Article written by Molly May Lewis
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have been working with a number of partners to help bring to life an idea and vision of having a community orchard within the fields surrounding University Hospital Llandough for the benefit of both its patients and the public. Recognising the health benefits of how environmental factors and connecting with nature and wildlife impacts upon health and mental well being has already been realised since the art gallery ‘heARTh’, situated in the recently opened Hafan Y Coed (Haven of Trees), opened last year.
Molly May Lewis’s print ‘5-a-day’ is permanently exhibited in this gallery space and six of her prints were temporarily exhibited in the Affordable Art Winter Exhibition 2016. “It gives me great pleasure knowing that my work helps to promote health and creativity combining both local artists and patients in supporting recovery and wellbeing,” she said.
“To promote this charitable project, the brief set to me was to create and fabricate a 3D 6ft (approx”) apple tree. This would be mounted or hung close to the wall in the entrance of Llandough Hospital. This apple tree will help the promotion of the project but also will be the visible record of money fundraised for the project through the interaction of attaching the apples one by one to the tree as the records of money rise.
“Reading the brief of the commission I realised that my skill set alone would not be able to fulfil the end requirement that the ‘Orchard Project’ were looking for. However instead of passing on the project, I saw an opportunity to learn something new, and with a colleague from Inc. Space, Bryony Moorhouse, we were soon developing ideas. Bryony is a designer and maker of furniture so has a wide set of skills covering all the essential machinery whereas my background in painting and printmaking allowed the design and overall visual composition to be executed at a high standard.
“From design and fabrication to the final touches, the process of creating the apple tree has encouraged me to learn new skills and think about creative projects in new light. Being pushed out of my comfort zone, I tackled problems that arose and really enjoyed the new challenges that this commission gave me. I hope that the tree, when placed in Llandough Hospital, is recognised and encourages happiness to anyone who walks through the door.
“Simone and Melanie at Llandough Hospital have been a pleasure to work for and I thank them for giving myself and Bryony this opportunity. We both hope that this is just the beginning of a hugely successful project.”