Amsterdam UMC has a huge contemporary art collection and commissions artists regularly. The art collection – presented in the public areas of the hospital – is an essential part of the identity of the organization and creates a pleasant environment with the right art in the right place.
‘Flowerfields’ is one of those art commissions given to artist Elspeth Diederix. For the lounges at the nursing wards in Amsterdam UMC (location AMC), she created six photographic landscapes with a special eye-catcher: two flowers that relate to the medical specialty of the ward. These landscapes bring the outside world inside – for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.
Next to the artwork in the hospital itself, Amsterdam UMC Kunstzaken was looking for a way to document the project for the future and make it accessible for a broader public. In collaboration with head curator Sabrina Kamstra, K&H worked on the concept and design of a tailormade online platform where the project could launch.
After an elaborate research phase, K&H decided to create a format where the portrayed flowers are literally given their own voice. The concept of an online storytelling platform was born, where the eight flowers tell surprising stories about their medical qualities and other uses. Within tailormade ‘animated podcasts’, the narrative comes to life through text, audio and images – adding an extra layer to the photography. This highly engaging format creates special connections between art, literature, history, science and healthcare – making the project as a whole more accessible for a wider audience.
The result is a bilingual platform, which is accessible to everyone – both inside and outside the Amsterdam UMC. The project was shaped in such a way that the framework can also be used for future art projects.
The first two Flowerfields in the Cardiovascular and Short Stay departments have now been completed. The other four on-site lounges will follow over the next couple of years.
Online storytelling platform
Client: Amsterdam UMC Kunstzaken
Concept and design: Kummer & Herrman
Curators: Sabrina Kamstra & Menno Dudok van Heel
Photography: Elspeth Diederix
Texts: Maartje Knepper
Translation: VU vertaalcentrum
Web development: Studio divv & Yannick Gregoire
Audio: Studio Wild
Film production: Mals Media
Visit the online platform ‘Flowerfields’ here
The Flowerfields-art project was realized with the support of the Elisabeth van Thüringen Prize for art in healthcare.