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The Outpost

In collaboration with artists Neal Macdonald and Donna McCracken (fellow Artroom colleagues at Roxburghe House), Emily was commissioned by CLAN Cancer Support to design an NHS Tribute Sculpture in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and as part of the 'Light the North' art trail. 

Emily, Neal, and Donna delivered seven Zoom workshops ('Postcards and Playlists') to participating NHS Staff in February 2021. Staff then submitted the art and writing they did during the workshops to be used as inspiration for the final sculpture design.


'The Outpost' was completed at the beginning of June and was launched in advance of the 'Light the North' art trail on August 9th. 

'The Outpost' raised a staggering £12,000 at auction. 


For the photo call and Press and Journal article, click here

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'Postcards and Playlists'

These workshops were all about exploring the places – literal and figurative – that had given us joy, hope, and pause over the previous 12 months. Maybe it was a walk we took with the dog on weekends, a holiday we were planning for the future, a phone call we took with a friend every week, or a song we played loudly in the car on the way home from a busy shift. Though it had been a difficult and challenging year, we wanted to draw out the moments – however small – that made us smile, laugh, cry, and focus on the relationships that helped keep us going.


NHS Tribute Sculpture

The Outpost is an arbiter for perspective: in the face of isolation, it stands for solitariness; in the depths of loneliness, it offers solitude. The Outpost recognises loss and embraces resilience; it symbolises the varied ways in which NHS staff have supported others during this national health crisis. It also speaks to olive branches and to the people, places, and practices that have helped staff get through the Covid 19 pandemic. It signifies reaching out – to help and be helped – and acknowledges the messages of both hope and loss that staff documented during the ‘Postcards and Playlists’ workshops we ran in February. The Outpost is a tribute to their strength and courage as frontline healthcare workers – it also archives their experiences during the pandemic as mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, friends, and family members. Here are their Friday night dance parties, their words of wisdom, their holidays in Jordan, and their playlists of birdsong.

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