RBWH engages student artists to create custom works for social work clinics

The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital social work clinical spaces have received a colourful overhaul, with the addition of five new paintings created by students at The Murri School.

The high school’s best artists were mentored by a professional Aboriginal artist while creating the custom works for RBWH, based on themes of community, family and healing.

Director of Social Work Services Angela O’Malia said art plays an important role in the social work experience and it was exciting to have the new works on-site.

“The idea to work with The Murri School was born out of a chat with our Indigenous Social Work Cadet at the time, who had strong connections with the school and suggested we work together,” she said.

“He made the introduction for us and the school was pleased to bring on an artist to collaborate with the students and assist them in bringing the pieces to life.

“Art puts patients at ease and it can give them something else to focus on, making them feel more relaxed and comfortable while they are here.

“The beauty of these paintings is that they tell a story – so if our patients can connect with an artwork spiritually or emotionally, that can be very empowering.”

Grade 9 student Brooklyn Eggmolesse created the piece “Women’s Healing” alongside her classmate Jacqueline, touching on women’s sacred role as mothers.

“I dedicate this painting to my big sister and my mum, as they each have lost a baby,” she said.

“I want them and other mothers to know that it is okay to not be okay and that I believe the babies are always with us and looking over us.”

The newly acquired artworks are now situated in a number of clinics around RBWH including the main social work department as well as the sexual assault response unit.