A trip to the hospital is not a pleasant experience for a child, but a project by artist Lidia de Lange and the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust might make it a little easier.
St Bernadette’s Paediatric Unit in UHG has been transformed to create a welcoming, colourful, environment for children.
On the walls there are now exotic birds, zebras balanced on the back of elephants and tigers with umbrellas - all the products of the imaginative artwork of Ms de Lange,
One corridor is entirely devoted to all types of imagined and decorative birds, another tells the story of Noah’s Ark, with lesser known animals like the platypus, tapir, and opossum all making their way into the ark.
The baby section is a teddy bear’s picnic, while the theme for the outpatients’ area is a humorous parade, a circus-like display of animals balanced on top of each other.
“I think children will find these images more interesting to look at than cartoons and I hope they will appeal to a much wider age group,” says Ms de Lange.
“Having had a seriously ill child myself, I know how long a day in hospital can feel for children and carers alike. I realise the value of a bright, cheerful, room with pictures that provide stimulation for the child. Importantly, these pictures create a distraction when medical examinations have to be done