Brighton-themed mural brightens up children’s hospital

Brianna Kelly, Niamh Fitzsimmons and Felicity Richardson have created a Brighton-themed mural at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

A group of art and design students from Sussex Downs College have created a picture-perfect postcard mural of Brighton. It has been painted especially for poorly children at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex).

Artists Niamh Fitzsimmons, Felicity Richardson and Brianna Kelly (all aged 18) are studying for an Art & Design Diploma at the Sussex Downs College campus in Lewes.

The three girls were supported by their tutor James DiBiase as they gave up their time to create the Brighton-themed mural. The artwork will contribute to their Art & Design Diploma coursework.

In partnership with Rockinghorse, Niamh, Felicity and Brianna were tasked with transforming a plain wall at the Alex into a vibrant seaside painting. The trio were given a creative brief to work from, having met with representatives from our charity and the Alex.

The mural features some of Brighton’s most iconic landmarks.

Featuring Brighton’s iconic landmarks

Together the three students designed, drew and painted the piece to benefit young patients admitted to the Surgical Ward on level eight of the children’s hospital.

The mural features a host of Brighton landmarks and tourist attractions, including the Pavilion, along with both the West Pier and Palace Pier. It also pays tribute to our charity with the addition of brightly coloured carousel horses, aptly named after members of the team.

Hollie Trezise is the Schools and Community Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse. She helped coordinate the project and says, “It has been a real pleasure working with James and his Art & Design students again this year. Over the last few years, we have worked with Sussex Downs College students to brighten the walls of the Alex. They always do such a fantastic job.

“This year’s mural is no exception and the Surgical Ward staff have been pleasantly surprised at how professional it looks. It really has transformed what was quite a dull corridor into a wonderfully colourful area. The painting is already bringing lots smiles to the faces of young patients on the ward.”

Rockinghorse’s Schools and Community Fundraiser, Hollie Trezise, has a carousel horse named after her.

A rewarding experience

Artist Niamh Fitzsimmons enjoyed her experience. She says, “It’s been very rewarding and has allowed me to gain insight and involvement in working to a real life brief. I’ve learnt the importance of time management and planning during the process.

“It was gratifying to see how the staff and patients reacted to the mural throughout the painting process. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has been involved.”

Fellow artist, Felicity Richardson, says, “Taking part in the creation of the mural has been an amazing opportunity and allowed me to be part of something I’ve never done before. I painted and designed the whole of the bottom half of the mural. I’ve really enjoyed having the freedom to do so.

“It has been so much fun working as part of a team and I’m so proud of what we’ve created. I’m really thankful for the support we received from the nurses and play team on the ward, the Rockinghorse charity, and all our teachers at college. I hope the patients and their parents feel the same joy that we do when we look at it”

Brianna Kelly was the third artist to work on the mural. She adds, “Creating the mural has been an absolutely amazing experience. Along with Niamh, I created the upper half of the mural. I’ve loved working with a real client and being able to produce such a bright and colourful addition to the ward.

“Thanks to the Alex and Rockinghorse for providing us with such an amazing opportunity. I’d also like to thank my tutor James for pushing me to be part of this project.”

The mural has brightened what was a dull wall on the Surgical Ward at the Alex.

Supporting Rockinghorse

Rockinghorse is best known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. The charity aims to make life better for sick and disadvantaged children in Sussex. Rockinghorse raises money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment. It also funds services and items to ensure that children are treated in an environment better suited to their needs.

To find out more about the charity’s projects, please click here.

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