Eden artist Rhiannon brings the rainforest to life at Treliske Hospital
The exotic sights of the tropical rainforest have come to the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) in Truro thanks to a stunning art work gifted by the Eden Project.
Late last year Eden was honoured to hear that staff and patients on what used to be called Tolgus Ward decided to rename it Eden Ward because Eden is so popular among them.
Eden was asked if it would like to donate a picture to brighten the bland white walls of the ward’s day room and decided to donate two beautifully-framed prints prepared by its design team.
Encouraged by hospital staff, Eden then went much further by commissioning acclaimed artist Rhiannon Van Muysen, who works at the project, to create a mural inspired by the Rainforest Biome. It was the biggest task she has ever taken on.
The work is now complete and being enjoyed by patients and relatives who use the day room.
Ward sister Natasha Trewhela said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the murals Rhiannon has created for us. They have really transformed our day room, bringing a calmness and beautiful focal point to a previously stark environment.
“We never thought when we contacted the team at Eden it would result in such a wonderful project. It’s been a delight to have Rhiannon here and we’re really looking forward to continuing the community link with Eden for the future.”
Eden Managing Director Gordon Seabright said: “Treliske is a huge and important part of all our lives in Cornwall. To have a ward in our main local hospital named after Eden is such a tremendous honour for us and shows just how much we have become part of our community.
“We were delighted to be asked to brighten the ward with art and we hope those using the day room will continue to enjoy Rhiannon’s fabulous pieces of work.”
Rhiannon said: “Working on the Eden Ward mural has been a fantastic project. I wanted to create something which might bring a little of the hopeful spirit of the Eden Project into the waiting room. I wanted to create the feeling that the rainforest itself was growing out from the image.”
As part of her preparation for the mural, she gathered photographs of some of the incredible variety of plants growing in the Biome – the world’s biggest undercover rainforest.
She said: “I then scaled up the image and sketched in pencil directly onto the wall. Next I began to build the painting with layers of acrylic. The main mural is 13 feet long and five feet high. It was a great challenge to work on something so large.”
On the opposite wall Rhiannon decided to illustrate some important medicinal plants. Colour was an integral part of the project so she chose to stick with mainly greens and blues with a few highlights of pinks and white.
She said: “During my time painting in the day room it was great to meet the lovely staff and patients. It felt rewarding to be able to bring some colour and a little bit of Eden into the ward.”
Trained in her native Scotland, Rhiannon works as a narrator at Eden and paints in her spare time. More of her work can be seen at http://www.rhiannonvanmuysen.com/
All the art works were given as gifts to the hospital.