: Brightening up gray Ukrainian hospital walls

15:44 Jun. 7, 2016

Brightening up gray Ukrainian hospital walls

Medical Center, Filieris eye care center, France. (Getty Images)

Artist couple paints colourful designs to help children feel better during hospital stay

Bring a little cheer to the hospitals and clinics for sick children in Ukraine. That's exactly what a couple of young artists decided to do to help kids get well sooner.

These two believe walls can help with the healing process. And colour plays a big role in how kids perceive their stay at the doctor's office.

Read also Kids express their love for Ukraine in drawings and stories

'There's book -therapy and this is art-therapy. A type of treatment sorta speak, when a child sees something beautiful it helps - much more than gray walls,' the artist Halyna Hedzevich says. 

The kids like the paintings and the doctors say it actually makes them feel much more at home rather than at a hospital.

'It's a symbol of comfort - a pet-cat, the storks, home, all a symbol of a Ukrainian household,' Treatment and Recovery Unit Director Tetyana Holovchenko says. 

 

So far their work can be seen in doctor's offices across Ukraine - from neurologists to dentists, and even fourteen different hospital wings. They usually work only in state-run facilities because they tend to be painted either in gray or beige only.

Their work is truly a labour of love, it doesn't come cheap. Paint, brushes, stencils, all can easily add up to a hefty sum. The supplies alone for their work for the cardiology unit at this children's hospital cost them about USD 500.

They never take money from the doctors, though, everything comes from private donations and social media crowdfunding campaigns. The paint is always non-toxic, acrylic base because it lasts much longer.

Read also Ukrainian Mysterious Folk Art: Maria Prymachenko's creations go on display in Kyiv

'Usually, the walls built during Soviet times were out of the sand, if we use oil-based paint, it will chip right away, so that's why all those gray walls are chipping and people think it's the norm. It isn't we need to change that, make the new generation happy,' the artist Halyna Hedzevich says.

Halyna's next project is painting nearly a hundred square metres of a children's hospital in Kharkiv this fall. She says she is looking forward to making winters feel a little warmer there soon.

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