Daffodils on the Foresterhill Campus

The sculpture in the photo was created by the Japanese artist Hideo Furuta. The piece is called ‘Breathing’ and was commissioned to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1992.


Terra Nova @ The Suttie Arts Space

– Special Collections Centre

The Suttie Arts Space in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has been created by Grampian Hospitals Art Trust as a quiet space which is not a café or a waiting room where can you go to rest, meet up or recoup for the next part of your journey.

The current exhibition is Terra Nova from the FOUND Collective. FOUND is an Edinburgh-based art collective and band with a membership that changes over time. Currently, the art collective primarily consists of Ziggy Campbell and Simon Kirby, whereas the band features Ziggy Campbell and Kev Sim.

The Terra Nova installation is based on photographs taken by Dr William Clark Souter in 1903 when he sailed to Antarctica on the ship Terra Nova to rescue Captain Scott’s ship Discovery from the ice. These photographs have been combined with recent images of Antarctica taken from Google Street View using special software.

FOUND Collective

Dr Souter, a junior doctor at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, was asked to act as the ship’s surgeon. He was a keen photographer, and was tasked with documenting the expedition, the crew, their shared lunches of lemons and biscuits, journeys by dog sled, and particularly of the pioneering ballistics work to force a safe path through ice led by Captain Harry McKay of the Terra Nova. His photographs are now housed within the University of Aberdeen Special Collections Centre.

Google photographers have now gone to Antarctica with backpack cameras that allow imagery to be captured on foot, so you can follow in Dr Souter’s steps using Google Street View.

Purpose built software scans the horizon of these images and uses the data within to trigger sounds. New abstracted images are created as a side-effect of the scanning process and these are displayed as a static “snapshots” on the gallery walls, and as a moving image of the data that the installation is processing in real time.”

Ziggy Campbell and Simon Kirby – FOUND Collective

The Terra Nova exhibition is on until 14th February, so if you have a few minutes do visit. The gallery is free and is open 24/7.

Medical Library Team

Blue skies and spring daffodils


Daffodils in bloom
Daffodils in bloom outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with the Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare behind. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and is worn on St David’s Day each 1 March. (In Welsh, the daffodil is known as “Peter‘s Leek”, cenhinen Bedr/Cenin pedr.)

The NHS Grampian Archives

Nurse holding a child with rickets at the Sick Childrens Hospital, AberdeenThe NHS Grampian Archives comprise the records of hospitals and other health related institutions in the Grampian area from 1739, when the Infirmary at Aberdeen was founded, to the late 20th century.

Most of the records from the 18th and 19th centuries are of hospitals: general and specialist hospitals, cottage hospitals and asylums. These records contain information on the administration of the hospitals and about the people who were patients, staff and contributors to hospital funds. In addition there are records from the three local poorhouses which in 1948 became hospitals in the newly formed NHS.

Material from the 20th century includes both hospital collections and the records of a range of local health organisations such as the National Insurance Committees set up under the 1911 National Health Insurance Act. Also contained in the archives are records of local authority health departments which, prior to 1974, had responsibility for a range of healthcare services including prevention of epidemics, mother and child welfare, and school medical services.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, WoolmanhillThe archive is housed in the Special Collections Centre, part of the Sir Duncan Rice Library in Old Aberdeen.  If you have any enquiries or wish to consult the records please contact the archivist Miss Fiona R Watson (email grampian.archives@nhs.net, telephone 01224 274912).

The photographs show a nurse holding a child with rickets at the Sick Childrens Hospital, Aberdeen and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary when it was at Woolmanhill. Both are part of the George Washington Wilson Archive.

The Medical Library Team

Breathing – Hideo Furuta

Photo of the sculpture outside Ashgrove House The sculpture in front of Ashgrove House on the Foresterhill Campus is called Breathing and was created by the Japanese sculptor, Hideo Furuta. This piece was commissioned to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1992.

Furuta was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1949 and studied art in Tokyo before spending a year as a stonemason when he learned to work granite, which became his chosen medium.

He came to Britain in 1985, working first in Wales before moving to Scotland after becoming the Edinburgh University artist-in-residence in 1989. He finally settled in Creetown in Galloway, and died there aged 57, in November 2007.

Among other works of public art, he designed Juxtaposition in Saltwell Park for Gateshead Council and the Adamson Square, Creetown with funding from the Scottish Arts Council.

Hideo Furuta’s obituary appeared in the Scotsman newspaper in December, 2007.

The Medical Library Team