ESKER LODGE NURSING HOME X BLOOM | THE ART PROJECT
Location: Esker Lodge, Co. Cavan
Theme of Workshop: "Our Gardens"
We had the pleasure of visiting Esker Lodge Nursing Home as part of a mural painting project with the residents there. Two workshops took place with residents from two floors over the course of one day. These were idea generation workshops for the mural that we were asked to paint on their second-floor balcony onto which the residents’ bedrooms look out onto.
We kicked off both workshops with some gentle warm-up activities, getting residents to explore different colours and mixing new ones. The workshop theme was “Our Gardens” and so we brought lots of flowers along with us for inspiration for the residents. They selected their favourite flower and recreated it on the page, adding their own personal stamp to each. This was an enjoyable, slow paced and relaxing workshop. The residents all participated at their own pace and were free to dip in and out as they wanted.
Our main objective was for everyone to do a little painting, relax and try something a bit different from their typical day to day activities. We wanted to use some of their insights and creations as nuggets of inspiration for the mural we would be painting for them. During the workshop we shared a poem with them about cherishing their gardens. This was not taken literally but in a metaphorical sense. Over the course of their wonderfully long lives, they have cultivated rich gardens of their own in the memories they have created, the people they have loved, the friendships they have made, the laughter, the tears and everything in between.
All the residents and staff members were so kind and welcoming. We left with a strong sense of what they would like to have on their mural and the message it was to convey.
Cherish Our Garden
We all have a cherished garden we tend –
It is planted with love of family and friends.
The memories and dreams we treasure and share-
Are like beautiful roses found blooming there.
The comfort and care on which we depend
Is given with love between family and friends.
The sunshine of laughter and rain of a tear
Only make our love grow with each passing year.
We may all be ourselves with no need to pretend
Because of the love of family and friends;
They notice the rainbows and weather the showers.
They overlook weeds and praise all our flowers.
They most valuable thing is the time that we spend
Tending this garden with family and friends.
When counting our blessings, we know from the start
That family and friends come first in our heart.