Bringing colour to the Critical Care Unit: vibrant new artwork from Peter Mcdonald

28 Mar 2017

Thanks to Dr Parjam Zolfaghari, Vital Arts, and a grant from Barts Charity, the Adult Critical Care Unit at The Royal London is now benefitting from colourful artwork by acclaimed artist Peter Mcdonald.

Peter Mcdonald art

The Royal London has one of the largest intensive care units in the UK, serving some of the most severely injured trauma patients in the South East. The unit admits 3,000 patients each year and because critical illness and trauma is often unexpected, the impact on patients and their families can be devastating, with many of them spending weeks or even months there during their recovery.

The use of art in hospitals can reduce stress and depression, increase staff morale and even contribute to the healing process, reducing the length of stay.

Dr Zolfaghari applied for a grant to enhance one of the public corridors leading to the unit, and Vital Arts - the charitably-funded organisation which delivers art projects across Barts Health NHS Trust – commissioned award-winning artist Peter Mcdonald to create artwork for the space.

In keeping with his signature style, the artwork that Peter created depicts a candy-coloured world inhabited by quirky figures in various scenarios; some everyday (at school or the hairdresser) and some aspirational (in space, or on the red carpet).

The paintings highlight the joy of human experience and the characters' enlarged heads can be seen to represent the psychological space that each of us, especially in a hospital setting, carries with us.

Speaking about the project, Peter said: “Working in a hospital context with the support and expertise of Vital Arts was a valuable opportunity for me. Hearing the positive responses from patients and staff and seeing how art could have a real effect in the day to day lives of the people who use the space was very moving and inspiring”.

[Photos - Main image: Dr Parjam Zolfaghari. Right: three of the paintings; Dr Zolfaghari with Catsou Roberts, Director of Vital Arts]

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