The Scarborough Hospital Foundation (TSHF) is pleased to announce the addition of a stunning new mosaic, featuring a bouquet of medicinal herbal flowering plants from across the world, to The Scarborough Hospital (TSH).
Titled Our Bodies are our Gardens (inspired by a line spoken in Shakespeare’s Othello), the piece was produced by artist Carmelo Arnoldin, and pays homage to the diverse communities that TSH serves. It was installed in the West Wing of the hospital’s General campus in February and celebrated at an intimate reception on February 28.
“I desired to donate the mosaic to The Scarborough Hospital because of the help of the medical staff, in particular, Dr. Richard Colwill and the nursing staff, who treated my son, Christopher, when he was diagnosed with cancer,” says Arnoldin. “The mosaic is a wish of good health to the patients in the hospital.”
Arnoldin is a painting, sculpture and historical techniques professor in the Art and Art History Honours Bachelor of Arts collaborative program between Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville and the University of Toronto (U of T) at Mississauga. Each year, one of his class projects involves creating a work of art that is then donated to a hospital or charity. Under Arnoldin’s guidance, 23 students of his Past and Present Techniques class created Our Bodies are our Gardens, and this year, TSH is the honoured recipient.
“Our Bodies are our Gardens is truly a stunning piece, bringing light and positive energy into the hospital,” says Michael Mazza, President and CEO of TSHF. “We are grateful for the beautiful gift, and I’m proud to display this mosaic in our hospital; Carmelo’s exceptional talent, and the hard work of his students is evident in the artwork’s meaning, theme, research and detail.”
The inspiration for the mosaic’s theme came from the new Centre for Integrative Medicine, a partnership between U of T and TSH.
“When Michael (Mazza) told me about the Centre for Integrative Medicine, a centre dedicated to both Western and Eastern medical practices, I came up with the idea to use medicinal plants that represented not only their power to heal, but also the many ethnic groups that make up the population of Scarborough,” adds Arnoldin.
Some of the plants reflected in the mosaic include: apricot (prunus armeniaca), native to Asia and South Asia; sweet thorn (acacia karroo), native to South Africa; green tea (camellia sinesis), native to China; opium poppy (papaver somniferum), indigenous to Southeast Asia and the Middle East; tulip (tulipa), native to Iran and Central Asia; cleavers (gallium aparine), indigenous to Canada and the United States; and many more.