Amelie (2nd from left) and Kristin (3rd from right), with group members, and their sculptures.
Students from the Methodist Girls' School are using art to help patients at Sengkang General Hospital.
Kristin Bay is only 14 years old, but she knows too well how homesick elderly patients can feel when they need to be warded in hospital.
“Some time ago, my granduncle, who is blind, blacked out at home and was hospitalised. When I visited him at the hospital, he seemed very morose and somewhat depressed; he missed his family and the familiar surroundings of home. It then struck me how I can use my love for art to inspire and cheer someone up,” says Kristin, a secondary 2 student from Methodist Girls’ School (MGS).
Kristin’s personal experience inspired the design of her art sculpture ‘Bubbles of Joy’, which she created as part of MGS’ ‘Art for Heart’s Sake’ programme.
“The piece we did represents the anticipation of Christmas and the cheer and hope it gives. The inter-connecting horizontal pieces depict the links between family and friends, and the glitter represents the joyful and splendid moments shared among them,” explains Kristin.
All 282 Secondary/Year 2 students at MGS took part in the programme, working in small teams to create sculptures from recycled materials. Twenty art pieces will be given to donors of the SKH Better Health Fund as tokens of appreciation for gifts that the donors have made during the Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) year-end appeal between 1 November and 31 December . This is part of the ‘“i-Gen (爱捐) Art” - I Generate Ideas, I Generate Love & Care for Others’, a collaborative project between MGS and SKH.
SKH Better Health Fund is managed by SingHealth Fund and provides support to patients from SKH who may be in financial need. MGS has been collaborating with SKH since 2018 on various giving projects, ranging from musical performances for patients and the public, to selling art pieces to raise funds for patients in need.
“We are always looking for opportunities to work with hospitals. After learning more about Sengkang General Hospital’s mission and what they stand for, we were excited to collaborate with SKH because we believe in in the work that SKH is doing with patients and the community,” explained Mrs Natasha Tay, Head of Department for Aesthetics at MGS (Secondary).
As part of the experiential learning process, the students used design thinking to come up with the artwork for their sculptures.
“In MGS, Design Thinking is part of the students’ curriculum. As such, we got the students to apply what they learn in school in this project through creating empathy maps to enable them to understand what it feels like to be a patient for a day. They then created opportunity statements for items that will be repurposed and used to make the sculptures,” Mrs Tay added.
Another unique work of art that is featured in this collaboration is entitled ‘Santa Paws’. It features an origami panda that sits on top of a bamboo structure. Amelie Howe Yan-En, one of the artists behind the work, hopes it will bring joy to patients.
“We feel sorry for the patients who cannot be with their loved ones during this festive season. We would like to uplift and encourage the patients from SKH, giving them hope either monetarily or through our art creations,” said Amelie. “Every small contribution makes a difference, and being part of the fundraising process for the SKH Better Health Fund makes our efforts worthwhile.”