From a waiting room to a colourful room at health service

COLOUR: Silk screen painting banners created by The Art Group participants for the Waiting Room Project at the Oberon Multi Purpose Sevice. Photo: CHRISTINE MacMILLAN/AOW
COLOUR: Silk screen painting banners created by The Art Group participants for the Waiting Room Project at the Oberon Multi Purpose Sevice. Photo: CHRISTINE MacMILLAN/AOW

ARTS OutWest arts and health co-ordinator Christine McMillan and Oberon Arts Council and Arts OutWest board chair Fran Charge have designed an arts program at Oberon Multi Purpose Service.

Arts OutWest was asked to partner with Oberon Arts Council to present the arts program at the instigation of Ms Charge.

Oberon Multi Purpose Service manager Christine Symington was approached in April 2018 to gauge the interest in the development of an arts program for users of the centre.

An outcome of this meeting was that two pilot programs were presented, beginning May 2018: both on Thursdays; one at the residential care unit and the other at the Robey Independent Living Centre.

Throughout these workshops, the participants' abilities and interests have been considered.

Individual programs are developed dependent on these interests.

The two groups, Independent Living and the residents, were combined and everyone gathered around the large table in the dining room.

Participants who we usually work with as individuals became part of a group: The Art Group.

At lunchtime, everyone sits down for lunch together.

There is talking and laughter over the meal. The combined meal is so important, capping off the social event that is The Art Group.

As the pilot was so successful, we began a long-term project, The Waiting Room Project.

We identified a waiting room area in the hospital that needed to be made into a happy and cheerful place for mothers, young children and people of all ages waiting for community health services.

We made bright banners to hang in the space. The room was refurbished and hadn't been finished, so we hung the banners in the sun room.

Silk screen printing ink was used to paint on materials.

Two designs with symbols and colours were developed. One of the participants moved the sewing machine into her room and hemmed the banners.

Cards were made using fabric and paint trials.

The Art Group is partnered by Oberon Multi Purpose Service, Oberon Arts Council and Arts OutWest.

Arts OutWest would like to thank all staff, participants, their family and friends for supporting this major art project.

In February 2019, Oberon Council agreed to contribute $1000 from the Oberon Arts Council Maintenance Funds to assist the art room project at Oberon Multi Purpose Service.