A world away from the ward!
Vital Arts, the arts organisation for Barts Health NHS Trust, charitably funded to deliver arts projects for the well-being of patients, staff and the wider hospital community in London. They have been working on the Royal London Children’s Hospital over the past three years with a variety of critically acclaimed artists and designers to transform the walls of the children’s wards through pioneering and innovative design within a hospital environment.
Through consultation with medical staff and patients, Vital Arts have commissioned artists and designers that showcase dynamic design whilst meeting the patient’s needs.
The artists and designers that feature across the five wards throughout The Royal London Children’s Hospital are: artist Morag Myerscough, textile artist Donna Wilson, wooden toy designers Miller & Goodman, product designer Tord Boontje, children’s author, illustrator and rug designer Chris Haughton and surface and textile designer Ella Doran.
Donna Wilson : “One of the most important things for me was to make the hospital not feel like a hospital. I wanted the patients, parents and nurses all to feel relaxed, happy and stimulated by the environment that surrounds them and by using design you can lift the mood and well-being of the people there.”
David Goodman and Zoe Miller : “Wood is a traditional warm medium that soulfully ages softening with play. It is traditional and always evokes childhood memories of play. We hope that the mix of bright vinyl colours and wooden characters encourages and entertains the child as well as wishes them a speedy recovery.”
Ella Doran: “A seminal moment for me was when a three-year-old girl stopped crying the moment she saw the curtains, pointing excitedly to the hidden cats and rabbits. That’s when I knew my design had worked.”
It is well documented in medical research that children find visiting hospital, no matter how routine the visit or how often they come, a frightening and stressful experience.
Art has proven throughout paediatric hospitals all over the world, to be an invaluable aid for staff in either distracting children, or positively engaging children receiving sometimes painful and frightening treatments by supporting the individual needs of each patient.
Morag Myerscough, Come On In. Photography Gareth Gardner
Chris Haughton, Animals! Photography Jess Bonham
Miller Goodman, Imaginary Menagerie. Photography Jess Bonham
Tord Boontje, Happy Day. Photography Gar Powell-Evans
Donna Wilson, Painted Landscapes. Photography Joe Clark
Ella Doran, Bedside Views 2012 photography by Jess Bonham
If you want to know more about Vital Arts
Have a look at: www.vitalarts.org.uk