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Creating a calming environment through art

Two local artists are putting the finishing touches to bespoke murals which will help create a calming and welcoming environment at a new inpatient unit providing specialist care for mothers with serious mental health problems. 

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has commissioned Toby Rampton and Bev Coraldean, who both have studios in Norwich, to create the work for its new Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit. 

Due to open at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich in late January, the eight-bedded unit will ensure mums and their babies can stay together while the mother receives inpatient care for conditions such as severe postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis. 

Work to create eight en-suite bedrooms, each of which will be identified by a different flower design on the door, is nearing completion, while staff have also consulted with service users to choose a muted, homely and welcoming colour palette for the walls.

In addition, Toby has been developing a nature-themed mural for the nursery which features flowers and animals, while Bev has created floral designs for the baby bathroom and quiet room. The duo have worked closely together throughout to ensure the designs tie in with each other, while service users have also been given the chance to comment on the artwork and make suggestions.

Screen printer Toby, whose work is regularly used in magazines and to illustrate children’s stories, said: “I keep all of the designs I create for children simple and fun, and have added lots of little details so that people see something new every time they look at the piece.

“Bev and I have also taken extra care with this work because of the audience. We have tried to make sure everything we have created is user-friendly and calming so that it doesn’t cause any distress to the people using the space.

“We have also linked our designs to the flowers which will appear on each bedroom door so that the whole building ties in together. We hope that our work will help to keep a very positive vibe throughout the building and will lift people’s spirits and help to support them.”

Bev is an illustrator who has completed several murals in the past, including artwork at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. She said: “I have based my murals on the colour schemes already running throughout the building, and have used spring flowers in one and varieties you would expect to see in the winter in the other.

“We want the art to help create a non-clinical, peaceful and calming ambience for everyone using the Mother and Baby Unit. Artwork can make a real difference in healthcare spaces, and we hope that our pieces will help ensure the MBU is a calming place where people can relax.” 

Toby and Bev will put the finishing touches to their designs over the next few weeks. Once they are complete, they will be printed onto vinyl and transferred to the MBU’s walls.

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