RCH artists shine on the front page

Twelve of our own budding artists are preparing for their masterpieces to be shared with the world on the 2021 covers of the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. 

The artworks created by oncology patients through the Children’s Cancer Centre art therapy program feature a range of mediums including photography, watercolour, resin, painting and collage.

Among the selected artworks, readers will be delighted by Ivy’s (10) ‘Super Ivy’ self-portrait featuring a magnificent red cape, and Aidan’s (5) bright painted landscape with trees and sunshine.

The art therapy program, which has been supporting patients through their treatment since 1995, provides children and their families with coping skills to assist them with the experience of their illness and treatment.

Art Therapist, Matilda Dawson, said the children were very excited to share their artworks which have been created at all different stages of the cancer journey.

“Art therapy is a place where the child becomes the boss and we become their art assistants. It’s a place where the child can be themselves, and they love the opportunity to create anything they can dream up and just be kids,” Matilda said.

“The kids are very excited that their artwork will be seen all over the world, and that they are now fully fledged artists as we have always told them they are!”

The program has many benefits and provides patients, their siblings and families with a space to reflect on their feelings, thoughts and experiences during hospitalisation.

“We aim to address the emotional, social, cognitive, cultural and spiritual needs of children through a person-centred approach and develop their self-expression and artist identity so they may feel a sense of mastery throughout their treatment,” Matilda said.

“I love to see how children grow and develop throughout their treatment. I often catch myself smiling, when you see a child in the flow of artmaking or creating something they didn’t think possible.

We are given a privileged opportunity to witness the lives and experiences of the children we work with. We get to know them and their families, their interests, stories and humour.”

The first cover was published on December 16, 2020 and features now 18-year-old Sophie’s reflection of her treatment experience titled ‘Arrangement of pills.’

The Children’s Cancer Centre art therapy program is supported through philanthropic donations and is offered to both inpatients and outpatients undergoing treatment, their siblings and their families.

17 comments for “RCH artists shine on the front page”

  1. marilyn hogan

    such a lovely idea to have been carried out and being one a Ivys Army members i am so happy for Ivy and Ivy’s family for this tribute…love and light

  2. Nicola

    Super Ivy by Ivy sounds cool RIP Ivy

  3. Michelle Burnes

    Super Ivy by Ivy. RIP beautiful Ivy.
    I am also a member of Ivy’s Army.

  4. Jo

    Super Ivy……very fitting title from an unforgettable young warrior. Ivy’s Army! MSRIP

  5. Kathrine

    Super Ivy, warrior princess – From Ivy’s army MSRIP

  6. Jill

    Thrilled for Ivy’s family that you have chosen her self portrait for front cover. Fly free special girl

  7. Laura Alessi

    Super Ivy will never be forgotten one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met and will meet.

  8. Tanya Meyer

    That is awesome Ivy loved her art R.I.P. beautiful Ivy ❤

  9. Lisa

    Ivy you are definitely super..I think you represent the definition of a true SUPER hero..You are such an inspiration and it has been an honor to follow your long and courageous journey. Princess warrior Ivy you have conquered and won your battle earth side. Now you can now fly high wearing your magnificent red super cape .Ivy you are definitely one of a kind, so mature and wise for one so young I often had to remind myself you were only 10.I will never forget you darling girl. My thoughts are with your loving family.
    Fly high Ivy Jane xxx ~lisa

  10. Gab

    Amazing work Aidan! We are very proud of you!!

  11. Leesa

    Ivy Sweet Girl gone to soon. Fly High Angel. One of Ivy’s Army Members. Your Art bought you so much joy xo❤

  12. Julianne

    Looking forward to seeing Ivy’s red cape art.A gentle beautiful strong little girl sincerely missed.Love as ever and always

  13. Jenny W

    Hi, I am an art teacher. I am also a volunteer drawing teacher at the Chinese Cancer Community Association. I was so touched by the ‘Artists shine on the front page) and I would like to doing something for the children who are suffering from cancer and staying in the hospital. I want to give them a self portrait drawing for free. Or I can teach them drawing as well. Sorry I can’t find any contact point on the RCH website so I dropped a message here. Thank you

  14. Corporate Communications

    Hi, thanks for the offer! Our volunteers go through a rigorous training process and need to be able to commit to a number of hours per week. You can find out more here: https://www.rch.org.au/volunteers/how-to-become-a-volunteer/How_to_become_a_volunteer/

    • Jenny W

      Thanks for the reply. I just checked the link you provided and they are not accepting applications at the moment. I will keep checking back. Thanks a lot!

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