Over half a kilometre of vinyl decals bring local flora and fauna to Nelson's Maternity and Paediatric Units
The Paediatric and Maternity wards of Nelson Hospital are looking a whole lot brighter thanks to the generosity of the Care Foundation, the artwork of Antony Clark, and the photography of Dr Peter McIlroy, as well as the collaboration of those in Women, Children, and Youth services.
Service Manager for Women, Children and Youth Donna Addidle said that the idea for the project began in 2020 with the desire to provide distraction and represent flora and fauna found in our region.
From an underwater seascape in Paediatrics, to forest scenes in the Maternity ward, the designs and photography focus on native plants and animals. The same will be true for decals coming to Wairau Hospital's Paediatric Ward which will focus on the Wairau Bar.
There are also plans in store for the radiology department, the new children’s outpatients space, ED, and the Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to display similar artwork.
Paediatrician Peter McIlroy took the photos which are now printed nearly life-size in the Maternity Ward, using his excellent photography skills to create a beautiful, calming environment (as well as a familiar one, if you're into local walks!).
“People have been amazed," said Antony Clark, co-owner of Your Decal Shop, who designed and installed the Paediatric Ward's decals.
"It’s been really nice to hear their reactions as I’ve been putting the decals up. I’ve heard parents pointing out different animals to their kids, like ‘hey, look here’s a seal, should we give him a name?’ as they’re walking through. If the child is upset, it’s a nice way to draw them out.”
“We’re also working on a colouring book that the nurses can print out themselves. It’s the same art as the wall and has different interactive elements. For example, there’ll be scavenger hunts in the book that’ll take them through the ward, like ‘find the kina.’ Or it could ask them to count a basket of mussels.”
The design took two months of fulltime work.
“We put a lot into in because of the cause," Antony said. "Knowing it’s for kids, we wanted to get it right.”
“Nurses really drove the project’s concept. I think they were able to put themselves in a child’s shoes and know what would make the ward a more comfortable place for them.”