Old to New: why it’s important to preserve a sense of identity in a new building
Kate Ive is the lead artist on ‘Old to New’; a project which aims to share the identity, history, and stories of the three institutions as they undergo a transition from their original sites to the new build at Little France. We asked her about the importance of preserving a sense of identity in a new building:
As the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services transition into their new purpose built hospital, it is important to look to the future whilst also preserving and acknowledging the histories and pasts of these services. There was a wealth of inspiration that could be drawn upon from the history of their individual identities for the ‘Old to New’ Artwork. During my research this was clear not just from the Lothian Health Services Archives but also from the hospital staff. They told me of the strong connections they feel with their current/old buildings and how their identities are still strongly intertwined with their locations and individual histories.
Much of my practice draws upon the past as a starting point, creating tangible connections with our evolution and development. Working with these initial concepts, I aim to push these details forward, transforming them with hope for the future. I was given an abundance of tiny but significant details from the hospital users that stood out and needed to be captured and carried forward. These are the details that have come together to form the artwork. As such the ‘Old to New’ sculptures look to encapsulate some of the most significant moments so that they get brought into the new hospital, reminding the fledgling building of the strong foundations upon which it has been established.