2022/2023 competition winner Sabeth Holland created 10 unique mural paintings on concrete for the new psychiatric center in Heerbrugg/St. Gallen. Find more background information below and a PDF of the drafts at the end…
From the entrance to the second floor you find the following ten Soulflowers on your way up: Welcome, Lightness, Warmth, Joy I, Power, Change, Joy II, Sunshine, JoyIII and Joy IV. Sabeth Holland worked according to her drafts in the form of scetches on paper and concrete by creating her murals in acrylics and with varnishes on concrete, followed by 22 carat gold applications on the top layers for the various diameters between 100 cm and 220 cm…
The competition winners Soulflowers welcome, accompany and support all visitors of the new psychiatric center in Heerbrugg. Her aim was to create a symbolic form for the human soul by painting 10 floral shapes directly on the raw concrete walls. The beauty and depth of each personality she wanted to be reflected in a multilayered surface and was using brushes and her bare fingertips for the application. By doing so she gave each position its individuality and expression and also the power to reach the subconscious of who ever enters the building.
She worked with many shades of white to attract the light into the room for a fresh and easy appeal of the rather oppressive space. Besides of her typical colour harmonies she also gave space for darker and earthier ones. By applying varnishes she created the shiny and almost iridescent surfce that protects the murals and has a long lasting quality. In a final process Sabeth Holland placed hundreds of golden patches that she left as such. By this method the 22 carat gold keeps its radiance and authenticity, which is so genuine and unique and comes with a long tradition for art in buildings. By using the gold so generously the artists intended to honour and please the patients, therapists and all vistors that enter the building.
Sabeth Holland comments:
While I was working in the house something quite unexpected happened. The people that had to climb past me on their path to the reception or back out again, because my ladders, and paints were in their way, began to speak to me and gave me sponaneous comments on my artworks. Their feedback was full of their delight and joy with the beautiful colours and shapes. This encouraged me to leave the soulflowers slighty more colourful than originally planned. Also I noticed that the light in the building seemed to enhance the contrasts and gave them a lot of warmth which I liked very much. It was amazing to see, how lively and radiant the gold began to shine. – Thank you people all so much for your supporting feedback during my extended time of painting in the house. It was a first to experience so much unexpected motivation and praise.
My special thanks go to the jury of the competition for your trust, support and your love for art. It was you, dear Julia Kindle-Mayer, Karin Thür, Karlheinz Pracher and Christoph Eicher who initiated this amazing flow.
Photos: Johannes Eisenhut Sennwald