ART displays in the bright, open Gardiner-Pittard foyer have fast been capturing attention and intrigue of those who pass by the hospital.
Now, Ballarat Health Services is directly asking the community about bringing more of the arts, performance included, into its sites in a salubrious move.
BHS chief medical officer Rosemary Aldrich said there were clear studies showing art activities could promote health for all people and BHS viewed the impact it could make, not just in healthcare, seriously.
Associate Professor Aldrich said increasing the amount of art in health settings, from paintings to performers, had potential to reduce stress and anxiety and enhance work environment for staff and volunteers.
“Part of that is always offering a safe and welcoming environment with a sense of well-being,” Associate Professor Aldrich said.
“Art therapists have been around for decades. They have a qualified role in helping people to express how they feel about physical treatment.
“This program is about making spaces feel more health-giving and pleasing from the moment you walk in.”
BHS has launched a public study into the impacts of art and health in what will help to guide the organisation’s arts and health strategy. Anyone is welcome to suggest and idea or provide feedback for potential hurdles in artistic pursuits.
The project also aims to get diverse cultural groups involved.
Associate Professor Aldrich said the Base Hospital’s Gardiner-Pittard foyer, which opened in February last year, was gradually becoming known for its display space.
A striking large knitted collage hangs just inside the Drummond Street doors. The piece, installed a year ago, features almost 1000 knitted pieces from 250 knitters across the region in a reflection on global warming.
Already ideas had been touted to further transform the space into temporary galleries and exhibitions.
But Associate Professor Aldrich made clear the arts and health strategy was about all BHS sites in the community, including residential aged care.
The study has been funded via Ballarat Connected Communities.
For more details or to have your say: bhsartsandhealth.co. The survey is open until January 14.
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