In the pink for children's ward

Lottery funding to the tune of £6,000 has helped transform the approaches to a children’s hospital ward in a project that is bringing together art and science to create a stimulating new environment for young hospital patients.

The Hospital Arts Project commissioned the Regional Arts Lottery-funded art project in partnership with Norwich School of Art and Design and Norwich’s Inspire Hands on Science Centre.

The commission was granted to selected artist Robin Blackledge and his work has seen the corridor to the children’s ward transformed into a vibrant Flamingo pink and the installation of retro-style wall-mounted hairdryers that play a variety of sounds and activate lights as people walk past.

Robin has drawn his project together from ideas inspired by working at the Inspire Centre and the Norwich School of Art and Design over recent months as well as input from the children’s ward at the hospital.

The project, which was granted £28,500 in total from the National Lottery, also involves Inspire developing a Sci-Art show for local schoolchildren, aged 7-12, with five shows to be held at the Inspire Centre, and two shows at the hospital’s Education Centre, including one for young patients and the other for children of hospital staff.

Hospital Arts Project co-ordinator at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Emma Jarvis, said: “Robin’s artwork offers a light-hearted, all encompassing experience for those attending the ward and we very much hope patients, staff and visitors will enjoy this piece.”

Artist Robin Blackledge has also been undertaking research at Norwich School of Art and Design into the impact of new technologies on traditional photographic and printmaking practices.

The lessons learned from the whole project will then be fed to hospital arts projects around the country and at Impact 3, the international conference on printmaking.

Robin said: “'Le Salon des Trois Reines' (The Salon of the Three Queens) is a fanciful exploration of contemporary and historical methods of communication ranging from the human voice, morse code, the Internet etc.

“It is both highly visual and inter-active and asks the audience to participate in a simple game of tag with the sound which is emitted from the hairdryers. The recycled 1950s hair dryers represent both contemporary perception of the meaning of the word salon, yet it is also used in a broader context.”

Friday 8th of August 2003 09:00:25 AM