Hospital’s delightful ‘tree of life’ celebrates every new baby birth with a named leaf
A hospital in Szczecin has won praise after creating a unique indoor mural celebrating the babies born in its care.
Created this year in the form of a tree, the artwork was painted to decorate the walls of the maternity ward of the city’s Zdroje hospital.
Painted by Patrycja Mróz, an artist from Stargard, the project was delivered in various stages so as not to disturb either the staff or their patients.
She said: “At first, the tree was supposed to reference a slightly abstract and almost fairy-tale image with geometric and simplified floral motifs.
“However, with each hour I spent working on the wall, my imagination began to wander and I began thinking of blooming meadows with views of beautiful landscapes. I saw myself standing under a growing tree listening to the birds sing.”
It was then, she says, that she decided to tweak her idea to reflect the four seasons of the year.
Producing her work using acrylic paints, the artist set about presenting a vision of the four seasons using the tree as her focal point.
Featuring changing-coloured leaves and birds associated with the differing periods of the year, these have proved to be not the only elements to mark out the project.
Already nicknamed ‘the tree of life’, branches on the mural have been additionally embellished with foil leaves bearing the name of a newly-born child.
Beata Szmidt, a midwife working at the hospital, said: “Each mother, after the birth of a child, receives a leaf with the name and date of birth of her child. Together with her partner, she can then place the leaf on a branch.”
For those giving birth by caesarean, the leaf can be placed by the waiting father.
Since the artwork was unveiled, nurses have already made a few hundred deliveries, including several sets of twins who have found their names sharing a leaf.
Szmidt added: “In the first month we had nearly 200 names decorating the ‘winter’ branches of the tree.
“We’ve found that parents are really happy to be photographed in front of their own leaf – it’s a really beautiful and very original souvenir to take home after their stay in our hospital.”