The Tree of Life and the Garden of Dreams, 2009
Belfast City Cancer Unit
Commissioned by: Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Architects: Keppie/Ferguson McIlveen Architects
Materials: Artwork in ceramic with lustre glaze
Techniques: Hand made ceramics, earthenware lustre glaze
Dimensions: 2m x 2m (3 artworks)
A ceramic artwork on each of the three floors of the Cancer unit designed to be seen as separate artworks but with a theme of the “Tree of Life” linking each piece.
Top floor –
Tree of Life 1 ’This stylised tree represents the upper branches of the tree with colourful leaves printed with birds, fruits and insects. This represents the life that a tree sustains as it keeps on growing throughout its life, and could symbolise the reaching out for healing and wholeness. The colours here are light and uplifting (Lustred greens, blues and browns)
Middle floor –
‘Garden of Dreams ’A garden of flowers, leaves and birds, to remind us what is important in life. This could be something simple that gives us comfort, like taking the dog for a walk, making new friends or doing something completely out of character like hanging from a tree. Each flower centre is made from a cast of different coins to reflect on the ancient custom of offering precious items (usually coins) and making a wish. The tradition is that the offering will enhance the chances of the wish coming true and stems back from pagan times when precious items were thrown into lakes and rivers.
Ground floor –
Tree of life 2’ This is a mirror image of the branches of the tree with the roots coming down from the ceiling. The images hanging from the roots could include images and words of things that nourish and sustain us mentally and physically. For example, good friends, having a walk, communicating our feelings, things which we are grateful for, the senses (touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight) etc. Some of the images used here are symbols of protection from different cultures. These include the scarab, fish ,angel, butterfly, circle, cow, phoenix, spiral, wheel, acorn, The colours here are more subdued, light browns, greens, red/copper and touches of bronze, silver and gold to give a feeling of all we hold precious.