Bright ideas from young patients could soon help tots and teens feel better in Forth Valley hospitals. Over the next eight months a new children's art project is expected to result in comforting
swirls of colour, texture and text on walls and ceilings, in a move designed to reduce fear and anxiety and maximise the recovery process.
Earlier this year Artlink Central, along with artist Sharon Quigley, asked youngsters in Forth Valley Royal Hospital what they would choose to put on their own 'virtual shelf'. This resulted in four main themes - a journey, nature, music and typography. Now these ideas will be put into practice through decorative art which will then be displayed in ward corridors and dedicated children's bays in theatre and the emergency department.
NHS Forth Valley Charitable Arts and Wellbeing Co-ordinator Babs McCool said:
"Every picture tells a story and this is a wonderful way not only to capture the imagination of our younger patients, but will also provide a much more welcoming and relaxed environment. Posters and postcards are now displayed in waiting areas inviting patients and visitors to make suggestions about what they would like to see on the walls."
Artist Sharon Quigley added:
"I'm delighted to be involved in the creation of visual artworks for the children's areas at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. It's great to get a whole family engaged in conversation about how the ward environment and their experiences of hospitals could be improved. Apart from generating some really exciting concepts it also gives everyone something to focus on, in what can potentially be a very tense and anxious setting.
"Throughout the project I'll be working with young people within the hospital and facilitating workshops with young people in the community. Over the next six weeks, I'll be collaborating with Artlink Central artists Jacqueline Marr and musician Claire Docherty, to explore bird song and the patterns and forms found within local plant and wildlife, through music, drawing, text and photography."
Once the range of imagery has been finalised, a designer will be commissioned to turn the concepts into what are known as printable graphic 'decals', designs prepared on special material which can then be attached to walls and ceilings but easily removed when necessary for cleaning and maintenance.
Although the displays will initially be mounted in Forth Valley Royal Hospital it's hoped they can also be adapted and used in young person's waiting areas at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre and Stirling Community Hospital. This would provide visual continuity between children's services across the whole of Forth Valley, helping young people feel secure and safe in all children's wards and departments throughout the area.
NHS Forth Valley
Castle Business Park
t - 01786 463031