materials: Hand made ceramics, stoneware glaze
techniques: Relief ceramics with textural detail from fabrics printed onto the surface and finished with a high fired stoneware glaze to protect from frost.
dimensions: 7 x 3 m
brief: To make a piece of artwork for the two courtyard areas of the Mental Health Unit in Gransha, Derry including work from three workshops with patients in the unit.
commissioned by: Avanti Architects and Artscare.
Courtyard 1 –Men’s area
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.-Chinese proverbs
Description of artwork- A line of different sized ceramic birds flowing in two wandering lines along the wall to represent the pathway to recovery and a sense of freedom. Each piece is intricately textured with printed and painted images relating to trees, flowers and the sky. This work includes pieces made in 3 workshops with patients, uses words and phrases from poetry workshops and expresses the patient’s feelings for the unit. The whole piece has a playful feeling of breaking free from the things which try to tie us in knots.
Courtyard 2 –Women’s area
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Anderson
Descriptions of artwork- Colourful ceramic butterflies flying along the walled garden brighten the outdoor space and bring a dance of colour to the garden. Again, patient’s feelings and hopes are expressed on the printed ceramic surface which becomes evident when they are closely inspected, each one an individual: just as each patient is.