Hospital visitors offered fun way to engage their artistic talents – Artist In Resident

Visitors to the Broken Hill Hospital will be encouraged to engage their artistic talents and draw a portrait of someone special in their life when the health service once again hosts an Artist In Resident.

Artist and Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery Education Officer, Ian Howarth will set up in the hospital foyer on Tuesday, 14 July from 10am to 2pm and ask people to draw a colourful face or portrait of someone special in their life.

“Willing participants will be encouraged to engage in a creative activity designed to induce a positive and enjoyable experience,” said Ian.

“The key to the activity is drawing a colourful face or attempt at a portrait of someone special in their life, the person can be in attendance or drawn from memory. It is not proposed that the activity is serious attempt at portraiture or an art lesson, but more about having 10 minutes of fun while thinking about the person they are drawing and what it is that makes that person special to them,” he said.

The artworks will be A4 face/portrait drawings using felt tip pens, coloured pencils and wax crayons. At the bottom of the sheet the artist will be asked to say who it is they’ve drawn and why.

Ian will be joined by West Darling Arts Aboriginal Liaison officer, Kathy Grahame, whilst working in the hospital foyer. Ian will then do the same in the hospital’s Paediatric Ward on Wednesday and Thursday (15-16 July) during clinic times starting at 9am.

Ian said it was hoped participants would gain a sense of well-being and create an atmosphere of healthy, fun engagement leading to a positive hospital experience.

“Ask a young child to draw something and they will typically draw that which is most near and dear to them, and all too often it will be a portrait of a parent, grandparent, sibling, or family group or even close friend,” he said.

“The ability to draw a face is undoubtedly within everyone’s capacity and in turn the act of drawing a face or portrait can be vehicle of self-expression that coveys an emotional connection or state of self without words. As the viewer we can garner an insight into this connection without having ever known the person; a connection that the viewer can often empathise with and relate to, and perhaps remind us of our own emotional connectivity.

“Intrinsically a drawing of face can express a myriad of emotions some intended and others not so; the act of drawing a face is in many respects and often unknowingly how we see ourselves and is an ideal activity to attempt at the hospital.

FWLHD Volunteer Manager Mary Leehane said the health service was pleased to host another Artist in Resident project.

“It’s great to have Ian back working with our consumers, staff and visitors and we look forward to displaying some of the art work at the hospital”.

The hospital’s Artist In Resident project coincides with the Finalist Exhibition of the 2014 Archibald Prize and spin off activities, in particular the Young Archie competition for regional children aged 5-18.

It is anticipated that a short exhibition of the unframed drawings created will be displayed in the artist corridor of the hospital.



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