Are you a Barts baby? Maybe you married someone you met at Barts? Or perhaps – like Dant – you ended up at Barts after helping a famous pop star carry a piano down four flights of stairs.
Depicting shared histories of particular places is the artist’s speciality and “BARTS: 900 YEARS IN 900 STORIES” is set to bring to life all manner of hospital tales in Dant’s trademark ‘Modern Hogarthian style’.
From the extraordinary, such as young medical student Percy Shelley’s fascination with reanimating Barts medical cadavers using electricity, to the regular visits made by the entire Murphy family for the treatment of a series of increasingly silly accidents.
Images Courtesy of the Artist and TAG Fine Arts
Video: BBC London News 17th Jan 2023
The artwork has been commissioned by Barts Heritage, the charity responsible for the care and restoration of the historic buildings at the heart of the working hospital. Barts Heritage is currently developing a £9.1m project, Sharing Historic Barts, which, if the fundraising target is met, will begin in autumn 2023 to coincide with the hospital’s 900th year.
This National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project will see the repair and conservation of the iconic North Wing with its famous interiors – the Hogarth Stair and the Great Hall. The building will be revitalised for a range of uses, including a pioneering programme of activities linking heritage and health.
Artist Adam Dant said: “Being asked by Barts Heritage to produce their special commemorative 900th anniversary artwork is a proper privilege. As an artist I relish nothing more than the chance to nose around in the city’s more unusual archives, connecting the strange anecdotes of our forebears with who we are now and what’s important to us today as a society.”
Will Palin, Chief Executive of Barts Heritage, said: “As St Bartholomew’s Hospital approaches its 900th anniversary we are delighted to be working with Adam Dant on a celebratory map charting the remarkable history of Britain’s oldest working hospital.”
Dant’s map will be populated with 900 stories as told by the people of Barts and those across the capital and the country(past and present), whose lives have been touched by this famous institution, together with tales uncovered from hospital archives. Adam’s unique eye (and ear) for the curious, the humorous and the tragic will bring to life 900 years of Barts history in all its beautiful (and occasionally bloody) glory.
A special signed, limited edition print version of the map commission will go on sale from January 2023, in support of Barts Heritage and the Sharing Historic Barts project.
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About Adam Dant
Adam Dant (b. 1967 -) works from a studio in the City of London. Born in Cambridge, Dant studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the MS University Faculty of Fine Arts Baroda, India. On his return to the UK from his appointment as Rome Scholar in Etching and Engraving, the artist created the 5 year pamphleteering art project ‘Donald Parsnips’ Daily Journal’. Dant soon became a house-hold name known for his elaborate narrative drawings and cartographic surveys of city life, past, present and future.
He is also proud to have been honoured as a “Regent of The College of Pataphysics”.
Recent projects include his 2015 appointment as Parliament’s Official Artist of the 2015 General Election, and exhibitions such as ‘The Budge Row Bibliotheque’ at Bloomberg SPACE gallery.
His artworks are held in major international collections including: TATE, Arts Council, England, Deutsche Bank, King Charles III, MoMA, New York and The Government Art Collection, UK.
He is represented by the London art gallery and publisher, TAG Fine Arts.