ART WITH A BIGGER PURPOSE by NORDIC ART INITIATIVE
The point of departure for the project ‘Art with a Bigger Purpose’ at the paediatric clinic in Ljubljana was to develop a creative, interactive project whose all-around approach would create a friendlier hospital environment. Visual arts are the most important way of non-verbal communication with proven therapeutic capacity; hence, it is no coincidence that works of visual arts form the backbone of the project. The task we have set for ourselves was to create art that stimulates the patients, the visitors and the employees, and that actively contributes to the recovery process with its therapeutic effects. Contributing artists come from four different cultural environments: Črtomir Just from Slovenia, Rafael Mayani from Mexico, Ruth Hengeveld from the Netherlands, and Fatheat & Bea Pántya from Hungary. Thus, the result is a colourful spatial network that includes, and brilliantly connects, the hospital's interior and exterior. The works of art are generated to inspire curiosity and playfulness while the simplicity of their form and the deliberate choice of tranquil colours convey optimism and evoke a sense of calmness. In terms of motifs, format, and techniques, the works are rather diverse; yet they are structured in a way that addresses the audience with a universal visual language. It is also notable that the artists created site-specific installations spanning an area of over 360 square metres, making use of the actual space and interacting with the immediate surroundings.
Črtomir Just created a triptych that addresses the viewer by presenting daily events at the hospital in a child-friendly way, seeking to lift their spirits. The seriousness of the theme is transformed and infused with an aspect of fantasy.
Ruth Hengeveld draws from her own experience related to hospitals. She transformed a dull waiting room into a playful waiting room set in a forest, featuring animals and a myriad of mini stories. Thus, we are surrounded by a sort of large-format illustrations whose gentleness and light-heartedness evoke a sense of warmth.
Rafael Mayani uses in his creation an imaginary world of pristine nature, in which the children and their faithful companions look for miraculous medicines.