The creation of a butterfly mosaic from recycled medical waste. (Submitted photo - Western News)

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Green-coloured resin flows as artists Renee Matheson, Mark Werklund and eager volunteers work to create beauty from recycled medical waste.

After months of planning and designing, work on placing medical caps, vials, tubes and other recycled items into a butterfly mosaic is now underway at Matheson & Grove Fine Art Gallery at 205 Martin St.

This piece was inspired by Dr. JoyAnne Krupa, Dr. Rebecca Psutka and Dr. Jackie Bourdeaux, three resident physicians who consulted with the newly-formed arts committee at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The mosaic consists of a flowering vine attracting a number of butterflies. Matheson said to see the artwork actually coming together is truly exciting.

“The planning stage is the mind-bending part. Now I’ve got my gloves on and can actually dig and play and create,” she said in a news release. “Today we’re injecting colour-tinted resin into the tubes, then shaping them around bottles and things to make a vine.”

The medical materials are being placed onto a large custom-built wooden frame in Matheson’s art studio and then surrounded by layers of resin, creating a three-dimensional effect.

Fellow artist Werklund has worked extensively with resin over the years – but never something like this.

“I’ve never injected resin into tubes so this is kind of a new experience,” he said. “It’s a wonderful assemblage and a lot of fun.”

Werklund said he’s intrigued by the idea of turning medical waste into art.

“I also like the technical aspects of creating a piece like this. It’s 3-D but you’re still thinking in 2-D as well.”

READ ALSO: Artist will use medical waste, resin to create upcycled butterfly mosaic

Volunteer Robin Robertson, also a member of the PRH arts committee, says she didn’t hesitate to get involved.

“I think was of the resident physicians on our committee who talked about the notion that there’s lots of waste in the hospital – and how could we use that in art,” she said. “I’ve never worked with resin before so it’s fun to learn something new.”

Matheson hopes to have the work completed by the end of April and believes it could lead to similar works in the future.

READ ALSO: Okanagan College class looks to disrupt fatphobia with art

“I think one of the really important things people have connected with is that it’s recycled,” she said. “I’d like to do this for a lot of hospitals.”

More volunteers are welcome. By making a donation to the hospital’s arts program, donors have an opportunity to become a hands-on participant in the project.

To schedule an appointment contact Renee Matheson at 250-488-4999 or email her at mathesonarts@gmail.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Artist Mark Werklund checks out a resin-filled syringe as he helps create a butterfly mosaic from recycled medical waste at Penticton artist Renee Matheson’s downtown studio. (Submitted photo - Western News)

Just Posted

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

Fires ignite on Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie; Kamloops Fire Centre blazes holding

Crews working throughout region over holiday weekend to contain wildfires

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Fourteen blazes sparked in Kamloops Fire Centre

Lightning the suspected cause of all fires but one; cause of Solco Creek blaze remains unknown

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Reported Big White wildfire dubbed ‘smoke chase’

Crews responded to the area but could not locate a fire

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Wildfire in West Kelowna’s Rose Valley grows to 3 hectares

The fire was first reported at around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

Man found dead in van on Okanagan road

Foul play not suspected in death of 39-year-old West Kelowna man found in Vernon Saturday, Aug. 1

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read