Healing powers of art

Students entered their artwork into a competition last year, with the winners decided by local primary school students, and then printed on to wallpaper and installed in the children�s ward and emergency department.

Student Shannon Harbron, from Applecross Senior High School, was thrilled to see her depiction of two camels repeated down a 35m corridor along which seriously ill children are taken each day.

�Now we feel like professional artists,� she said

Executive director Robyn Lawrence accompanied the students on their visit and said the competition was a unique opportunity to use the blank canvas of the new hospital to display artwork that resonated with younger people.

�It stands to reason that the best group of people to know what our younger patients would like to see is younger people themselves, she said.

�Studies into distraction therapy show that colourful artwork can help patients to minimise their perceived pain and waiting time.

�It also makes the children�s ward and emergency department an overall more pleasant and less scary place for our younger patients.�

Fiona Stanley Hospital�s children�s ward has seen more than 700 patients since it opened in February and the separate children�s emergency department sees an average of 70 presentations per day.