ARTISTIC FLAIR: Sandy Munro, Katrina Elliott and Jean Kane at the opening of the Gladstone Hospital Art Gallery.
ARTISTIC FLAIR: Sandy Munro, Katrina Elliott and Jean Kane at the opening of the Gladstone Hospital Art Gallery. Matt Taylor GLA141218HOSP

'Worthwhile': Hospital art gallery open to patients

FOR many, a trip to hospital can be a daunting prospect.

But Gladstone Hospital has added a splash of colour to its walls to take the edge off those visits for patients and visitors, with the opening of The Art Gallery Gladstone Hospital.

The new project was opened on level one near the oncology unit after 12 months of development by local artist and curator Katrina Elliott and is funded through the Regional Arts Development Fund.

Divided into three sections, the gallery showcases local artists, schools and works made at the hospital.

The gallery was launched last Friday, with well-known local artist Jean Kane the first to be featured with her exhibition, Laughter is the Best Medicine.

"The inspiration comes from living on Curtis Island, lots of crabbing, fishing and worming, my lifestyle, stories people have told me and just my twisted sense of humour," she said.

"Katrina came and saw me because she knew what sort of art I do and I think they were looking for something bright and with a sense of humour.

"Anything that can make someone smile is worthwhile."

The schools section of the gallery, titled What's That Smell? has launched with photographic works by Ubobo State School students, with six pre-selected rural schools set to be exhibited in the future.

Each school will be given a topic by Ms Elliott, who will visit and assist them in developing their works.

Executive director for Gladstone and Banana, Sandy Munro, said the project was a unique opportunity to help patients through difficult recovery processes.

"The artworks ... provide a lovely environment for outpatients coming in every day and the added benefit that art can bring in improving patient outcomes," she said.

"One of the projects we're already looking at is working with the occupational therapist to do some art therapy with our patients who've had a stroke or may have a disability through something that's happened.

"So the flow-on benefits we get from art with our patients are in good examples like that.

"When we walk through this area we've already had some positive comments from our patients, it makes it a really welcoming environment and very positive."



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