Mural project injects colour into Nottingham’s Cystic Fibrosis Centre

Date published: 22 Jun 2021

Posted by: Joe Pick

Alastair Flindall, Megan Russell standing in front of a mural featuring birds and flowers

City Arts have teamed up with the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre to create two new murals in the hospital. Mural artists Megan Russell (aka Peachzz) and Alastair Flindall (aka Kunstity) have worked with patients to create designs that adorn the Centre’s walls. The project is funded by a grant from Nottingham Hospitals Charity

Alastair Flindall, Megan Russell, Kate Duncan & Megan Dawes cut a ribbion to launch a mural
Alastair Flindall, Megan Russell, Kate Duncan & Megan Dawes launching the mural

The Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre serves over 200 patients from across the East Midlands. Cystic Fibrosis affects the internal organs, clogging them with thick sticky mucus. Some people with CF spend a significant amount of time visiting, and staying in, hospital. The mural project was born from patient’s and staff’s desire to brighten the clinical setting that features so heavily in their lives. Research shows that art in hospitals eases anxiety, stress and depression for both patients and care staff, improves communication between patients and carers, and shortens patients’ length of stay in hospital. 

Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: 

We’re so pleased to be able to fund this special art project for patients at the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre, many of whom spend weeks or even months out of each year at the Centre. Our Charity exists to provide enhancements that will benefit patients at our hospitals, and we know that artwork like this can have a hugely positive impact, helping to make the environment less clinical and more welcoming.

Nottingham Hospitals Charity gave over £2.1million towards the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre when it was built, with the aim of making the environment a ‘home from home’ for patients who would spend a significant amount of time here. We’re delighted that these bright and colourful new murals will help people with Cystic Fibrosis feel relaxed and at home during their hospital stay.

A mural featuring birds, flowers branches and mushrooms
The finished mural – downstairs at the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre 

Patients and staff at the Centre have been involved in every stage of the project. They interviewed and selected the artists, and worked with them to create the designs. The artists, Megan and Alastair, consulted with them using a video conferencing platform. Though this has become commonplace during the pandemic, it would have been necessary anyway as people with Cystic Fibrosis cannot meet due to the risk of spreading infections.  

Megan Dawes, Activity Coordinator, said 

Patients and staff at the centre have really come together to share their vision and ideas for the murals. City Arts and the incredible artists, Megan and Alastair, have worked hard to fulfil this vision and we are so pleased with the final designs!

The final artworks contain colours and symbols that will be meaningful to many people with Cystic Fibrosis. Roses refer to ’65 Roses’, a 4-year old’s mispronunciation of the condition’s name. Today, “65 Roses” is a term often used by young children with cystic fibrosis to pronounce the name. Purple was formerly the colour of Cystic Fibrosis Awareness. Yellow is the current colour. 

A mural featuring a bird sat on a branch, as well as origami birds, painted in the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre
The second mural, upstairs at the centre

Kate Duncan, Programme Director – Wellbeing at City Arts said: 

It’s been incredible to work with the patients and staff at the Wolfson Centre. Their enthusiasm and input has driven every stage of this project. We are delighted with the designs that Megan and Alastair have created with the patients. We hope they will continue to brighten the centre for many years.

The murals form one part of a bigger project called ‘Colours of Life’. Patients will also be working with a writer and illustrator to create posters to decorate other areas of the hospital.