October 2, 2008

Artists Show Off Ideas for Health Park

By Jane Omara

Artists preparing designs for a new health park in Cornwall will show their ideas to the public next week.

Artists working on fixtures for the new Truro Health Park will also invite feedback next Tuesday at the city's Lemon Quay.

Truro Health Park is due to open in 2010 and will replace the existing GP premises on Lemon Street and the Primary Care Trust accommodation in The Leats.

The scheme will allow better access to other health services in one location, closer to where people live.

The Arts for Health tent will be open to the public from 10.30am to 6pm on Tuesday and will include designs, interactive displays, and a chance for people to meet the health park's artists and designers and give their opinions and suggestions.

Sally May, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust's director of finance, said: "We're really keen to involve local people and to give them a real sense of ownership for the Truro Health Park development.

"The arts can really have a positive impact on people's health and we want to make sure the environment is conducive to helping our patients to feel as relaxed as possible when visiting the premises."

Over the last two years, registered charity Arts for Health Cornwall, Community 1st Cornwall - part of NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust investment programme - and the Primary Care Trust have been working to bring high quality art to the health park.

The project is part of a commitment by the NHS to improve GP premises across Cornwall.

Art can transform the way visitors see a building - especially important in a healthcare environment, where patients may feel anxiety, fear, restlessness, boredom or depression.

Following workshops with local people run by lead artist Rob Olins and landscape architect Mike Westley, four other artists came on board.

Steve Geliot is designing courtyard spaces, Will Levi Marshall is working on the flooring patterns and Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi are designing art for the entrances.

Jayne Howard, director of arts for Health Cornwall, said: "We know that the arts can help to create inspiring spaces in which health care is delivered and make a positive contribution to health and well-being.

"Over 100 years ago Florence Nightingale identified that colour, images, objects and light all have an effect on our health and most recently this has been endorsed by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment who have developed a campaign to improve health care environments."

(c) 2008 Western Morning News, The Plymouth (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.