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CCH Creates! Kids and adults alike get creative at the Cambridge Children's Hospital art workshops

The Cambridge Children’s Hospital project team took over Cambridge Junction for a day for a series of interactive art workshops.

As part of Cambridge University's Cambridge Festival, children, parents, carers and staff explored the cutting-edge research and vision behind the plans for Cambridge Children's Hospital. They got to get creative with local artist Harold Offeh, see their work layered and printed for use in a small publication, and get up close and personal with a scale model of the new hospital.

A selection of artworks created by children, parents, carers and staff
A selection of artworks created by children, parents, carers and staff at our Cambridge Festival workshops

For me, the process is really important. Art is another way of communicating. Often when you try and garner things through just speaking it can be debilitating, and what's been really great is people have been able to ask questions through making.

Harold Offeh, artist

Using anything from pens and pencils to tape and glue to magazines and newspaper off-cuts, participants of all ages wrote words that described how they would like to feel in Cambridge Children's Hospital.

Next, they created images and patterns that represented those feelings, inspired by Ghanaian Adinkra symbols.

Lastly, they integrated those words and images, as the integration of mental and physical healthcare is at the core of Cambridge Children's Hospital vision.

Take a look at some of the footage of a really special day...

Take a look at some of the footage of a really special day...

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esp9pb_cgVw

These words and symbols were then layered using a special printer called a "Risograph" in vibrant blues, pinks and oranges. Many had their work layered with someone else's to create a unique, collaborative work of art.

These will be published in a zine that will hopefully inspire everyone who is part of the hospital’s journey now and in the years to come. Attendees also got to take copies of their favourite designs home with them.

Working with children is a spectacular opportunity to gather imaginative insights for the future of the hospital. The Risograph is a tool that bridges the gap between notetaking and artwork creation - lending the power of production to the workshop and participants!

Risograph operator Craig, Dizzy Ink
Check out some of the amazing art created on the day...

Check out some of the amazing art created on the day...

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeGhw0pjB30

The day was also a great first opportunity for members of the public to take a look at a scale model of Cambridge Children's Hospital. It includes details such as the central Integration Hub as well as courtyards, playgrounds and gardens.

You can even take the roof off and get a closer look at some of the proposed wards and research facilities. Alex Findley from architects Hawkins/Brown was on hand throughout the day to talk families through the design and answer any questions.

The event was an opportunity for children to creatively express their ideas as to what the hospital experience should be and influence the design of the new hospital through art. It also brought the proposals for Cambridge Children’s Hospital to life for children and parents alike with the chance to explore the architectural model, flythroughs and computer-generated imagery.

Hawkins/Brown, architects
Getting creative at the Cambridge Festival Children and adults alike were enthralled by the Cambridge Children's scale model
Getting creative at the Cambridge Festival
Architect Alex answers families' questions and queries
Children and adults alike were enthralled by the Cambridge Children's scale model
Children and adults alike loved the interactive model of Cambridge Children's Hospital

If you want to get involved with our patient and public engagement work, click here. If you want to find out about upcoming Cambridge Children's Hospital events, click here.

This event was coordinated by CUH Arts. To find out more about the arts programme at Cambridge University Hospitals, follow the team here.