Give to GOSH: How art is playing its part in treating the children of Great Ormond Street

The chlildren have created an animation that is the third in a series of projects at GOSH

Jamie Merrill
Monday 28 December 2015 19:55 GMT
Children on the kidney ward at GOSH worked with an animator to create a video explaining the process of dialysis and kidney transplants
Children on the kidney ward at GOSH worked with an animator to create a video explaining the process of dialysis and kidney transplants

Children at Great Ormond Street Hospital have joined with artists and a top London museum to create a vibrant animation describing their experience of kidney dialysis and transplant.

The five-minute work, called Transplant and based entirely on the work of children on Eagle Ward at GOSH, came about as part of an effort to involve sick children in a creative process that would also help them better understand their treatment.

“We wanted the project to be a useful tool as well as a creative project for the children,” said Emma Middleton, curator of artists’ projects at the Foundling Museum, which commissioned the work. “The play workers at GOSH are wonderful and the idea was to make an animation that was a guide to dialysis.”

The animation is the third in a series of projects made with children at GOSH. It came about when the team from the Foundling Museum saw books that hospital play specialist Lynsey Steele had created with kidney transplant patients to help them understand their treatments.

Its aim was to support the work of play specialists in trying to make operations and procedures “a lot less scary”.

Middleton said: “We wanted the children to make it, as the aim was for it to be made by, for and about children undergoing dialysis and having a kidney transplant.”

Working with animator Shelly Wain, the children used their own experiences to create drawings and puppets. The team from the Foundling Museum used these to create an animation of the process from dialysis through to kidney transplant. Like the work of the GOSH play team it is designed to help children understand the painful process of their treatment.

“We brought Shelly’s animation equipment on to the ward and the animation is based entirely on the drawings and puppets of the children,” Middleton said. “The logistics were tricky as we had a huge amount of kit and it all had to be cleaned for infection control as we moved from bed to bed and in and out of the wards. But it was well worth it.”

The team captured images of the drawings and puppets, which were turned into “moving parts” for the animation, which is due to be unveiled in front of an audience of children from Eagle Ward.

The Foundling Museum is devoted to the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity. It shares with GOSH a dedication to allowing children to contribute to society, and celebrates the power of the individual and the arts to change lives. The work was carried out in co-operation with GOSH’s Go Create! arts programme, which makes a vital contribution to the healing environment that the hospital tries to provide for patients and their families. It is part of the family support programme for the hospital, which is being helped by money raised by the Give to GOSH appeal.

‘Transplant’ is on display at the Foundling Museum from 5 January to 27 March. The Museum is open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday, and is located at 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ.


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