Memories brought to life in vivid colour at RIE

The corridors of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will be brought to life today (thurs (10/6)) with the launch of a vibrant new art project.

An art installation has been created to reflect the lives, times and memories of elderly patients.

Artist Deirdre Nelson worked with 40 men and women to create the striking, colourful display, called Arcadia, for the Medicine for the Elderly department of the RIE.

It shows black and white images of Edinburgh splashed with embroidered and printed colour. The pictures were designed to show that while the images may be from the past they are very much alive in the minds of older and current generations.

The series of images posted along the walls is interspersed with instructions for dance steps to encourage visitors to the wards and patients to move through the memories.

The installation will be unveiled today on the corridors which link care of the elderly wards.

Ballroom dancers will twirl dance through the wards where the artwork is located to celebrate the launch and all staff are welcome to attend.

Staff on the elderly wards, including nurses and physiotherapists, formed a steering group to work with the artist to create a lasting piece of art.

The installation was inspired by humorous and happy memories about dancing, holidays and days out at the beach, flowers, birds, football and mining.

Deirdre visited scores of patients on the wards and discovered that many of their experiences were still relevant to younger generations.

She then created the exhibition to highlight the unrecognized lively aspects and the full and busy lives of older generations.

The images were created using a blend of traditional and modern techniques.

Computer manipulated images were digitally printed on silk, while details were embroidered in cotton thread, combining satin stitch techniques with stumpwork for the 3D elements.

11/06/2009