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A new artwork in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital has blossomed into an inspiring breath of fresh air for all users of the courtyard to counteract the feeling of confinement brought on by lockdowns and visitor restrictions during the pandemic.
Nurse Unit Manager, Shannon Galletly said the artwork formed part of a patient-centred project that was initiated by Occupational Therapy Department within BIRU in coordination with the nursing team.
"The idea for a mural came from our patient and peer support group, which progressed to getting some valuable feedback from the patients on what they wanted to see in the result, and choosing from a selection of designs presented by the artist," said Shannon.
Artist, Emma Alyse, who is well known across PAH for her murals that are adding beauty and wellness to clinical and outdoor spaces, completed the work this month making it a two-year journey from concept to completion.
“After the initial consultation, I was intending to start this work in May 2021 but with delays from COVID, multiple lockdowns, the cessation of all non-essential works and weather delays, we finally got things started this year and it is amazing to see it finished,” Emma said.
She said the artwork titled 'Escape' was designed to reflect the purpose outlined by the patient and peer support group to provide an area within the unit that delivers an opportunity to feel some freedom from the confines of the ward brought on by COVID; a place to escape from the routine of months of rehabilitation for this long-term patient cohort.
The mural was funded through a generous patient bequest for BIRU from the PA Research Foundation.