Isla joins other artists for community mural

Isla Haddow with the mural at Wansbeck Hospital. Picture by Jane Coltman
Isla Haddow with the mural at Wansbeck Hospital. Picture by Jane Coltman

A north Northumberland artist has played a part in creating a colourful mural to brighten up the new garden of a county hospital.

The bright, natural painting, which was unveiled at the end of last month, takes pride of place at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington.

Led by local charity Groundwork NE & Cumbria, the project was carried out by volunteers, community groups and education providers, Buzz Learning and Astley Community High School, giving adults and young people the opportunity to take part in an exciting and collaborative visual artwork.

The project was funded and supported by international paint company AkzoNobel, which creates the Dulux brand paint, HSS Hire in Ashington and bait, which is funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council to engage local people in high-quality and inspiring arts experiences.

One of those who became involved via bait was 23-year-old Isla Haddow, who helped Groundwork project officer Stuart Jones to run community workshops to get ideas for the artwork and then on the practical completion of the mural. Graphic designer Geoff Jones produced the finished design.

Made up of a central butterfly motif with stylised spring flowers, it forms the backdrop for a community garden that includes an array of flowers, colourful nature mosaics and outdoor seating area that allows Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff, patients and members of the public to take time out and relax in a peaceful setting.

Isla, a former Duchess’s Community High School pupil, said: “The staff have been commenting on how nice it is to have it there as well as people leaving the hospital.

“It has been a lot of work, but the overall result will hopefully lift the spirits of those that use the hospital’s services well into the future.”

Lisa Blaney, arts for health manager from bait, said: “We’ve worked in partnership to enable local people to get involved in creating and taking part in an inspiring art project.

“This has included supporting local emerging artist Isla Haddow, who, in her role as a creative connector, has encouraged more people to get involved.

“She has also achieved a new PASMA qualification to allow her to complete the work.”