Two of the 2020 Illustration graduates, Ellie Roberts and Ffion Morgan, have been working with Esyllt George, Arts and Health Coordinator at the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and some other arts graduates creating murals at a temporary rehabilitation hospital in Bridgend called Ysbyty y Seren. Ellie explains more about the project and why she chose to get involved:
‘It is generally accepted that art can play a powerful part in wellness. In a health setting, such as a hospital, there is the opportunity for art to provide a pleasant distraction from the clinical; something engaging for both staff and patients. In this project, we aimed to transform a generic, clinical space into something more welcoming for those who would be spending a lot of time here, potentially isolated from family and friends. It was important to us that the work was bright, colourful and non-political, providing a welcome distraction and an element of escapism.
‘As an artist, I felt grateful to be able to give something back to the community and particularly to the NHS who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and who represent hope to so many both locally and nationally. In such uncertain times, designing and creating these murals really helped me and my team to feel grounded and thankful.
‘In our goal of keeping the work light and positive, a theme of nature grew quite organically amongst the artists’ work. We embraced this, because what the patients here will likely miss out on most is the outdoors. The theme of nature allowed soft, non-jarring shapes, to sit alongside bright, cheerful colours, aimed at lifting moods. Despite our very different art styles, our creations are linked by purpose and intent. We hope that our art allows its viewers a moment of quiet mindfulness and contributes to an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.
‘I hope there will be more opportunities and funding dedicating to bringing art into medical spaces in the future.’