When presented with the opportunity to combine her passions for art, the C.S. Lewis book series, The Chronicles of Narnia and supporting those who give back to the community, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) student Alyx Essers knew she had to take it.
For a month, the final-year fine arts student painted a room at the Langley Hospice Society floor-to-ceiling with imagery from the famed series, turning it into a family space for reflection and escape, where kids could just be kids.
“I wanted this room to be a place of dreams and imagination; a space for relaxation and meditation,” Essers explained.
“It’s meant to serve as a space that provides a chance to escape and reflect. I wanted it to be a place for emotional and psychological healing.”
Essers’ painted murals was scheduled to be unveiled last Thursday at the Langley Hospice Society’s annual garden party fundraiser. Nicknamed ‘The Narnia Room,’ Essers developed the concept with peer Tessa Nickel as part of their art practice in the community course.
Led by KPU fine arts chair Kira Wu, students in the class each choose a self-directed project that combines their artistic interests with the needs of community organizations.
Essers had several options to choose from — but being able to share the fantastical world that inspired her as a child with children who could “really benefit from having this dream world available” was the right fit.
“I felt that the opportunity to work with the hospice would be an excellent chance to witness the amazing and beneficial work they do for their community. And the fact that creating a mural would mean the world to the kids who spend time there was just a cherry on top,” she said.
For information about the Langley Hospice Society’s event, visit: langleyhospice.com.
More information on KPU’s fine arts program is available at kpu.ca/arts/fine-arts.