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One wish


Gladstone Region artist, Katrina Elliott’s One Wish project explored hope, health, courage and support through the experiences of patients, family, friends and staff at the Gladstone Hospital Cancer Care Unit.

Inspired by the traditional belief of If one folds 1000 cranes, one's wish will come true and Katrina’s own experience as a family member and friend of someone undergoing medical treatment, Katrina engaged over 100 participants to help fold well over 1000 paper cranes.

The folded cranes were added to an installation in the unit providing visitors and staff with an evolving artwork to look at and discuss. As the project progressed, Katrina captured the stories and experiences of participants living with cancer or working with patients with cancer.  

The final work, photographs and stories from the project were exhibited at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum raising awareness and providing insight into the experiences of people faced with cancer every day. A hands-on-station at the exhibition gave visitors the opportunity to participate and create a crane.


July 2015 to February 2016


Gladstone Region

Key stats

  • 112 participants including patients, carers and family and staff
  • Over 4000 attendees at the hospital and art gallery

Photo of Katrina Elliott and Carolyn Watson


$9000– Regional Arts Development Fund  

The project received financial assistance from the Gladstone Region Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), a partnership between the Queensland Government and Queensland local councils.    


  • One Wish was well received and increased awareness of the role art can play as a therapeutic support and distraction for patients, carers and staff in a health care setting.

The project gave us something else to talk to the patients about apart from the normal questions and conversation we have. I loved the project and look forward to doing the next one. Stephanie, Nurse. 

The project was a wonderful idea, it brightened the hospital and gave me something to do while my husband was having treatment. Carolyn, Carer

I have a friend going through cancer at the moment and it has really helped me reflect on others going through the same thing.  Henry, Art Gallery

  • Through the project, Katrina developed her artistic skills and experience in managing a project in a hospital environment. The project also built capacity in the local sector with ten participants trained in the process of screen printing. 
  • Katrina developed her partnership with Gladstone Hospital executive committee and staff. She is currently working on a proposal for further projects within the hospital.


Learnings and reflections

I loved coming to work each day the project was on, wondering how far the project had moved and looking at the bright colours in the corridor, it was truly amazing. Mary 

The One Wish project demonstrated how art can be used to provide support in a health environment to patients, family, friends and staff.

Katrina found the experience of working in the unit extremely rewarding and gained insight into working in the health system.

Katrina found working within a hospital environment and with committees can take time and can be affected by changes in staff. Her suggestion was to obtain written agreements on the work and resources involved to ensure the project remains on track. 

Tip for others

Allow extra artist hours in the budget for unforeseen timeline blowouts. 


What next?

In 2019, Katrina Elliott completed the "Aunty" Project at Gladstone Hospital.

The "Aunty" Project, which aims to raise awareness of domestic violence, is a mosaic sculpture in the form of a woman, made from ceramic plates, tiles and succulents.

Aunty is a symbolic figure of care, assistance and hope. The mosaic will help to bring awareness of the impact of domestic violence in the community.

Following the One Wish project and other art projects at the hospital, Katrina has seen the impact art can have in a hospital environment.

The "Aunty" project was funded through the Regional Arts Development Fund - a partnership between the Queensland Government and Gladstone Regional Council - and other community organisations and businesses.

You can read more about this project and other projects at


Contact for further information

Katrina Elliott



A pdf version (PDF) (399.5 KB) of this case study is available.