Starfish bench


Artist: Rachel Silver
Location: Outside Children’s Outpatients

The mosaics around the entrance to the Children’s Unit were commissioned as a wayfinding trail for visitors to find their way between car parks and the unit. Designer Rachel Silver worked with pupils at Woodford Valley School and Harnham Junior School to create mosaic details for the trail. The works create an identity for the unit that ties in with theme of waterworld. Make the Unit easy to find for patients and make welcoming entrances. Being a visual ‘trail’ to find and follow they can be interactive and playful. As outdoor works, mosaic is extremely robust, very low maintenance and resistant to damage by weather, vandalism or theft.

Rachel says, “We undertook observation exercises by studying the specific flora and fauna by the local river, leaves, berries, pods and sprigs that had fallen from the tree tops in the school grounds, and on the walks to school. We interpreted these into mosaic designs by carefully looking and repeating the rich autumn colours and varying forms of the leaves. Harnham Junior School studied shells, starfish, coral and other sea creatures and the patterns and colours they produced to interpret in their own individual mosaic designs. The final work in the studio brought all the individual details together ready to bring to site and install as a trail of richly coloured bollards and a starfish shaped bench.”

About the artist

Rachel is a freelance mosaic artist based in the colourful and vibrant area of Brick Lane, East London. Originally from New Zealand, her extensive background in applied arts includes ceramics, glass casting, jewellery and sculpture making. Rachel specialises in the design and manufacture of commissioned mosaics for the private and public sector including interior design projects and community and regeneration arts projects.