St George’s Hospital Garden Ceramic Project
The space outside the Intensive Care Unit at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, was far from inspiring. The visitors, waiting for news of their loved ones, were left to view a mossy roof space from the waiting room window.
During the summer of 2016, Miranda Duffy, a student of Ceramics at the school, spent weeks visiting her mother Antonia at St George’s.
Following surgery, and a very touch and go period, Antonia was finally discharged and returned home. Miranda felt so grateful to the hospital staff and moved to improve the experience of the visiting friends and family. She contacted the hospital, offering to build an art installation on the roof area outside the waiting room, and was delighted that they jumped at the opportunity.
The ceramic class at PSAD, led by tutor Delyth Jones, sprang into action. Together they came up with the theme of seed pods, which cross all cultural and religious boundaries as a symbol of the circle of life. Totem poles were decided on, as they enable many artists to contribute and look engaging, providing a variety of styles, textures and approaches. The project encouraged the students to stretch themselves creatively and forced them to overcome all kinds of technical challenges.
The team of potters were thrilled when Enable Leisure and Culture, who managed PSAD on behalf of Wandsworth Council, offered to support the project by supplying not only the clay but the firing of the seed pods.
The project was a great success and The Seed Pod Totem Poles appeared as part of a garden designed by a team at St George’s and funded by the charity Molly’s Smile