SUN AND MOON 2015
2.5m / 8.2ft Diameter
Commissioned by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for Gartnavel Royal Hospital to mark 200 years since the opening of Glasgow's first asylum in 1814. The final work is composed of two sculptures Sun and Moon, which sought to challenge the stigma of mental illness and Two Hearts which celebrates the love found in mental health care. Both sculptures were unveiled on the 27th May 2015 by staff and patients.
Back in 1814 it was believed that mental illness was caused by a direct mental connection to moon, hence the origins of the word Lunatic which comes from the Latin word, Luna, meaning moon. Gartnavel Royal Hospitals motto, also from Latin, is Reluceat , meaning “let there be light, again”.
Sun and Moon considers the dualities of life expressed through the notions of the light of day and dark of night as being dual mental states. Circular in shape and made from stainless steel one side of the sculpture, Moon, has several mirror polished, concave circular dishes, which have the affect of turning the viewer upside down and reflecting them many times. The other side Sun gives a right way up reflection unifying the viewer, to represent a state of good mental health.
Robb spent six weeks at Gartnavel Royal Hospital with the aim of gaining an insight into mental health care and a better understanding of mental illness. The breadth and depth of the experience at the hospital combined with his research lead him to the conclusion that it was not possible to see 200 years of mental health care from one single point of view given the significant changes that have occurred since 1814. Robb proposed not one but two sculptures be placed within the hospital grounds at different locations preventing them from ever being seen together, inviting the viewer to travel across the hospital if they are to see the full commission; a metaphor of the needto adjust our point of view if we are to get a picture of 200 years of mental health care.
While each sculpture is a stand-alone work of art, they can be combined in the mind to create 200. Two Hearts use of a number 2 makes direct reference to the 2 of the 200, while the two zeros, of the 200 can be found in the circular shapes of the Sun and Moon sculpture.