“No painter, dead or alive, has ever made us more aware of our eyes than Bridget Riley.“
– Robert Melville, 1971
Bridget Riley is now 83, and has been part of my life since I first encountered her op-art in the mid-sixties.
Earlier this month a mural has been ‘unveiled’ in the trauma unit on the 10th floor of St. Mary’s hospital in Paddington, London.
She said: “It reminds patients that theirs is a transitory state, that they are there to recover and rejoin life – that life goes on, and life is outside, and they feel reassured.”
Some 27 years ago, she painted the corridors on the 8th and 9th floors.
If I were a patient in the hospital, which she herself has been, my impression might well be that it’s a bloody (no pun intended) long way to the exit.
To be fair, that everything is painted by hand – no rulers, masking tape or mechanical means are used when actually applying the paints – gives rise to a feeling of some awe.
I might some day be a patient, but I doubt I’d ever have the patience to undertake such a project