FEW people realise, but Stoke Mandeville Hospital is helping to establish up-and-coming new artists.
Between A&E and the Haematology unit is a 50-ft long gallery where the freshest new talents in the Vale are invited to display their works for up to three months.
Currently on show until the end of May are 23 works by Aylesbury batik designer Angela Grace – who is donating 20 per cent of the money she earns from sales to the hospital.
The 57 year old often gauges the reactions to her works from patients and visitors. She said: “As they are abstract, different people see different things. In particular children find the vibrant colours very stimulating.” Angela teaches batik techniques in her weekly classes at the Queen Park Arts Centre.
“Batik is drawing and working with melted wax on material, which you can then dye,” she explained. “When the dye is dried, say you have dyed it yellow – certain areas will stay white.
“Then you can perhaps dye parts red, which would obviously give you an orange. Then when you iron the wax off, between sheets of newspaper, you are presented with a picture that will have a white design and a yellow design and an orange background, for example.”
Once this process has been completed, Angela’s work undergoes one final stage. “When I am working I am in the alpha level of brain waves, the level you are in when you are dreaming or just waking up.
“From that when I’m doing my design I often turn them up the other way around and they are a completely different design. It is almost as if I’m not consciously creating the design.”
The artist has also been a professional psychic medium for 20 years and teaches self improvement, Reiki and self empowerment. She has also studied psychology and Jung.
Her batik designs are on sale for between £50-£150 and each one takes between a few days and a week to complete. Her favourite is a design called Celebration. “I love the fact that it explodes with colour and so many people see different things in it – and then it becomes a conversational thing as to what they have seen,” she explains.
Her exhibition at the gallery started in March and lasts until the end of May. “After that I will be looking for places to display, ideally at a charity as I would like to donate some of the money to charity,” she says.