Children's hospital mural gives wings to smiles

20 May 2015

The Research Centre for Adolescent and Child Health (REACH) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital sports a cheerful new Lovell Friedman ceramic mural, which has delighted children visiting this facility.

An art teacher and international lecturer, Friedman has a Master of Fine Art in Ceramic Sculpture (cum laude) from UCT. Her new design is inspired by a butterfly metamorphosis series. The triangular geometric shapes transform into cocoons, butterflies and negative forms become flying birds.

In her proposal, Lovell said: "The forms are inspired by Escher's etchings but more loosely rendered and different in colours and form. In my research on art in different hospitals, I found that healing art should portray aspects of nature that is both imitative and imaginative and depicts positive images such as flowers, water and nature.

"This positive representation of nature and evolution benefits children by directing their thoughts away from fear and illness towards something positive and tranquil. Thus the beautiful butterfly begins to take shape from a cocoon; transforming themselves into images of flight and hope."

The artwork was commissioned and funded by the UCT Works of Art Committee. REACH, which opened in 2013, is a state-of-the-art, expanded clinical research unit and serves as a hub supporting clinical research sites in the community and other healthcare facilities.

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