Children brighten up hospital waiting area

Artist Imogen Harvey Lewis (centre) with pupils (from l-r) Anna Bowes, William Gosden, Lewis Danter and Bailey Durn

Artist Imogen Harvey Lewis (centre) with pupils (from l-r) Anna Bowes, William Gosden, Lewis Danter and Bailey Durn

First published in News

CHILDREN from Tewkesbury have brushed up their leadership skills by heading an art project for the town’s hospital.

Two pupils from each of Alderman Knight School, Queen Margaret’s School, Tirlebrook School and Carrant Brook School formed a steering group to commission a local artist to produce original work for Tewkesbury Community Hospital’s waiting and reception area.

The project followed an application to the Arts Council for funding by the hospital’s League of Friends and was co-ordinated by the Take Part department at the Roses Theatre.

Sarah Blowers, Take Part Director at the Roses, said: “Getting the art work just right was only part of the challenge. This project opened the doors for young children to really get involved, to be given the responsibility to choose which artist they thought was most suitable, and to add a very adult experience to their skill set.”

The Roses received a wide variety of applications from artists which the children shortlisted down to three - Imogen Harvey Lewis, Jenny Bowers and Melanie Day.

The short-listed artists delivered a workshop at the schools to demonstrate their ideas and work and then the steering group met at the hospital with sample artwork from each, finally choosing Imogen to create an original artwork.

The children worked closely with her over the following months to ensure that the piece serves its purpose of being calming to children, distracting them from their wait whilst being engaging and stimulating to look at.

Stroud-based Imogen Harvey Lewis said: “The pupils have been fantastic to work with and their input has really allowed me to focus on producing work custom-made to appeal to them.

“I’m very satisfied with the results and hope that visitors to the hospital enjoy the results of what has been a great team effort.”

Kevin Crowell, chairman of Tewkesbury Hospital League of Friends, said: “The Arts Council grant has provided both an appealing addition to the hospital and a valuable community project.

"This is what we had hoped for when we applied for the funding and we are delighted that is has been a success.”

Julie Ellery, matron at Tewkesbury Community Hospital, added: “The artwork is great and a welcome addition to our waiting area.

“We are extremely grateful to Imogen, all the pupils and the Roses Theatre for their work and happy to be part of a community effort to highlight the talent in our local community.”

Four of the children attended the installation of their work at the hospital in April and were given Easter eggs by staff to thank them for their efforts.

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