University Hospital Galway has unveiled multiple new artworks meant to improve the atmosphere for patients and staff.
Six bronze sculptures, two wall-mounted and four free-standing have been installed at the Acute Adult Mental Health Unit and its surrounding grounds.
Crafted by artists Maree Hensey and Mark Ryan, the four sculptures are the end result of a collaborative workshop process to craft an appropriate visual message.
The six artworks include a wall-mounted sculpture on the exterior wall of the ground floor courtyard, another wall-mounted sculpture at the reception area and four freestanding sculptures throughout the Mental Health Unit’s courtyards and outdoor garden spaces.
The sculptures are meant to evoke familiarity, contemplation and a gentleness that echoes the natural world.
Maree and Mark hoped to brighten up the hospitals environment, and bring traces of the natural world indoors for patients to contemplate.
In addition, UHG recently unveiled ‘Blackrock at Sunset’, a long exposure photograph of the popular Salthill diving spot.
It was taken by Clint Coen, who works at the Medical Records Department at UHG, while he was out for a walk down by the beach.
Clint contributed his photo, which hangs on the wall in the Radiotherapy Department, as part of ‘Passages’, a hospital staff arts initiative in the Saolta Group with art workshops and installations.
The installations are backed by Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust, which encourages patients, staff, and members of the community Galway Hospitals to turn their hands to art.
Margaret Flannery, Arts Director at Saolta, said: “Staff submitted pictures and words from their wandering mind and walking routes.
“We then installed these pieces in quiet spaces for reflection, waiting rooms, stairwells, and public thoroughfares around the hospitals.”
“Given the success of the initiative in the past, I am delighted to announce that the art workshops for staff will recommence this autumn,” she added.
“From October artists will support staff members across the Saolta Group in honing their creative abilities and learning new techniques during group art workshops.”
The Arts Trust at Saolta is a Healthy Ireland initiative which recognises that health and wellbeing are affected by the quality of the environment that people are in.
For hospital patients and staff, creating art gives them a stress release, and something to focus their attention on.
As for the hospital environment, it’s always welcome when someone does something to liven up what tends to be a grim atmosphere.