Street artists add colour to the Maternity Ward at Maria Middelares General Hospital

Last week two street artists outfitted the Delivery Unit at the Maria Middelares General Hospital with colourful painted art. The ward would like this art to make the space even more inviting for the brand-new families, as well as for staff. The hospital collaborated with Wallin', a Ghent-based organisation, whose objective is to create opportunities for (young) artists.

According to Koen Deryckere, chair of the Art Work Group for the Maria Middelares General Hospital, ‘Iota andNEAN, two of the young street artists, painted murals of colourful birds. In consultation with midwives and gynaecologists, we opted for a balance between serenity and dynamics. For us, it was important not to directly link the artwork with babies or births. The mood evoked by these paintings echoes the many emotions that can be felt on this ward: the joy and happiness that come from welcoming a life, but also slight undertones of sadness and loss. The images, at times, convey a certain sense of melancholy.’

Head Nurse Kristelle Vande Walle is enthusiastic about the new look of her ward: ‘These are very fresh works of art, with intriguing plays of colour. The paintings are especially realistically rendered. The birds really appear to be flying. We’re also happy that the images leave room for interpretation. There are references to care and nurturing, but you also see birds spreading their wings. Staff on the ward are very enthusiastic about this beautiful make-over. Over the past few days, many visitors from other departments have come to admire the works of art.’

Who is Iota?

Iota is a fiery new talent from Brussels. She tries to capture the human soul in all its facets through a mixture of bodies, textures and materials. She knows how to stand in her own right as a young, promising artist.

Who is NEAN?

NEAN likes to portray the fragility of time and memories. That is why he likes to paint on walls, as they speak to the transience of his work.

‘We’re happy that we received this commission. A hospital's delivery unit is a very special place. We’ve also tried to create a visual metaphor: the birds and the nest in which they’re born. We do that not only to reach out to the brand-new families, but also to the children, visitors and staff on the ward.’


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