Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Coralie Turpin (lead artist) 
'River Garden', 1998
Children's Hospital, Sheffield 
miscellaneous material

Roof Garden, Children's Hospital, Western Road. (A-Z p.98 2B)

The 'garden' contains a number of motifs that might be found close to a river and its estuary. The floor is made of wooden boards upon which a painted blue river winds its way from the entrance doorway towards the railings at the balcony's edge, where it becomes the sea. These blue painted railings have a marine theme and were designed by Andrew Bell. Two carved wooden benches by Jason Thomson feature a giant crab and a salmon. Thomson also designed a ceramic tree which occupies one corner of the rear wall of the 'garden'. There are two tables in the form of giant leaves, these were designed and made by Grahame Black and are of two different heights to suit different children: the tops were carved by Jason Thomson. Plant pots were designed by Jason Thomson and CoralieTurpin and have elements of the natural world on them. The walls of the garden are painted with bright murals by Andrew Heath showing fantasy woods, meadows and the sea shore. The plaque in the floor showing a fish and the words 'RIVER GARDEN' and 'woodland - estuary - sea' was carved by Antonia Hockton. A large boat, standing on a painted chequerboard of yellow and red squares, was made by  Brian Frisby and painted by Coralie Turpin. On the lifebelt at the stern of the boat is the name 'Capt. Michael Ogden'. Michael was a patient at the Hospital while 'River Garden' was being constructed. The boat is named 'Coralie' after the lead artist. A figure sitting cross-legged with fish swimming in its lap is by Amanda Wray and is made from resin. The figure is a fountain with water emerging from a flower held in the figure's right hand. A sandpit suitable for wheelchair users is supported on a frame decorated with uncoloured ceramic tiles by Coralie Turpin. These show images from the beach, riverside reeds and rushes and, on the rear, a female figure with a dog. A ceramic plaque on the rear wall gives an exploded plan view of the entire garden. There is a brightly painted shed which holds toys and other items for use in the Garden.

Children's Hospital, Sheffield.


As the Garden is meant for use by the patients and their families it is not usually possible to view it. It can be glimpsed from Western Bank as the balcony overlooks a courtyard opening onto Damer Street.

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Last updated September 5, 2006