The entrance of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston has been beautifully transformed, with a colourful mural mounted, which is designed to lift the spirits of the paediatric patients, parents and employees.
The beautiful and vibrant piece, conceptualised and painted by Jane Barnes, depicts popular cartoon characters such as ‘Dora the Explorer’ and ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’.
“I wanted to create something that the children could relate to, hence, some of the characters that you see and also give them something that would distract a little bit from how they were feeling and, perhaps, give a bit of cheer to the children and to their families as they came into the hospital,” Mrs. Barnes said at the formal unveiling of the artwork on Wednesday (July 14).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Beverley Needham (left) and Muralist, Jane Barnes, shake hands to signify the official handing over of a mural (pictured in the background) by Mrs. Barnes to the hospital, during a ceremony on Wednesday, July 14.
She said that the mural was the result of many months of hard work and would not have been possible without the help of many persons, particularly volunteers.
“I have to say that the encouragement and support that we have had as we have painted day after day, has been an incredible endorsement of the work we have done,” she added.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Beverley Needham, said the mural represented “a very important aspect of our development at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, in that it has significantly transformed the entrance to our facility.”
“It really has lifted the spirits of our staff, our patients and visitors to the hospital…we are very pleased that this project has propelled us in the right direction of what we ought to look like,” she said.
Muralist, Jane Barnes, (2nd right) discusses her artwork (in background) with Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Dr. Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson (left); Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Lambert Innis (right); and Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley. Occasion was the official handing over and unveiling of the mural by Mrs. Barnes to the hospital, on Wednesday, July 14.
Mrs. Needham said the spirit of community participation was evident throughout the project, as taxi men, hospital staff and persons from the community came out to help.
Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, for his part, noted that the artwork was a generous and therapeutic gift to the hospital that was “a beauty to behold.”
“Not only has this excellent piece of art enhanced the aesthetics of this hospital, but it will brighten the spirits of all who wait to be treated and cared for at this institution,” he said.
Noting that hospitals can be a very stressful environment, Mr. Shirley pointed out that art in hospitals helps to create a positive healing environment, which can speed recovery as well as provide tranquility for staff.
More importantly, he said, the mural can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety in children during their post examination period.
The mural, which was completed in June, took approximately four months to be created. The project involved preparation of the wall, including cementing and rendering.
EdgeChem Jamaica Limited sponsored the paint used to create the mural and mixed the colours to specification.