The Wokingham Paper

Take a trip to the riverside by visiting the Royal Berks

The Mixed Media Group
Members of the Mixed Media Group preparing for their exhibition at the Royal Berks, which will raise funds for the hospital’s garden

YOU MIGHT think that being in hospital during the pandemic would be a depressing affair – all those safety measures, face coverings and rules can turn the place of healing into something more austere.

But thanks to some talented artists and craftsfolk, there’s a whole new look to the entrance to the South Block at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Their exhibition features pieces in oil, acrylic and mixed media, including stitched fabric, collages and bright inks.

It’s been created by the Mixed Media Monday group that has, until lockdown, been meeting for more than five years in the Reading branch of retailer Hobbycraft.

There are six boards of work that can be admired, including the Reading mural – a 4m by 1m piece that combines hand-painted images of the rivers Thames and Kennet, as well as churches, cinemas and places where people eat, work and relax across the greater Reading area.

This means there are plenty of landmarks that everyone will recognise.

And some items are available for sale, with 25% of each piece going towards a project to enhance a garden used by both visitors and patients.

The garden

Janina Maher, who leads the art group, was pleased to be able to exhibit at the RBH.

“We hope it will help patients to a speedier recovery and give the staff some interesting work to admire as they pass through the corridor,” she said.

“We hope we sell lots to contribute to the volunteer garden charity.  There is so much to inspire artists and makers, using all media, to create wonderful artworks to brighten up our lives.

“It’s a shame that there are not more visitors to the corridor because of Covid- 19, but we have put our work on a shared Facebook page for people
to view.”

One inpatient at the hospital said:
“I really liked the  painting Homecoming – you’ve no idea what a difference seeing changing artwork on the walls makes to us, when we have to come to hospital for treatment.”

The exhibition runs until Saturday, October 24, and is available to view during visiting hours – subject to coronavirus restrictions – at the entrance to the South Block, on Addington Road, Reading.

It can also be viewed online at: bit.ly/MixedMediaRBH

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