacita donated the artwork to St Thomas’ in gratitude for the care their mother, Jenefer, received in 2014.

Tacita said: “Against all odds, my mother recovered from her very serious cardiac arrest which she had in Tate Modern, in part due to the extraordinarily high level of care she received in the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital.

“We really wanted to acknowledge our gratitude to all the staff, and the most obvious way was for me to donate an artwork on behalf of the three of us to punctuate those long hospital corridors.

“I chose FILM Stills because FILM was an emblematic project with colourful, bold images that was made for Tate Modern, and so connecting the museum and the hospital.”

Tacita was a Turner Prize nominee in 1998 and was made an OBE in 2013 for services to British art overseas. Originally from Canterbury in Kent, she now splits her time between Berlin in Germany and Los Angeles in California.

Earlier this year, Tacita staged parallel exhibitions in a unique collaboration between three major London institutions: the National Portrait Gallery, The National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts entitled LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT, STILL LIFE.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity owns, manages and cares for artwork at the Trust, including the donation made by the Dean family. They are part of a fine art and heritage collection of more than 4,500 items, one of the largest owned by a health charity in the UK.

Imogen Gray, collection manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity said: “Receiving such a high calibre of artwork is testament to the high standard of care staff at the Trust provide; it’s because of their dedication and work that we have received this extraordinary donation.

“The series of artworks has created a stunning display in the hospital that patients, staff and visitors will enjoy for years to come. We’re really grateful to the Dean family for their incredibly generous gift.”

Learn more about the art in our hospitals.

Last updated: March 2022

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