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Queen’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast
Commissioned by: Professor Jean Orr Head of School
Architects: Todd Architects
Techniques: Hand made ceramic artwork, mono-printed relief tiles, inglaze lustre
Dimensions: 2m x 2m
A ceramic artwork based on the ethos associated with the School.
Historically nursing has been symbolised by a red cross on a white ground. Different forms of the cross appear, often on badges
The centre of this design is taken from a Red and White Friendship Quilt made in 1898 and used as a fundraising venture as it contained signatures of people who gave a donation.
The red and white quilts are also associated with Irish quilts that were often made in these two colours to brighten up an otherwise drab bedroom.
The colours of red mean love of one’s fellow and the red cross is seen to represent nursing as a selfless service.
The panel of nine red and white crosses has handwritten words on the white surround and represents the caring qualities of nurses (capable, competence, bravery, humility, trust, integrity, comfort, birth, life, spirit, reassurance, safety, security, hygiene, warmth). The triangular tiles represent the four areas taught by the School of Nursing- Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disability. A strip of different coloured textured tiles surrounds these. These have in their surfaces symbols such as the lamp, books, references etc.
The design is edged in a turquoise blue tile the same colour as the ribbon on the Queen’s Nursing Badge and contains the Queens Nursing Pledge.
The crosses from the quilt emerge from the top edge and float off away from the quilt and transform into birds and are seen as a symbol of how knowledge gives you freedom to move on.