Arts for Health MK: Twenty for Twenty

Sharon Paulger
Yellow Series by Julia Ball

Yellow III, Print, 1970, Julia Ball; from the Milton Keynes University Hospital Collection.

In the next instalment of our Twenty for Twenty series, we ask the former Arts for Health MK Director and current exhibiting artist Sharon Paulger to select an artwork from the Milton Keynes University Hospital Art Collection.

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

Yellow Series, by Julia Ball, a series of four prints made in 1970, they can be viewed together on Level 1 of Milton Keynes University Hospital between wards 2 and 3.

When and how did you first see it?

I guess I first saw these when I started to work as Director for Arts for Health MK and was acquainting myself with the hospital’s art collection. I am now a patient and an artist.

What first interested or attracted you to this artwork?

It was both the colour and the artist that attracted me.

Colour is important to me and affects my mood. Seeing the light bright yellow of Ball’s prints was joyous. Framed by the courtyard windows, the prints make a natural connection with the greenery outside.

I was already familiar with Ball’s work. She is a Cambridgeshire based artist who gets inspiration from the flatlands and the fens. Having grown up in that landscape I have a natural affinity to her abstract prints and paintings.

Now, as I develop my own arts practice, I find inspiration in Ball’s use of colour and screen printing.

Do you remember how seeing this work made you feel?

On first seeing these prints I felt both proud and responsible as the new custodian of the collection.

Now, when I am at the hospital as a patient I like to visit them. I am irritated by the ‘bed parking’ sign that is on the wall below them. It reminds me of my efforts to get that moved and the complexities of managing a hospital art collection.

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

As a patient I really enjoy seeing art in the hospital. There is always something interesting to look at and although I know the collection pretty well there are nice surprises with new additions or the temporary exhibitions. It is a good distraction from the stress of my treatment.

Contributor: Sharon Paulger

Milton Keynes based artist and former Arts for Health MK Director Sharon Paulger recently completed an MA Fine Art: Digital with the University of the Arts London after a career in arts management.  

You can currently see some of her artworks in Green Zone of the hospital near the cook-chill entrance as part of our temporary exhibition programme. Her vibrant artworks take a mixed media approach focusing on the use of sustainable materials.
Find out more here:

Image: Just to Fill the Space (2022), Sharon Paulger. Screen prints on cardboard and reclaimed wood 50 x 50cm

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