Hawthorn Hall of Mirrors


Hawthorn Hall of Mirrors, detail

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Permanent work at Churchill Hospital
Oxford, UK

The Radcliffe/Churchill Trust in Oxford. Sited in the new cancer wing, the imagery on the 2 x 7 metre acid etched and sandblasted mirror produced by Nero Signs (Glass/Designs) Ltd.

At the Churchill, the mirrors simultaneously reflect the outside environment together with the people who use the building. The sandblasted static imagery retains its scale, whilst the ‘audience’ participates by adding their moving reflections, changing scale as they approach and depart in relation to the mirror surface.

Rideal used branches and berries taken from an old hawthorn tree located close to the new cancer centre (at: 454308E – 205690N, etched into the mirror at the base of panel four) and made life size photograms from them. Research suggests that phyto-chemicals found in hawthorn, may reduce the risk of cancer.These images were then scanned making a vinyl mask to create a design that is itself reflective while also echoing the pattern produced by the repeated photograms.

At the base of the mirror is a dedication to Eric Rideal who attended St.Edward’s School, Oxford (1934) and as an RAF Flight Lieutenant was stationed at Little Rissington, his son was born at the Radcliffe (1950).