Art in the Gardens: a collaboration of OASIS Gardening and CAST

A story of collaboration of two of our community enterprises: Oasis Gardening and CAST, working together to create a more beautiful flourishing environment. Introduction by CAST co-ordinator Chrissie Hinde.


In January 2015 CAST were asked to work alongside Oasis Gardening in improving two courtyard gardens at Longley Centre. The idea was to brighten up the spaces by CAST working collaboratively with people on the wards to create some pieces of art that would go outside. The Occupational Therapists at Longley Centre were instrumental in making this happen and assisting with the project. CAST and Oasis commissioned Community artist Sarah Coleman to lead the project after she had done a fantastic job of leading CAST in a project making mosaics in memory of Lucy Moffatt last year.

Through people working together they created a series of large, beautiful panels which will stand out and add colour to the garden year round. We hope both the artwork, and the experience of creating them, will endure and be a source of inspiration and hope to staff and patients at Longley. This project gave CAST an opportunity to invite people to our art and writing workshops at St Marys as part of their recovery and transition into the community after an inpatient stay.


One of our amazing volunteers Neil tells how he got involved in this project…..

In late February this year I volunteered to help the artist Sarah Coleman create a series of painting to help brighten up the ward gardens The artworks were painted on large wooden boards surrounded by mosaic frame. My first task was to mark off the boards with the aid of a home ruler and pencil, then smooth down the surface with sandpaper. Meanwhile the artists drew the first draft on ceramic tiles. I coated the centre with a layer of white emulsion paint and again smoothed down with the old paper. I got the chance to create my own designs, a large fish in hot pursuit of an octopus and a blazing star hanging in a blue sky. As February turned to March the real work started, the O.T. room fell silent as a team of artists with brushes in hand expanded on the idea they had created on the tiles. Such a variety of work everything from delicate Chinese calligraphy to Jackson Pollock wildness and every station in between. After the painting, the delicate task of creating a frame; shards of glass, shell and beads were selected then glued into place. Some of the frames were beautiful art works in themselves.


The project proved to be so successful more boards were ordered, measured off by yours truly, yet more work, more reflections of the soul and personality. Sarah took them home to add the necessary layer of varnish ready for hanging. By June the project was over. Those precious few weeks made Monday afternoons very enjoyable.


If you would like to commission work or find out more about volunteering or getting involved with OASIS Gardening or CAST please contact Tim email: [email protected] or Chrissie email: [email protected]

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