AN ARTIST appointed to design a sanctuary for families in a new community hospital will draw on personal experience to create a place where people can seek comfort and support.

Lindsay Perth has lost both her mother and mother-in-law to cancer over the last two years and knows first hand the impact hospital surroundings can have on people.

Now she hopes to draw on her experience to create a new space where people can go and take a moment as they cope with what can be a traumatic time.

Lindsay has been commissioned to create The Sanctuary in the new £70million East Lothian Community Hospital, which is being built in Haddington.

Her vision for the space includes using wood and porcelain to create soothing surroundings where people can “steady the ground”.

Although still at the early planning stage, the Sanctuary is described in the project’s brief as a supportive space to support people emotionally as well as clinically.

It may include outdoor and indoor areas and details have still to be confirmed.

It is not the first NHS project which Lindsay has been involved in.

She created an interactive glass artwork installation for Pennywell All Care Centre, in Edinburgh,

which used glass hand-blown by people from the local community and centre staff at a series of workshops.

She also worked alongside visual artist Sharon Quigley to complete wallpaper designs for the refurbished Child and Mental Health Services waiting areas at Stirling Community Hospital.

Her work on the new hospital sanctuary will be influenced by her personal experiences, particularly the loss of her mother, who died in 2016 after a battle with cancer.

Lindsay recalled: “I found myself sitting in a waiting room looking at the wall and recognising the faded decorations and peeling wallpaper and the impact they can have on your mental health.

“The staff in the hospital were amazing but the staff were not reflected by their environment.

“It was not until we moved to the hospice that I felt less clenched really.

“I recall feeling a definite disconnect while dealing with my mother’s diagnosis, treatments and illness.

“I want the internal and external Sanctuary spaces to calm and support during times that can be quite disconnecting and an emotional limbo.”

And she added: “So much energy goes on dealing and processing what’s happening to you and people you care for.

“The Sanctuary needs to sooth and ‘steady the ground’ through the creative use of the materials and the design elements. It should connect you to yourself and surroundings, with grace and respect.”

Lindsay, who lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with her husband and young daughter, is planning to hold workshops where porcelain pebbles can be created to fill spaces in the sanctuary.

She is working with ceramic artist Charlotte Cadzow and has already held one session with children who, she said, loved the idea that their designs would be helping people.

She said: “When we told the children their work would be going to the hospital to help people they were really excited to be involved.”