School’s pop-up art gallery in hospital praised by visitors and patients


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A pop-up art gallery in a North Wales hospital featuring work by local schoolchildren has been praised by visitors and patients.

The artworks are brightening up the entrance-way to the women’s and children’s wards at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan.

Pupils at nearby Ysgol y Faenol created the colourful exhibition of paintings, drawings, collages and craft-models. It has so impressed patients, staff and visitors that some have now sent messages of congratulations to the school via Twitter and Facebook.

Head teacher Rhian Jones said the cheery display is the first of an ongoing programme of art work that the school will be showcasing in the foyer.

She said: “It’s great to have had such positive feedback. A number of hospital staff have told us how much they like to see the children’s work. Some of our pupils’ parents who have visited the hospital recently have also commented on what a difference it makes.

“We support the hospital whenever we can, so we were thrilled to be asked to help transform this little entrance area for the women’s and children’s ward.

“It is the perfect site as so many young people and families will see all the art our pupils produce. Hospital visits can be traumatic at any age, so it’s also nice for us to be able to create a brighter environment which might help people to relax a little.”

The vivid pictures have gained lots of fans among the medical teams on the children’s ward who use the entrance daily.

Staff nurse Lolida Sardina said: “The paintings and drawings are lovely. It was so nice to meet the children who have created them. They are all full of enthusiasm and have fantastic imaginations.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Hospital Board area director Bethan Jones also welcomed the link with the school. She said: “These artworks are lovely and many people of all ages have commented how they have brightened up this part of the hospital.

“It’s an excellent way of showing children that hospitals don’t have to be scary but instead can be welcoming and interesting places. I am looking forward to seeing what the pupils of Ysgol y Faenol exhibit next.”

The school first started working with the hospital in 2012, following the Life Through The Lens art project, when children created a tableau of decorative petri dishes to adorn the walls of the hospital’s Emergency Quadrant

All the art now on show was created as a result of project work linked to the school’s educational curriculum. A continually changing cycle of exhibitions will portray different themes, explained Mrs Jones.

“For instance at the moment we have on display some models of round houses the children have made as part of a history project. Each collection focuses on a different subject and all the pupils will get a chance to show off their work. It is a great opportunity for them. Having their art on public display is a real confidence builder, and highlights their creative talents.”

Year three pupil Caleb Sandman, aged eight, said: “It’s amazing to see our art on show. Everyone can see what we’ve been working on and it’s great that so many people can look at our pictures. I love it.”

Friends Rhian Harris Davies and Fay Sweetman, both eight, agreed. “It makes me feel famous,” said Rhian.

Erin Thomas, aged seven, enjoyed using different types of materials to build the Celtic roundhouse models.

Sidney Jolliffe, eight, added: “We visited the Groundworks project in Wrexham first and learned how in the olden days people used cow poo to build the houses where they lived. When we came back to school we used tissue paper, card, tubes, clay, water and mud and tried to make the models in the same way that villagers would have made their houses all those years ago. It was fun doing the crafts and we learned a lot too.”

Rosie Hall, 10, enjoyed creating pictures on the theme of ancient Egypt after learning about kings and queens of the era.

She said: “We imagined how we would have felt if we had lived in the times of the Egyptian empire and we used the ideas we thought of to inspire us to create our paintings.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is the largest health organisation in Wales, employing around 16,100 staff. It provides a full range of primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services for a population of around 676,000 people across North Wales as well as some parts of mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

It runs Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan and Wrexham Maelor Hospital as well as 18 other acute and community hospitals and a network of over 90 health centres, clinics, community health team bases and mental health units.

The Health Board also coordinates the work of 115 GP practices and NHS services provided by North Wales dentists, opticians and pharmacies.

BCUHB’s new chief executive is Gary Doherty, who was previously Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Deputy Chief Executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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