Cloudlands Creative Exchange Days
An important aspect of the Cloudlands project is to raise awareness of the project and its benefits among the wider hospital community. In order to familiarise staff with the work, we ran Creative Exchange Days in late spring in each of the hospitals to engage with staff. As all three artists (Rachel Tynan, Emma Fisher and Eszter Nemethi) worked together on these days, the teenagers also saw that they were part of a larger project.
At University Hospital Galway, the artists worked in the canteen area where staff were invited to create their avatar in response to the question: if you had a chance to be anything, what would you be?
Staff from all areas of the hospital became involved and we had surfers, angels, musical notes, pilots and elephant riders. The avatars were then used to create a music video for a song written by one of the participants on the project and this was screened on the paediatric ward at the end of the day.
At Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, the artists created button badges with lines from the teenagers’ stories. These were then given out to staff who really enjoyed figuring out which lines went together. Teenagers on the wards also communicated with visiting artists Emma Fisher and Eszter Nemethi using ‘walkie talkies.’ They guided them on a tour of the hospital and then instructed them in making balloon avatars which were then released outside the hospital.
These initiatives brought the teenagers’ stories to the wider hospital community and created an awareness and curiosity about Cloudlands among staff who may not have had direct contact with the artist.