Tuesday 02 August 2022
Some artwork by a renowned local artist has brought vibrance, colour and therapeutic qualities to one of the oldest parts of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
The iconic scenes of Saumarez Park painted by James Colmer have adorned the walls of De Sausmarez Ward since the start of the pandemic and have been well received by patients, visitors and staff.
De Sausmarez Ward is an orthopaedic unit with patents recovering from many procedures including elective hip, knee or shoulder surgery. The ward also cares for people with spinal and traumatic bone injuries, meaning patients might spend long periods of time in bed post-surgery.
'When upgrading the space, the patients' needs were of utmost importance. We wanted to bring the outside in to the ward, linking it to local nature and softening the clinical feel of the surroundings to create more of a calming environment.'
The artwork was also to serve as a physiotherapy tool, offering points of references around the ward for patients to walk to. In addition, James believed it could be used as a tool for reminiscing, especially for those suffering with dementia.
'After some discussion about the theme, we felt it apt to create a visual tour of Saumarez Park as there was a strong connection there to the ward's name. It was decided to go for a more painterly style, so I set up creating many large scale paintings (about 1/5th scale).'
For the practicality and scale of the job, James designed and painted the artwork off site. It was then photographed in large format by professional photographer Aaron Yeandle. James then resized the images and stitched them together ahead of them being printed on vinyl and installed by Dowding Signs.
The walls and ceiling have also been painted in a sky blue colour scheme, complimenting the palette in the paintings.
'I was very happy with the outcome and the total upgrade complimented my murals perfectly. Feedback from the nurses has been very positive and the whole experience has offered something uplifting, familiar and less clinical.'
Ward Sister Ruth Hargreaves said:
'The ward has a lovely feel to it and is really light and bright. With the murals depicting the walk through Saumarez Park it really helps staff to monitor the distances our service users have walked which is really important in Orthopaedics!"
James's original paintings of the Saumarez Park scenes are now also on display in the PEH in the corridor on Level 2.