Help us Design Adventures for the new Children’s Theatre Suite at Ninewells!

I am so excited to be able to announce that I will be creating a whole series of giant bespoke illustrations for the new Children’s Theatre Suite at Ninewells!

Local children and their families can help choose the artwork theme for the reception/waiting area of the suite. I can’t wait to see what they pick… especially the children and young people.

I’m delighted that children and young people are getting to have their say with what they want to see as it is very much them I had in mind when I have been working on these concepts.

“The new suite will allow many more children to be treated in a child-friendly environment, with some of the design elements having already been developed with input from families and hospital staff.”

NHS Tayside, June 2021

Here are the two concepts you can choose from…

Concept 1: ‘Woodland Wanders’

The first theme is called ‘Woodland Wanders’ which focuses on woodlands and green spaces and includes images of local animals and birds, lots of green hills and bushy trees.

Concept 1: Inspired by the green spaces in and surrounding Dundee, including our beautiful parks and the Sidlaw Hills.

Concept 2: ‘Riverside Adventures’

The second theme is called ‘Riverside Adventures’ and draws inspiration from the River Tay, which includes the iconic Tay Railway Bridge, sail boats and lots of waterside animals, especially puffins.

Concept 2: Inspired by Dundee’s surroundings, landmarks, the River Tay and it’s wildlife

Have your say and help your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, children of friends have their say too – vote for your favourite design here.

The survey closes on Friday June 25.

The overarching theme for the artwork I have created for the Children’s theatre suite is journeys, nature and dreams. It is all about encouraging imagination as well as celebrating the wildlife and landscape found in and around Dundee. It is very much inspired by Dundee and the east of Scotland, where the hospital is situated and where I live.

It is also about creating a space that feels calm and safe, as well as inspiring, engaging and welcoming, at a time where children, young people and their families may well be feeling very anxious.

Inspiration also comes from my Oor Wullie sculpture ‘Oor Dreamcatcher’ that I created with children and young people for the first Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail and The ARCHIE Foundation back in 2016. The sculpture was bought at auction by the NHS staff and supporters at Ninewells, through a crowdfunder, for the Children’s Hospital and he has been situated there ever since bringing smiles to children in the hospital. Money from the bucket trail went on to fund lots of the work in the new Children’s Theatre Suite so it feels like the perfect circle to have worked on the trail as the artist co-ordinator (and and artist) and now to be asked to create artworks for the suite.

I hope that my illustrations will take patients, their families and everyone who will be working in the space on a journey full of imagination.

‘Oor Dreamcatcher’ with Ward 30 staff holding the two concepts you can choose from

Robert Muirhead, paediatric senior nurse, said: “I would like to encourage as many children and young people as possible to get involved in choosing one of these two fantastic artwork themes.

“Both designs are colourful, interesting and full of so much detail that it really is too difficult a decision to make, and that is where you, the children and young people of Tayside, can really play your part.

“Taking part in the short survey and telling us which design you like the best means that your choice will count towards the final decision of which theme will be on display in the new Children’s Theatre Suite.”

It’s been an absolute pleasure working closely with the CTS project team for the last six months. Taking inspiration from their hopes and aims for this incredible child-centred space. The team is made up of NHS staff, The ARCHIE Foundation representatives and RDA Archiects.

If you would like to join me whilst I create these huge pieces of artwork for the CTS I will be sharing lots of sneak peeks on my social media. Come join me at @whimsicallush on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

If you’d like more news about the building of the Children’s Theatre Suite at Ninewells, please do read this lovely article in the Courier here.

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