Exhibitions and Events Archive

Heritage Open Days 2020

Heritage Open Days 2020 - We have gone virtual!

11-20 September 2020


Welcome to Arts for Health MK’s Virtual Heritage Open Day tours 2020. Traditionally, each year we organise tours of the Milton Keynes University Hospital art collection; however, circumstances mean we cannot hold physical tours right now, so we have been working hard behind the scenes instead to make more of our collection accessible online.

We invite you to take our interactive tour below which has been split into sections:

Part 1:     The Collection Story
Part 2:     Audio Tour - Collections Highlights with the Arts for Health Team
Part 3:     Virtual Tour - Art Trail App


︎    Listen to an short talk with a member of our team
︎    Read a short article about an artwork or artist (Opens new page, navigate back to this page at the bottom of article ︎)
︎     Bonus, extended blog article
︎    Identifies Art Trail App number (details on how to download and use this from home in Part 3)
︎    Artwork details (click the images to view larger)

So settle in and let’s begin with a story...


Part 1:  The Collection Story

For more than three decades Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) has grown its art collection to more than 450 pieces and is the largest permanent public collection in the Borough.  It includes a wide range of media and subjects including paintings, drawings, photographs, commissioned installations and sculptures situated around the site and in our creative courtyards. The collection is managed and looked after by Arts For Health Milton Keynes.

︎  Press play below to listen to our Collection and Exhibitions Manger, Emma tell you how it all began...


︎     Continue reading The Collection Story...

︎     ‘Read the Story’ (Art Trail App)

Archive image from the ‘Milton Keynes is Dying for a Hospital’ campaign.

Part 2

Collections Highlights with the Arts for Health Team

With so many artworks in the collection it is not an easy task selecting just one, but that is the unenviable task we set some of our staff and volunteers. Listen to the audio guides below to be introduced to highlights, including artworks painted on old doors, commissions inspired by our local heritage and intriguing sculptures amongst hidden nature in our Creative Courtyards.

Artwork 1:  
Milton Keynes 1 by
Siripan Kidd  

Press play below to listen as Arts for Health MK’s Volunteer Assistant Curator, Katrina, introduces you to one of her favourite artworks - before you do - how many of the city’s iconic landmarks can you spot?

‘Siripan Kidd is an artist from Thailand who combines the unique sheen of silk with her 'rice grain' stitches, giving her work an almost painted quality[...]’  Continue reading about the artist and artwork here

Milton Keynes 1 (1991) Silk, Siripan Kidd, silk thread and silk; Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection 

︎Art Trail App Number 4

Artwork 2:
4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Bill Billings:

Listen to our Volunteer, Abigail, as she introduces you to one of her favourite artworks and a nostalgic connection to a certain 1980’s TV show...

Did you know? This artwork is believed to have been painted on an old door?!  Find out more about it here

︎ Check our Billings full artist profile in our blog here 

︎ Bill Billings: 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (c.1990s); Acrylic and paint on wood; Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection.

︎Art Trail App Number 10

Artwork 3:
Long Strand, by Boyd and Evans

Art Collection Volunteer Corinne has spent many hours helping us look after the art collection; here’s her highlight. We could (and have!) spend ages gazing at this one too.

︎ Corinne has also written a wonderful blog post on the artwork which you can read here

Boyd and Evans also created a large scale photographic work, Inside Out (2017) which welcomes you to the main entrance of the Hospital. Find out more about it here

Long Strand (1996) Oil on Canvas, Boyd and Evans; 
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection.

︎ Art Trail App Number 12

Artwork 4:
Equilibrium, by Jon Buck

Sue is Head Gardener here at Arts for Health Milton Keynes, and, along with a fabulous team of Volunteers, she is tasked with keeping the weeds at bay in our Creative Courtyards, so our sculptures do not become too ‘hidden [amongst] nature’ (sorry Hertitage Open Days we couldn’t resist!) Spending so much time outside with the sculpture collection, this artwork has become a firm favourite, press play to hear why...

Did you know? Jon Buck also created the large sculpture ‘Monumental Family’ which you can see outside A&E. Find out more about the artist and his artworks here

Equilibrium (1993) Bronze, Jon Buck; Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection.

︎Art Trail App Number 14

Artwork 5:  
All or Nothing By Lesley Bonner

︎Collection and Exhibitions Manager, Emma has chosen this unique artwork as her collection highlight. Press play to find out why and learn about the artwork.

Find out more about how the Lesley Bonner influenced public sculpture in  Milton Keynes, including how the Concrete Cows came to be remade by another artist in this tour - can you guess who?  Read more and find out here

All or Nothing (date unknown) relief wood carving and paint, Lesley Bonner; Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection.

︎Art Trail App Number 19

Artwork 6:  
Mother and Child Camel by Chris Campbell

Our Artistic and Programmes Director, Stuart, has fond memories of the original camel sculptures at the hospital...

Did you know? The Camels are even rumoured to have their own Blue Peter Badge - Find out why here

︎Mother and Child Camel, (2002) Steel Rod Sculpture, Chris Campbell; Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Collection.

︎Art Trail App Number 19

Part 3

Virtual Tour / Arts For Health Art Trail App

“We enjoyed audio highlights ‘tour’ and are eager to explore more” - we hear you say! Well look no further!︎︎︎

We have developed Look Around You, our Arts for Health hospital art trail app and made it available to download for patients, staff, visitors and ︎︎ you can explore FREE from home too.

Each of the artworks you have heard about above are stops on the trail - (look for the
︎symbols). Follow the instructions below to discover extra images, information and artworks.

Download now – FREE ︎︎︎


Instructions for using the App from Home:

  1. Download the app from your app store (select the logos above or search ‘Arts for Health’ in your app store)
  2. When the app first opens ‘Deny’ the location request (this benefits hospital use only).
  3. When the app opens you will see the menu page. Select ‘Take the Tour’ to see a map view and hand pick your artworks - or select- ‘All Artworks’ to scroll through one by one.
  4. Have your say! We know it’s not quite the same as talking in person but let us know the artworks you like by pressing the ︎ button, and tell us why you like them (or not!) in the comments section at the bottom of each artwork page.

And Finally...

We hope you enjoyed exploring our collection ‘virtually’ and hearing our highlights, we look forward to welcoming you back to Heritage Open Day tours in ‘real’ life soon. Take care, stay safe, The Arts for Health MK team.

P.S. Whilst we are here - have you checked out anything else on our website yet? We have made some of our exhibitions available online, including art created in lockdown by local artists AND there are lots of art activities to inspire you too in our Online Activities and Resources section.

︎ Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on social media too (Links are in footer︎)

Explore More Previous Exhibitions ︎︎︎

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