Horfield Health Centre Installation
Stainless steel, acrylic, aluminium
Collaboration with Dutch artist Remco Kingsman. This was a project to enhance the exterior aspect of the health centre. The flock of figures on the front wall, signage and mitochondria - the batteries of cells all forming part of the artwork.
Horfield Health Centre: External Artworks
Pete Moorhouse (UK) and Remco Kingsman (NL)
The brief of this project was to create artwork that would brighten up the façade of the health centre, to have an impact on the neighbourhood and that would also feel more welcoming for patients and feel less institutional.
The human figures form a stream or flock floating across the length of the building. The postures are intended to represent poses that reflect harmony and balance – they could be seen to have the meditative calmness of yoga postures but also could been viewed as floating on water – supported by the water. These ideas were responding to the support given to patients and issues of health, exercise and balance.
The colours were intended to give the artwork a sense of vitality and a sense of movement and also add an element of colour to the built environment. In addition we created new signage – with a more contemporary feel and to feel more welcoming for patients.
This work takes its inspiration form the shapes of the mitochondria within cells. Mitochondria have strong sculptural form and the shapes connect with some of the forms used in the health centre’s internal artworks in the children’s waiting area. (Created in 2010 by Pete Moorhouse working with Filton Avenue Nursery School and Children’s Centre).
We wanted to create an artwork that felt energetic for this external wall – and mitochondria are the power plants of cells – producing chemical reactions that produce energy. A mitochondrion is shaped perfectly, with its increased surface, to maximize its efforts for this energy production, essentially combining oxygen and food. We all have many millions of these structures within our bodies.
Mitochondria also have an important role to play in understanding human evolution and population genetics. The DNA within mitochondria remains unaltered from generation to generation on the matrilineal side. Using genomics, this DNA can forecast the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend – called the Mitochondrial Eve. This woman would not have been the only living human female of her time. However, her female contemporaries, except her mother, failed to produce a direct unbroken female line to any living woman in the present day. It is estimated that Mitochondrial Eve lived approximately 150,000 years ago.