Hope and Joy

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Hope and Joy

Filed under: 2012 entries
School: Alder Hey Children's Hospital Oncology Unit School Dept
Location: Eaton Road, Liverpool
Artist: Patricia Lee
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Hope and Joy were designed by Oliver and Alice, two teenagers undergoing treatment for cancer at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The hospital has on-site facilities to allow the children to continue their education whilst in hospital.

Hope and Joy are mosaic Fat Birds. Alice designed Joy to celebrate the visit of HRH Prince William to the hospital. Oliver designed Hope in response to his personal experiences and describes his design: ‘The ladders on her back represent the hurdles you have to cross during your treatment and the hearts on the wings are the love people wrap around you when they care for you.’

The oncology unit has a dedicated school room where the children have access to computers and can continue their education.

All the children on the oncology unit were asked to create a design for the two mosaic sculptures that would be installed in the hospital’s garden.

I spent 8 weeks working with the children, running sessions twice a week. At the start of the project I was told that the teenagers on the unit are usually reluctant to engage with art projects so I made it my business to make sure I tried to engage them. I ended up working with every teenager on the unit. Sometimes I came back from my lunch to find them queuing outside the door.

I also wanted to work with the children who couldn’t get out of their bed to come to the school room and take part in activities. I fixed wheels to the Fat Birds and worked at the bedsides of those children. Making the sculptures mobile also meant that I could work with the children whose consultants needed to monitor them closely during chemotherapy and often spent hours hooked up to a drip unable to leave the day room.

The birds have fibreglass bodies and are decorated with vitreous glass and fused glass.

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