Information about our art collection.
Hospitalfield’s art collection spans from the 19th Century to the present day. It includes 19th Century paintings commissioned by Patrick-Allan Fraser, 20th Century works donated by artists who studied here, and a growing selection of 21st Century artworks acquired though our contemporary art projects.
For the opening of Hospitalfield’s new Garden Café, as part of the launch of Phase One of the Future Plan, Hospitalfield commissioned Mick Peter to create the tables bespoke for the Café.
Now forming a part of our collection, there are twenty tables, each with an individual design embedded into them based on the collections here at Hospitalfield. To make the tables, Mick worked with Furniture designers Three Four Five furniture to make the tables to be situated within the new glass house Café designed by Caruso St John.
We asked Mick to explain some of the decisions and inspiration that led to the tables:
H: What is the inspiration behind the images on the tables and how did you choose them?
MP: The tables grew out of a discussion of the process for the sculpture commission I’ve been working on at Hospitalfield – essentially using a material that is associated with architectural applications. When I’d shown how images could be inlaid into the material Hospitalfield’s Director Lucy Byatt was keen on a commission for the new café. I knew the building and the collection quite well so it was clear there would be lots of potential for visual references which come directly from Hospitalfield.
I’ve often looked towards graphic design and illustration for inspiration and for a long time I’ve admired Derek Birdsall’s work for Penguin. He did a series of covers (24 in all) for Somerset Maugham that used photos taken by Harri Peccionotti in 1971. Their idea was to make all the covers from one collection of objects so that when put side by side the images would align. For the tables I wanted to do something similar with objects from the collection where these points of alignment were a bit more subtle. Nonetheless in laying the tables out, people would find moments of visual correspondence that would be amusing and interesting while they were eating their lunch or drinking tea.
H: How did you draw the images into the table?
MP: I used reference photos as well as images and scans of my own. I wanted to include objects from the collection as well as objects that reference the garden. There’s also an image of one of my own sketchbooks and drawing tools for a lightly rhetorical gesture. I scanned my drawings and made files that could be extruded and used on a CNC machine to engrave the images into the surface. The line work was then filled and polished back.
H: What are the tables made from?
MP: They’re made from a composite material called Hi-Macs. They’re mounted on a powder coated stainless steel frame. Everything is custom made.
Find out more about Mick’s Peter’s exhibition Gerroff!! (Or User Feedback) here: https://hospitalfield.org.uk/visit/commissions/mick-peter
Ceramic Plates, 2018, Ceramic with hand-mixed glaze.
These plates were made by Zoe Paul during her period in residence at Hospitalfield working up to the Summer Open Weekend 2018. The clay has been drawn into, then glazed with oxides. These plates lined the walls of the 20th Century studio, which was transformed into a cafe for the duration of the weekend as part of Paul’s exhibition ‘wild wolf, man and fish’ was presented in this room and the adjoining studio where she presented large ceramic works’
BERTH AN EARTH Drawings, 2015, ink on paper
Alastair MacLennan produced these drawings during BERTH AN EARTH, a performance commissioned by Hospitalfield in 2015. The drawings were made horizontally on two tables MacLennan moved between. He used ink and water sponges to draw, and gifted the drawings into our collection after the performance.
Drawing, 2015, pen and gold leaf on paper
This drawing is part of Graham Fagan’s exhibition for the Scottish presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The solo exhibition was commissioned and curated by Hospitalfield, and was exhibited at Hospitalfield House later in 2016. This tree form appears in several of Fagan’s works including a metal and ceramic sculpture which was exhibited in Hosptialfield’s Dining Room alongside this work.
Untitled Diptych, circa late 1960s / early 1970s, oil on canvas, 50.5 x 76.5cm.
Untitled, 1984, watercolour, 40 x 97cm.
Untitled (Still Life and Self Portrait), 1994, watercolour,135.5 x 64cm.
Gifted by the Royal Scottish Academy (William Littlejohn Bequest)
William Littlejohn was born in Arbroath in 1929 and lived here most of his life. He worked for many years as an art teacher at Arbroath High School, after which he became a lecturer, then Head of Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. He taught there until retiring in 1991.
When he died in 2006, Littlejohn left the entire contents of his studio to the Royal Scottish Academy. We were delighted to have the opportunity to receive the gift of three works from his studio collection, held by the RSA, in 2013. We selected these particular paintings to compliment two other which were already part of Hospitalfield’s 20th Century collection. Littlejohn was an important painter and educator, and also served as a Trustee of The Hosiptalfield Trust for many years.