27 November 2017

Queensland Children’s Hospital patients are being encouraged to embrace the healing power of creative expression to help fill the walls of a unique new art gallery.

In a Queensland first, Children’s Health Queensland’s Arts-in-Health Program has collaborated with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to create the Livewire Art Gallery for inpatients and outpatients to turn their healthcare experiences into art.

The gallery and inaugural exhibition of paintings and drawings were officially launched at the hospital today. It features the paintings and drawings of 25 patients.

Facilitators from the Starlight Children Foundation’s Livewire program have worked with inpatients and outpatients over the past six months to create the artworks featured.

Children’s Health Queensland Arts-in-Health Program Manager Lynne Seear said arts-in-health programs were internationally renowned for boosting patients’ healthcare journeys by promoting the power of their creative imaginations.

“We know that there are both physical and mental benefits from creating art, expressing yourself in a tangible way, and sharing something with the world,” Ms Seear said.

“The facilitators who work with young patients through Starlight’s Livewire Program here and at other hospitals have a great talent for encouraging them to participate in art-making in a meaningful way that tells a story through their artwork.

“The Children’s Health Queensland Arts-In-Health Program is delighted to facilitate this exhibition. The artworks are beautiful, funny and moving and they deserve to be on display so they can be enjoyed by all our patients, families and staff.”

Budding artist Caitlin McKenzie, 15, (pictured above) said she was thrilled to have her painting featured in the inaugural Livewire Art Gallery exhibition.

“It was pretty cool to be asked to be involved. I pulled out the canvas, saw some colours I liked and I’m really proud, happy and excited with how it came out,” Caitlin said.

“Being in hospital can be boring, and getting to paint for a couple of days was something I really looked forward to doing. Not only was it heaps of fun, it also showed me that I might actually be a bit arty, so I’m keen to paint more in the future.”

Starlight Children’s Foundation Program Manager for Queensland, Alyssa Bowden, encouraged the wider community to visit the gallery and see the high standard of artworks on display.

“We are delighted to have been able to work with Children’s Health Queensland’s Arts-in-Health Program to make this possible for patients and families and are looking forward to making the Livewire Gallery a dynamic, ever-changing exhibition for all to enjoy,” Ms Bowden said.

“The Livewire program is designed to combat loneliness and isolation, and connect teens and young people experiencing serious illness or disability through creative workshops when they’re in hospital. It aims to transform the hospital experience for teenagers by distracting them from pain and stress and enabling them to feel understood, accepted and supported.”

The Livewire Art Gallery is located on Level 6 of the hospital, outside the Starlight Express Room.

Gallery submissions are open to patients aged 12 and over, with an emphasis on eye-catching and professional looking pieces. Patients can submit multiple entries for consideration, with artworks rotated every six months.

For more information about the Livewire Art Gallery, contact 3068 2365.


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