Creative Courtyards

Arts for Health Milton Keynes looks after some of the courtyards at Milton Keynes University Hospital.  

Affectionately called our Creative Courtyards, each contains at least one sculpture from the Milton Keynes University Hospital Art Collection, situated amongst green spaces, creative planting schemes, and seated areas offering space for quiet reflection.

These spaces are open during daylight hours for staff, patients, and visitors to enjoy. ︎︎

About the Courtyards:

Back in 2005-2006 Arts for Health MK led on the development of six courtyards on the Milton Keynes University Hospital site that formed part of a national initiative for research-based capital enhancement projects entitled Pathways.The project was commended by the Building Better Healthcare Awards for Best Use of Art in Hospitals Award.

Camel Courtyard
This courtyard was designed by staff and patients for Ward 7 and the members of the ‘Talkback Club’, a stroke support group who met at the hospital. Patients and club members made the mosaics that you can see inlaid in the path working collaboratively with the artists. The courtyard has taken the Eastern origins of the Bactrian (one-humped) camels, that feature in the Mother and Child Camel sculptures by Chris Campbell to inspire the colours and mosaics around the path.  Artists: Tim Ward and Andy Newman, Circling the Square.

Meadow Courtyard
This courtyard was designed by the Probation Service (unpaid work unit) and artist Helen Taylor. The courtyard was designed to develop into a wildflower sanctuary and is landscaped using natural materials to give the illusion of a riverbed and a coloured glass stream. There are two sculptures within this courtyard. Himself (1984) a horton stone scultpure by Peter Randall-Page and The Family (Treeo) by Jane Higginbottom, created in collaboration with children from The Radcliffe School in 2008.

Snail Courtyard
This courtyard was designed by MK Mind and artist Helen Taylor. The existing Snail sculpture by artist Christine Angus was the inspiration for the design. MK Mind has created the new sculpture in the centre of the courtyard. The small sculptures around the courtyard were created by children at Long Meadow School and staff from the hospital.

The Sensory Garden formerly known as ‘The Wheel Courtyard’

The Sensory Garden at Milton Keynes University Hospital has been lovingly created by artist Katie Ellen-Fields and is now open for all to enjoy!

Rosalind Stoddart’s, ‘Wheel’ sculpture Brixworth Country Park, has also been scheduled for repair and return to its original colour. The sculpture has a sound element and musical mallets are provided to ‘play’ the fins of the piece. The original bamboo pole artworks can also be ‘played’ with these tools.

Generous seating has been added to the garden, stained with an eco-friendly wood varnish. Large water-resistant, outdoor cushions allow visitors to sit and rest in various spots around the garden. The grass bed has been replanted to provide more colour and contrast, plus taller, tactile specimens added. New flooring has been installed, made from recycled rubber in a contrasting colour to the rest of the garden. This gives better access to the garden, a smoother surface for wheelchair users and improved visual contrast.  Wooden wind chimes decorated by patients provide subtle sounds. Instead of a water feature, metal ‘water-chimes’ in the garden create sound when rain falls onto them.

We have been lucky to have had a range of volunteers who have helped with this project, including children from Slated Row school.
With thanks to our funders the Postcode Society Trust for their support with this project.

Eye Clinic Courtyard
This courtyard was designed by members of staff and users of the clinic with artist Ulf Pedersen. The space provides safe outdoor area for people to use while waiting in the clinic as well as giving staff a space to relax during their breaks. The pictures of objects and animals that you can see in the courtyard are taken from Kay Symbols which are pictures used to assess very young children’s eyesight, instead of letters. This courtyard was designed by Arts for Health MK but is not maintained by us.

Visit our
Blog by clicking here to find out the latest updates about our Creative Courtyards.

Can you help?

Our courtyards are lovingly maintained by our team of dedicated volunteers, and our Creative Courtyard Artist Supervisor. If you are a keen creative gardener and would like to help us out – see our volunteers pages for the latest opportunities.

We have big ambitions to regenerate our Creative Courtyards spaces over the next few years, to give them a new lease of life. Find out more about how your donations can help here.

Explore more from the Art Collection below ︎︎︎
Arts for Health Milton Keynes
Facilities Directorate
Milton Keynes Hospital
Standing Way
Milton Keynes

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Arts for Health Milton Keynes is the working name of MK Arts for Health charity number 1107625  company number 05137693