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.

 

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

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Kelowna Gospel Mission hosts street-hockey game to fight homelessness stigma

The hockey game was filmed to bring more attention to homelessness in the Okanagan

Pug-O-Ween 2019 to take Kelowna dog park by snort

Calling all pug-owners and Halloween lovers!

Money laundering inquiry commission announces Kelowna meeting

The meeting will allow residents to voice their concerns surrounding the commission’s process

UBC Okanagan concludes pre-season bastketball action with 7 wins, 2 losses

The Heat women wrapped up the pre-season after an Ontario tournament last week

BC SPCA: From walking dogs to sponsoring galas

The Canadian Jewelry Exchange is a sponsor for this year’s gala

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

South Okanagan man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Behind the blue and white Carnival clown mask

Toshie Okada is named October’s Respect Works Here Community Champion

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Most Read