Commissioned by Foyle Trust with Arts Care and artists in residence, Patricia Crossey and Kate Murphy.
The inspiration for The Gransha Light was a de-commissioned navigation beacon, which had guided mariners entering and leaving the City of Derry for over a hundred years. Redundant since 1989, the beacon had been reduced to a crumbling eyesore.
Set on a promontory within the grounds of the hospital and overlooking the mouth of the River Foyle, the revitalised structure has been wrapped in an aluminium cladding, on which are etched the reminiscences of generations of patients. The beacon has been reinstated as a laser light, whose beam is able to reach across the river to City Hall – thus re-forging the hospital’s links to the people it serves.
The brief for the landscape at Grasha was to anchor the beacon firmly in the hospital grounds and to connect it back to the hospital buildings some 200 metres away. This has been achieved by introducing an all-weather promenade, allowing patients, staff and visitors to walk to this new destination, across the rather desolate expanse of intervening playing fields. It is a meandering spine, whose vertebrae comprise walk-through borders, planted with a mix of vigorous grasses and perennials, willows and dogwoods – all coping well with the exposed conditions and minimal attention.