Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Tree of Life

A belated post (I wanted to confirm permission to blog about a non-public location): after my last chemotherapy at the end of June, I got feverish and needed a precautionary couple of days in hospital on antibiotics. But on the plus side, I wouldn't otherwise have seen Tree of Life, a beautiful mosaic mural in the courtyard garden off the Yeo oncology ward at Exeter's RD&E hospital.

One of a number of projects led by Exeter Health Care Arts, which oversees the many art installations in the RD&E, Tree of Life was designed by artists Lucy Rockliffe and Jess Carvill (aka artstormproject). Before being transferred to the courtyard wall, it was assembled in Exeter's Guildhall Shopping Centre in collaborative workshop sessions involving patients and nurses. See Devon Life witnesses the creation of a beautiful new mosaic for the RD&E (Devon Life, 14th Nov 2012) and Mosaic Mural for Hospital Courtyard (PR Works); the artstormproject site has photos of the mosaic's creation: #60-#68.

I feel rather guilty, because I had the garden to myself for two very hot days; it's not on a general thoroughfare, but off the family room where I was put in splendid isolation. So the least I can do is give this lovely work some exposure - as I said, it's not open to the public - and thank Yeo Ward for their superb standard of care, on this and previous occasions. Thanks also to Stephen Pettet-Smith of EHCA for pursuing the permission request.

 click any image to enlarge

Some of the tesserae are lustre-glazed, so that at certain angles of light, they have a rainbow iridescence. Many are also invidually crafted, with patterns embossed from shells, ammonites and plants, and some are marked with the participants' names.

This horse is strongly based on the Bronze Age Uffington White Horse

If you like mosaics, see also Exeter: Elaine Goodwin mosaic.

- Ray


  1. Damn you guys are civilized.

    1. I was very lucky this time; when it happened before, I was in a tiny room with no outside access, and one small window with a view across a dank courtyard to some admin offices.