Royal London Children’s Elevates The Mood With Art
After the opening of The Royal London Children’s Hospital in 2012, Vital Arts, the arts organization for Barts Health NHS Trust, spent two years working to turn the hospital’s blank walls into a showcase of fun, creativity, and positive distractions for its patients. Five wards in the 130-bed hospital, which is run by the trust, now feature works from a range of commissioned artists and designers.
For example, textile designer Donna Wilson brought the hematology ward to life with rural scenes created with “snow-capped” mountains, textured hills, and wooden trees. Patients were invited to get involved, too, by stamping patterns on the hills as a finishing detail. Author and illustrator Chris Haughton bucked tradition by designing a series of animal characters to identify rooms in the pediatric assessment and short-stay unit, rather than using numbers.
The project goes beyond the walls, too. Artist Ella Doran worked with the trust’s procurement team to design and manufacture furniture and textiles that are used throughout all of the wards for privacy curtains, bedside cabinets, and bed tray tables.
“One of the most important things for me was to make the hospital not feel like a hospital,” Wilson says in a release. “I wanted the patients, parents, and nurses to all 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.”
Click on the image at the left for a slideshow of the hospital’s artwork.