Unit4 Garden Project; an outdoor print installation and collaborative project
Merlin Park Hospital, Galway
Funded by Saolta Arts
The Unit4 Garden Project is a collaborative project that took place in Merlin Park Hospital in Galway. The purpose of the project was to create a collaborative artwork with patients in Merlin Park Hospital that could be installed in the hospital unit’s newly created garden. This collaborative process included a series of printmaking and design workshops where participants explored project themes, different methods of fabrication and ideas of what form the finished artwork could take. Using the ideas gathered and discussed during these workshops it was decided to create a series of miniature ‘green houses’ that would be decorated with participants’ drawings and stories about their garden. Working on paper, participants designed the format and structure of a series of houses as well as the patterns printed on their surfaces. The artist remade these from laser cut acrylic sheets which were screenprinted and laser etched with the participants’ designs and stories. Some of the houses were then screenprinted with hydrochromic ink so that the houses appear white in sunshine but when it rains the white ink turns transparent to reveal the colourful patterns and stories underneath. The final piece was a reflection of the ideas and creativity of each individual and what a garden meant to them: a place to sit and meditate or reflect; a space to celebrate colour and growth; an outdoor room; somewhere to embrace life all year around.