I now have many years of experience in arts and health, including making Artwork in Children’s Hospitals and Health Centres. I am a firm believer that art can be visually stimulating and uplifting. It can also be a unique resource for staff, carers and patients in the health setting. Previous work has included Stoke on Trent’s new Children’s Wards, Wolverhampton Children’s Wards and Manchester Children’s Hospital. The artwork for children’s hospitals often incorporates different games. I have used ‘spot the difference’ in the corridors or hidden golden coins. This means the staff can use the work to distract children when difficult or painful procedures are needed. The artwork for Wolverhampton Children’s Hospital was installed in the Procedure Room. Since the installation the Staff have told me that they no longer need a Diversional Activity Worker for these rooms.
Engaging with Children
I always work closely with staff and where appropriate patients when creating artwork in Children’s Hospitals and Health Centres. This helps to identify a thematic for the art works. For example the artworks could incorporate images of the local area, animals and interactive games as mentioned above to serve as distraction. The imagery is all produced using digital photography and where possible patients can also be involved in helping create the images. My work uses collages of photographic imagery to create sometimes surreal and fantastical images that in my experience appeal to both younger and older children. Teenagers enjoy the use of photography, often fascinated in how the work is made, whilst younger children enjoy the narrative often present in the images.