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Art can be therapy for ill kids, as unique gallery illustrates

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 20/04/2016

Jenni Barkley of Belfast Harbour with young artist Abby McConville
Jenni Barkley of Belfast Harbour with young artist Abby McConville
I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
If Fish Could Fly
The Royal Yacht

Artwork created by seriously ill and vulnerable children is being showcased in a Belfast hospital in the first gallery of its kind in the UK.

The project, which has therapeutic benefits, is part of an initiative to give children and young people a creative voice.

Thousands of people will be able to view the art produced by children and young people from across Northern Ireland in the new permanent exhibition space known as Cartwheel 999 in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The theme of the first art exhibition is Belfast Harbour's skyline.

The paintings were created by children who took part in workshops in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Musgrave Park Hospital and Forest Lodge Respite Unit.

Abby McConville (13) from Silverbridge, Co Armagh, is one of the first exhibitors. She said: "Art helps take your mind off the scary things that happen in hospital and l really enjoyed taking part in the exhibition."

Arts Care's CEO and artistic director Dr Jenny Elliott said art projects had clinical benefits for children facing illness.

"They have a track record of delivering clinical benefits, helping give children a voice and unlocking their creativity at a time when they can feel anxious," she said.

Ten O'Clock Tea Break.

Belfast Telegraph

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