Walls wildly di­vert­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

SINGING glow worms and gi­raffes with rocket boots are greet­ing kids at Star­ship Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

The un­usual faces are part of colour­ful new mu­rals lin­ing the walls of the hos­pi­tal’s out­pa­tient depart­ment.

More than 500 chil­dren and young peo­ple in­spired the draw­ings by telling de­sign­ers what makes them happy, their wildest in­ven­tions and what their per­fect world would look like.

For some, that was a banana boat pulled by sea­horses, while oth­ers liked the idea of a time ma­chine.

A group of graphic de­sign stu­dents from AUT Univer­sity were tasked with de­sign­ing the draw­ings to brighten up the depart­ment for the 45,000 chil­dren who visit each year.

The mu­rals, funded by Mer­cury En­ergy, can now be found in the wait­ing area and on the walls and ceil­ings of the con­sul­ta­tion, bi-valve, mea­sure­ment and plas­ter rooms.

Star­ship Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Brad Clark says be­ing in hos­pi­tal can be an un­set­tling time for young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.

‘‘The new mu­rals bring colour and fun to the walls and give pa­tients a lit­tle dis­trac­tion while wait­ing or be­ing ex­am­ined,’’ he says.

The foun­da­tion is hop­ing to add mu­rals geared to­wards older chil­dren and teenagers in the near fu­ture.

Pho­tos: JESS LEE

Cheered up: Above, Mia Liu, 15-months, from Avon­dale in one of the newly dec­o­rated con­sul­ta­tion rooms at Star­ship. Bright back­drop: Muri­wai Waata, 10, from Grey Lynn with nurses Abbey Wheeler, left, and Chloe Not­ting­ham.

Go to auck­land­c­ity har­bournews.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see a video of the mu­ral de­sign process.

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