Arts for Health MK: Twenty for Twenty

Dame Ann Limb DBE DL FRSA
Inside Out by Boyd and Evans

Images: Detail of: Inside Out (2018), Boyd and Evans, 240 frame photographic work, commission for the new main entrance of Milton Keynes University Hospital.

In this first of our Twenty for Twenty articles, we ask Dame Ann Limb to tell us about an artwork from the Milton Keynes University Hospital Art Collection.

Which work in The Collection have you chosen to talk about?

Large-scale photographic work - Inside Out (2018) by  Boyd & Evans (Fionnuala Boyd and Les Evans), seen at the main entrance of the Hospital.  

When and how did you first see it?

I first saw this work when I came to the new entrance of the hospital in late 2018 with my wife for a cardiology appointment. I was immediately struck by how bold and uplifting it is as patients and visitors enter the hospital. I find it deeply reassuring and ‘normal’ which can help when people are often worried by what might be ahead.

What first interested or attracted you to this artwork?

I have loved Boyd & Evans’ work since I first came across it when I arrived in Milton Keynes in 1986 - although they have been working collaboratively since 1968.

I am attracted to the large scale photographic work because photography seems to me to be an art form that is so expressive of all the new city of Milton Keynes embodies.

Do you remember how seeing this work made you feel?

This work makes me feel both alive and reflective.

It captures the modernity and vibrancy of Milton Keynes and at the same time reminds us that nowhere in this city of trees is any resident less than a five minute walk from a green space and the sense of calmness and wellbeing we derive from nature.

In general, what kind of impact do you think seeing art at MKUH has on your experience of being on the hospital site?

I have been a long-time advocate of what is now called ‘social prescribing’ i.e. a belief that many health issues can be assuaged, alleviated, and even arrested by the power of creativity and art. I served as Chair of Arts for Health MK for six years from 2006 – 2011 during which time I saw at first hand through my walks in the hospital and my chats with patients, staff and visitors just how much seeing artworks, poems, and stories displayed in the hospital helped healing and recovery.

Contributor: Ann Limb
Local resident and former Arts for Health MK Chair Dame Ann Limb DBE DL FRSA is a highly regarded British educationalist, business leader, charity chair and philanthropist. Ann has been serving as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire for the last year. Other noteworthy public appointments include Chairing the Scout Association for six years from 2015 (the organisation's first woman Chair since it's 1907 foundation), and in 2021 becoming Chair of the education and skills institution, City & Guilds (the first female Chair in its 143 year history).

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