Steel sculpture created by UWTSD's Sarah Tombs marks 70 years of NHS


A sculpture created by UWTSD lecturer Sarah Tombs has been unveiled at a Swansea hospital to commemorate its links with Port Talbot steelworks.

The sculpture was unveiled at Morriston Hospital's Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery on Monday.

Inspired by Welsh mythology and created from Tata steel by Sarah, an artist from west Wales and a lecturer at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, the sculpture was unveiled by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

The sculpture is of the legendary Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach and symbolises "regeneration and healing". According to the Mabinogion and The Red Book of Hergest, she was mother of the Physicians of Myddfai, who used magical powers to heal the sick.

Ms Tombs spent about 18 months constructing the sculpture, which has been allowed to rust.

"I wanted the steel to come through and oxidisation is a natural process," she explained. "It's softer and less industrial than something that has been galvanised or painted. It will change as time passes and I like that too."

The connections between healthcare and industry in south Wales are also being marked with a purpose-built miners' lamp, which will be the symbol of the health board's celebrations across the anniversary year.

ABMU Chairman Andrew Davies said: "The sculpture is a reminder of the origins of the NHS but also that injuries and death in industry, while reduced, are something we still have to deal with.

“That is why the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery is crucial to this region. It is a global centre of excellence that has put Morriston on the map for world-class, cutting-edge treatment and research.”

Tata Steel’s Community Liaison Manager, Wales, Lucy James said: “We have had a close relationship with the centre for many years.

"We are delighted to have been able to work in partnership with our colleagues in Community and with ABMU in the creation of the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach in recognition of this.

"With the NHS celebrating its 70th birthday this year, we continue to be grateful for the care, support and clinical expertise our NHS service provides to our employees and local communities.”


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