Hamish Mackie is a world-renowned sculptor who’s spent a lifetime perfecting his craft. Having had the privilege of observing wildlife across the world firsthand, his stunning artworks are not merely photographic representations, but are his own passionate interpretations of the natural world. 

Each piece is utterly unique, which is why we were absolutely thrilled when Hamish generously agreed to loan one of his exquisite pieces, Ammonite, to Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville.

Hamish Mackie with Head Gardener Amy installing Ammonite sculpture Ammonite in Horatio's Garden 

Despite the weather, Hamish visited us last week to settle the sculpture safely into its new home, with Head Gardener Amy also braving the cold to chat to Hamish, who was only too happy to talk about his work and its inspiration. The two explored the processes behind his other projects, whilst Amy also found out more about Ammonite in particular, knowing that plenty of patients and volunteers would be interested to hear its story. 

The sculpture is Hamish’s interpretation of a Jurassic ammonite fossil, which he created using numerous techniques to produce both form and texture. Having recognised that humanity has always had a fascination with the past, he set out to create a contemporary sculpture that simultaneously conveys a sense of the timeless beauty of these fossils.

Hamish Mackie with Sculpture 'Ammonite' 

With news of the arrival spreading fast throughout the spinal centre, already the sculpture has encouraged plenty of people to pop out to the garden. Patients, NHS staff and volunteers have all spent time investigating the artwork, with many appreciating the fresh sense of coastal calm it lends to the garden. 

The excitement felt on installation day has yet to diminish and with the surrounding flowerbed set to burst into bloom soon, Ammonite will undoubtedly continue to be admired throughout the changing seasons. It will be wonderful to see the piece surrounded by greenery this spring and summer and we are so grateful to Hamish for bringing a novel source of natural beauty to our horticultural haven.