Bethlem Hospital Wishing Trees
For this year's Chelsea Fringe event, the Bethlem Hospital Main OT garden, art and woodwork departments have held a number of workshops where patients and staff have the opportunity to decorate decaying small branches. The branches have been sourced on site and are being "brought back to life" using paint, glitter, short pieces of material, ribbons and paper leaves. Patients and staff are also being encouraged to write wishes and inspirational quotes on the paper leaves, luggage labels or ribbons and these are being tied onto the trees.
The creation of wishing trees is a tradition which exists in several cultures around the world and has been a way of communicating ones wishes, hopes and dreams onto ribbons or notes and attaching those offerings to trees in the hope that they may come true. In some parts of the world, they are called “May Bushes” as they generally co-inside with the May Bank holiday and is a way to pay homage to the exuberance of earth and celebrate its rebirth as the weather warms and life flourishes.