Project

Colours of Life

Project dates: March 2021 - January 2022

Injecting colour into Wolfston Cystic Fibrosis Centre in Nottingham

A project co-produced with patients and staff at the Wolfston Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Nottingham University Hospital.

The Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre serves over 200 patients from across the East Midlands. Cystic Fibrosis affects the internal organs. It clogs them with thick sticky mucus. Some people with the condition spend a significant amount of time visiting hospital. The project was born from patient’s and staff’s desire to brighten the clinical setting that features heavily in their lives.

Research shows that art in hospitals eases anxiety, stress and depression for both patients and care staff. It has been show to improve communication between patients and carers. It shortens patients’ length of stay in hospital.

Murals

With our support, patients at the centre commissioned two murals filling blank wall space with colour. Artist Megan Russell (aka Peachzz) and Alastair Flindall (aka Kunstity) collaborated on designs, inspired by a series of online workshops. The final pieces were voted for by patients and staff.

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

The artworks contain colours and symbols that are 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.

Poetry & Illustration

Patients joined one-to-one workshops with writer Matt Miller. They used creative writing to explore their interests, and life with the condition. It was a new experience for many of those taking part. The sessions produced nine, often deeply personal, poems.

Illustration of a dog in a bathtub, surround by bubbles.
“My Baby Boy Chance” – Illustration by Alastair Flindall
Illustration of three nurses pushing a hospital bed. An eagle flys above it.
“Letter To The CF Trio” – Illustration by Alastair Flindall

Illustrator Alastair Flindall worked with each patient to produce an artwork reflecting the themes of their poem. The artworks have been installed on the walls of Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre. MediaBox Productions created a series of related films. They animated the Alastair’s illustrations, combining them with audio recordings of each patient reading their poem. Visitors, staff and patients can access the films via QR code.

Playlist: Colours of Life | City Arts (Nottingham) & Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre

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