Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our hospital – The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough- has been closed to visitors and public to help protect people and minimise the risk of viral transmission. In addition, routine surgery and out-patients have been paused.
The hospital can feel rather bare and lonely without the usual hustle and bustle and our amazing ‘Therapeutic Care Team’, along with an army of volunteers, have set about brightening the walls of the wards and corridors with beautiful laminated artwork by our local children. It really has had such an impact and lifted the spirits of both patients and staff. As the overriding symbol of hope during this pandemic, the rainbow has featured in much of this work!
I was incredibly honoured when asked to create an artwork that would serve as a permanent reminder of this time. We have achieved incredible things by working together and supporting colleagues to provide the best care possible to our patients during this unprecedented time.
I decided to work on the concept of ‘hope’, depicted by a child creating a rainbow, bringing light and colour to a dark world. She has been playing with her teddy who wears an ‘NHS’ mask and this leads her to think about how she may contribute to the collective effort, and thus creates her rainbow picture. Of course, she uses her tin of rainbow paint to do this!
The artwork is now on permanent display in our main hospital atrium following a brief – socially distanced – ceremony. The ribbon was kindly cut by a former ITU patient who has recovered from COVID-19, along with her granddaughter who has volunteered in the hospital throughout.
The response to the painting has been overwhelming, it really seems to resonate with many people – each perhaps taking their own message and response to the painting and what COVID-19 has meant to them.
A huge thank you to The Art Shops in Northallerton and Ilkley for kindly donating the canvas and paints for this project. https://theartshops.co.uk/
Also, a really big thanks to Andy Richardson at Wensleydale Galleries and Framing for supplying the frame. https://wensleydalegalleries.co.uk/
What a team effort it has been!
**Prints and greetings cards are now available, with proceeds going to the Therapeutic Care Team at the hospital**