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Hunter students’ artworks to brighten lives of others


Two Hunter school students are hoping to brighten the lives of many other youngsters at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Hamilton North Public’s Isla Telford and Kurri Kurri Public’s Ella Barrett have been chosen to display their respective artworks on the walls of the medical facility as part of the 27th annual Operation Art exhibition.

The initiative encourages pupils from kindergarten to Year 10, throughout NSW, to create pieces that will bring joy to thousands of patients, family and staff.

Hamilton North Public School’s Isla Telford created this amazing artwork.

More than 650 artworks were submitted this year and a panel of judges selected 50 to make their way to Westmead.

NSW Department of Education’s Operation Art officer at the Arts Unit Heidi Windeisen said the exhibition was a great way to showcase the spectacular talents of students, while proving the importance of art as a healing tool.

“Teachers know they can inspire their pupils to create artworks for sick children through Operation Art,” she explained.

“So, it gives purpose to their work.

“It also allows them to understand that visual arts can promote a feeling of joy to those who spend much of their time in hospital.”

A key member of the judging panel, parent Alli Holland knows first-hand the important role art can play in a child’s healing journey.

Her son, Asher, has been treated at the hospital for complex conditions for more than 15 years.

A passionate art lover, Ms Holland is so inspired by the Operation Art works that she and her husband have an Instagram account dedicated to sharing the pieces.

“To me, hospital art is a beautiful place to escape to and get lost in,” she said.

“It’s so much more than a way to colour clinical walls.

“It speaks expression and hope through all of its colours and, without even saying a word, can lift you, inspire you, bring a burst of warmth that makes you smile deep down in your heart.”

The 50 selected artworks, including Isla’s and Ella’s, will tour regional galleries across NSW before making their way to their permanent home at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

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