Illustrator draws inspiration from Le Marchant ward users
HOSPITAL patients have helped inspire new artwork aimed at reducing the impact of their immobility.
Arts for Impact designed the wall coverings in Le Marchant Rehabilitation Ward after illustrator Hugh Rose spent several weeks visiting the hospital to gain inspiration from its users.
After consultation with staff and patients Mr Rose learned that a primary concern is the immobility of patients, so drew inspiration from the popular pastime of walking in Guernsey’s landscape, installing life-size views of coastal walks.
He aimed to transform the experience of patients by making the ward a pleasant space to walk around and explore, bringing the experience of abundant colour and wildlife found outdoors into the hospital, where many patients must stay for long periods of time with limited mobility.
‘For a period of 10 weeks I came in and sat with various people, sometimes we’d do creative activities but other times we would just talk,’ said Mr Rose.
‘I would keep the conversation focused on memories, experiences and things I could use visually.
‘I would show them what I was working on to get feedback.
‘It really gave me a sense of the needs of the people here.
‘Every ward has people with different needs and they are very specific to a long-stay ward like this one.
‘I did a lot of walks around Guernsey to get inspiration, observing what was growing, and taking inspirations from the colours of the stone.
‘People who are from Guernsey love it, and they always think it’s a beautiful place, so that helps any art project focused on the island.’
Arts for Impact is a Guernsey-based charity which aims to address societal challenges through creative projects.
The charity employs skilled local artists and designers to create solutions and facilitate creative sessions with various local groups across health care, hospitality, education, workplaces and the prison.
The charity was funded to undertake the project by Art for Guernsey and half by Generali Worldwide.
Art for Guernsey founder David Ummels said such projects highlighted how art could be more than just something to look at.
‘This project proves that art can not only be used to beautify things but also as a key enabler to achieve quantifiable goals,’ he said.
‘You can use art to do this in the fields of education, medical and even economic environments.
‘What I like is that they were able to embed the feedback of the medical staff and patients into the project, so that on top of looking nice, it has an impact, it has a medical benefit.
‘It is very exciting to support such a project because it does a service to the arts, it shows they can be practical.’