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Kaleidoscope of colour at North Wing

22 July 2022

The white walls of the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s North Wing have been transformed into an interactive art experience, thanks to former consumer Alicia Wright. 

Alicia unlocked her creative side during a recent stay at the unit, creating hundreds of origami butterflies, which she said helped her through some tough moments of her healing journey. 

Alicia admitted that at the start of her stay, she was reluctant to engage with any of the recreational activities on offer at the unit - including origami- despite being aware of the strong link between the creative arts and improving mental health. 

However, the unit’s staff inspired her to redirect her focus on ‘grey days’ and so the kaleidoscope of butterflies began. 

“I decided that since I had made so many butterflies, a mural on my walls would be something beautiful to wake up to in the morning, and something beautiful for other patients to see when they walked past my room,” she said. 

The project not only helped keep Alicia’s mind occupied, but also helped her make connections with other consumers.

“Making the butterflies opened the door for communication and interesting conversations,” Alicia said.

“Every single day, someone different would walk into my room, be it a patient or a nurse or doctor, and they would look around with an a-gasp expression and say "WOW!". Those moments made my day each time; knowing someone else had a moment of happiness made me deeply happy.”

Alicia shared the joy of origami with staff and other consumers, who regularly requested ‘custom folds’ and origami lessons and said everyone was amazed at how simple it was to be able to create something so beautiful.  

Much to Alicia’s delight, the 965 butterflies now adorn the walls of the air lock entrance to the North Wing of the unit, and advanced recreation officer Adam Le Fay has even  made a “Where’s Wally”- like search game within the display.

“Having the butterflies on display means the world to me and it makes me feel so happy that something I have created is having a positive effect on others, even after my stay," Alicia said.

Fancy getting creative? Learn how to create your own beautiful butterly with Alicia's tutorial video. 

Last updated 26 July 2022
Last reviewed 25 July 2022

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