Imagination  helps healing
Inspiration: Perth Public Art Foundation managing director Nathan Giles. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

A child’s imagination is often seen as having no bounds.

Perth Public Art Foundation is helping unlock the imaginations of WA children affected by illness.

The group, among the 41 beneficiaries of Telethon this year, engages children at Princess Margaret Hospital and other health centres in creative processes.

“We commission artists to work with children who experience severe ill health,” Perth Public Art Foundation managing director Nathan Giles said.

“We do workshops and interviews with those children – we want the children to inform the creative process.”

Last year Perth Public Art constructed the Telethonasaurus names Roary – a four-metre dragon inspired by the children at PMH.

“We took Roary into PMH and did story-telling with some of the kids,” Mr Giles said.

“We also had artists going to the kids in their beds.”

The group also uses stuffed animals and sculptures designed with the help of children as a non-threatening way to interact with these children.

The Foundation also went to Mosman Park Deaf and Disabled School and worked with a group of children on an art project.

“One of the things we did was make snowflakes with cut paper, which resulted 2-3 metre kaleidoscopic totems,” he said.

“We kept the children updated on a story book of the creative process, through to instalment on the Telethon weekend.”

The Foundation raised $28,500 for Telethon by auctioning art created with these children at a charity event last year.

Mr Giles said research into the impact of art into children’s imagination and wellbeing was an important part of the Foundation.

He said this year’s Telethon funding would continue that research.

The West Australian

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