Stitches in waiting room ease patients’ anxiety

tapestry picsmallPatients waiting for surgery at St John of God Murdoch Hospital are enjoying the skills of three talented weavers who are interpreting a painting by Perth artist Elizabeth Marruffo in a waiting room at the hospital.

Karen Vernard, Connie Ward and Toni Potulski have been hard at work recreating painting since last July, which was painted especially for this project and inspired by the embroideries made by the Otomi people of Mexico.

Ms Marruffo is delighted at how her work is progressing and the impact it has on the patients and visitors at the hospital.

“I feel very privileged that it is unfolding in this context and extremely grateful that the tapestry weavers are dedicating so much time and effort into realising the project,” Ms Marruffo said.

“It’s beneficial for people to be able to see art in unexpected places and be exposed to the mysterious ways things are made.”

“I do believe that being surrounded by great art and thoughtful architecture is good for any persons’ wellbeing.”

The tapestry depicts the artist herself and the tree of life, surrounded by colourful imagery on a muted background.

Curator Connie Petrillo says the project has turned the waiting room into a vibrant space for patients, who are often nervous and apprehensive before their surgery.

“So many people are talking about what an amazing project it is,” Ms Petrillo says.

“It’s a wonderful thing to watch both the tapestry take shape and see how everyone is getting involved in the process.”

The tapestry is expected to be completed in the middle of this year and will become a part of the hospital’s extensive art collection.

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