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Memories are made of this

What

Memories are made of this is an artist in residence project delivered in partnership with the former Royal Children’s Hospital and artist, Louis Lim.

The students worked with Louis to document their own experiences through photography and visual media as the hospital school celebrated its 95th anniversary and relocated to the new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH). The students developed an understanding of the historical, individual and creative significance of continuity and change. The students curated the experience themselves and were empowered to capture, explore, research and direct their recording. The inclusive nature of this project, and its widespread visibility within the hospital environment, helped solidify the presence of the Arts Program and formed a basis for ongoing collaborations between the new LCCH School, Children's Health Queensland and the LCCH Arts Program.

The project’s success resonated so strongly with the Hospital, that further funding was sourced to employ another artist, expanding the reach of the project to include the Mater Hospital School.

Memories are made of this was a project that focused on change and challenge and ability, allowing the students, through creativity, to explore, express and find opportunity during transitional phases in their lives.

When

July to December 2014

Where

Brisbane

Key stats

  • 2 artists
  • 600 students overall and 29 educators

Girl at desk with photos

Arts Queensland contribution:

$13 463 – Artist in Residence Fund

Outcomes

  • Hundreds of art works in several formats were created, forming an ongoing collection of artwork by hospitalised students.
  • By encouraging students to capture and explore their experiences, the transition to the new hospital was made easier for some.

"We helped him take photos at RCH so they would reflect our time there and give us visible memories, but we also helped him take new photos at LCCHS so we could start new memories." A student

  • Educators gained knowledge and confidence in using photography and were able to incorporate these into further classroom activities.
  • A similar artist in residence program has been conducted at the Mater Hospital School.
  • An ongoing collaboration between the LCCH School and the LCCH Arts Program has been developed resulting in several additional projects including:
    • a formal weekly music program , in partnership with the Queensland Conservatorium
    • community arts project with Early Childhood Education final year students
    • publication of a book on the LCCH art collection by and for children and young people.

Three middle school students outside Lady Cilento Children's Hospital

Learnings and reflections

Flexibility was a key component to the success of the project. The project was adapted on a daily basis as Louis navigated between classrooms and age groups, wards and learning abilities. As the program progressed, the emphasis became less on materials and equipment and more on individualised learning and the integration of art making into the daily lives and routines of the students.

“Hospitalised students who are confined to the wards are very isolated. By bringing the cameras and other devices to the students on the ward Louis was bringing the outside world to them. They were able to document a variety of experiences that had real meaning for them and then use them in everyday academic learning. Real engagement was occurring.”

Communicating clearly and building trust with children and their families was also essential to the success of the project.

“It became clear early in the project that every day would have to be treated as a new day and that the greatest benefit the project offered was the one-on-one contact between students and artist.”

“Louis found that forming relationships with the children was essential to gaining trust and to effective communication. He formed strong bonds with the teachers, who suggested innovative ways to incorporate the artistic aims of the project into the curriculum requirements. He also, where possible, got to know parents and families, sometimes emailing images to them so they could be connected to the project.

 


Contact for further information:

Lynne Seear
Email: lynne.seear@health.qld.gov.au
Phone: 0459 225 005
Website: http://louislzm.com/projects/memories-are-made-of-this

A pdf version of  Memories are made of this (PDF) (367.13 KB) is available.

All images courtesy Lynne Seear

Feature image: Aluat, 11, with her polaroid. 

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