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Meet the Liverpool artist who’s brightened up the wards and patients at Alder Hey

2 months ago

Meet the Liverpool artist who’s brightened up the wards and patients at Alder Hey
Jennifer creating her masterpieces at Alder Hey

A fine art graduate who hopes to open her own art therapy centre has helped cheer up patients in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with paintings of their favourite characters.

Jennifer Hart, from Croxteth Park, has spent a day a week throughout the last year volunteering her time and her talent to create amazing and colourful pictures on the door windows of ward 4C at Alder Hey.

And she says: “It’s been lovely seeing the kids’ faces when they spot their favourite characters, and just a really wonderful experience; so positive.

“Many of the kids wanted to help, even those who were really quite sick, and it was great to get them involved.

“I’ve just loved it.”

Jennifer Hart
Jennifer Hart

Jennifer, 26, graduated from Manchester School of Art at the Metropolitan University in 2020, and began working in a studio, first in Crosby and then in Lord Street in Liverpool city centre.

She specialises in oil paintings and portraiture but also creates prints and loves to draw too: “A mixture really.”

The talented artist enjoyed being able to concentrate on her own work and live out her passion for creating her personal pieces, but she admits: “While it was nice being in a studio, I found it was pretty lonely trying to make it as an artist.

“That’s when I started to volunteer at Alder Hey, initially in the atrium, welcoming people to the hospital and helping out at different events they’d organised.

“Then I started serving lunches on Ward 4C.


“That’s when I noticed how bare it was – especially in contrast to the old Alder Hey which had lots of murals around the hospital.

“I got talking to two of the nurses, Sophie and Elaine, and said I could do some paintings on the windows.  They thought it was a good idea and helped pull all the strings to get it approved.”

Jennifer went around the ward asking people who they liked – ‘there were a lot of Disney princesses!’ –  before embarking on the 12 images that now decorate the windows using non-toxic acrylic paint.

“I’ve done a Sonic window, a Mario window, Lion King, Bluey, Spider-Man, Lilo & Stitch, Mickey and Minnie, and a Frozen window,” smiles Jennifer.  “Some of them were totally new to me so I had to go off and do my research.

“I’ve just got a couple to finish off but I’ve loved doing it and after the kids helped, I’d set them up with stuff and get them drawing on the ward.”

Finding Nemo artwork
Finding Nemo artwork

Jennifer has even met the man who painted all the murals in the old hospital, George Nicholas, artist, illustrator and creator of Scouse Mouse, as well as founder of charity, Art For Their Sake.

“It was great meeting him and we had a massive discussion about art. He gave me some really good advice and he was inspirational.”

Jennifer, who works in a Post Office to fund her work as well as volunteering at Belvedere School once a week too to help A Level and GCSE art students, has her sights set on opening her own art therapy centre eventually.

“Helping others helps me feel fulfilled,” she says. “So in 10 or 20 years’ time I’d like to set up my own centre to help people from different backgrounds access art and music therapy and anything creative.

Jennifer creating her masterpieces at Alder Hey
Jennifer creating her masterpieces at Alder Hey

“It might be for people who have a general interest in art or have issues with mental health … art is a wonderful therapy. I know the benefits it can offer and that’s what makes me want to share it.

“Art can be amazing in helping to quieten the mind and take all the chaos away, and it’s been used to help people who can’t communicate to communicate through it. It’s really beneficial.”

Until them, Jennifer is hoping to work on a Wirral art project that connects adults with addiction issues and mental health problems and, eventually, do a Masters degree in art therapy to help her achieve her goals.

Meanwhile she says: “I’ve had a lot of interest in doing murals for other hospitals, schools, restaurants and kids’ bedrooms since Alder Hey revealed what I’d been doing on their socials and it would be great to get into the community doing what I love.”

For more info on Alder Hey click here. For the latest news in Liverpool click here.



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