Jardin de guérison (Healing Garden)

"Jardin de guérison" (Healing Garden) is a long multi-layered mural that is permanently installed in the waiting room of the emergency wing of Sacred Heart Hospital in Montreal. It is 34-metres long, 110 cm high and 20 cm deep. It is made with tempered, clear, screen-printed, laminated and acid etched glass, over a base of painted and screen-printed plywood. more

We all know the soothing, balancing and invigorating effect of gazing over a skillfully planted garden. By using the imagery of healing plants and flowers in a reassuring scale and composition, my intention with this work was to convey an atmosphere of calm and optimism.

Plants are used in all cultures to heal diseases of the body, mind and spirit. Not only “alternative” therapies like Homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, Chinese medicine, and First Nations’ herbal medicine, but also many mainstream Western prescription drugs are based on ingredients extracted from plants.

To the patient or visitor sitting in the waiting room, “Healing Garden” offers natural forms in a variety of scales. The overlays of laminated, frosted and imprinted glass are intended to create the sense of being in a stylized garden, surrounded by translucent patterns of flowers, leaves and stones.

The structure was designed by Benoît Laforest of Birtz Bastien Laforest, who conceived the waiting room with the integrated artwork in mind. The location is a beautifully positioned band that forms a “U” shape running around three of the four walls, with windows above and open space below.

The band of imagery contains both photographic images (by Carole Harmon and Paul Litherland) and drawn and painted motifs, some derived from printed textiles. It floats between the trees and sky, visible outside, and the emergency room’s interior, thus bringing the calming qualities of nature into the space.

Healing Garden was produced with support from the Secretariat for the Integration of Art in Architecture, Quebec.