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Guy’s Hospital Pharmacy Manufacturing Unit


Nicky Hirst was selected to create an artwork for the new Pharmacy Manufacturing Facility at Guy’s Hospital.  The main aim of the commissioned artwork was to create an environment for the diverse range of staff that use the unit and to demonstrate the facility’s commitment to patient care.


The artwork comprises three elements, each representing the importance of 'Specials' (medicines specially formulated for certain patients) and the role of the Pharmacy in their manufacture.


In the Staff Room a design of coloured, interlinked circles reveals an occasional unexpected patterned form.  This depicts the relationship between patients and common licensed medicines.  In the rare instances when the two do not correlate as anticipated, a Special medicine must be devised.


In the Reception area, Hirst's artwork focuses solely on the patterned elements of the design that represent the 'Specials', highlighting the Pharmacy's commitment to providing these essential and novel medicines.


The third element of the artwork, in the waiting area, references the original design, but is now fully resolved and celebratory; the correlation between the overlapping circles is entirely uniform.  This represents how the work of the Pharmacy results in a harmonious outcome; the successful treatment of patients through the use of Special medicines.


This commission was curated and managed by Modus Operandi, as part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity’s Art Programme..


Nicky Hirst

Title of work

Solve et Coagula – Separate and Join Together


Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity




2010 and ongoing

Image credit

© Nick David