Healing children is also an art | Leuven children’s hospital

Project children's hospital UZ Leuven with M Leuven

Healing children is also an art

‘Healing children is also a bit like art’. These words were written by Art, a ten-year-old boy who suffers from a persistent rheumatic condition. This moving statement expresses a long-held awareness that medicine needs more than excellent medical and paramedical care.

Muse and Art for the Children’s Hospital

The fact that M and the Leuven University Hospitals are joining forces is not surprising. Art and creativity can play a major role in hospitals and the healing process of children. In 2013, this led to the establishment of the Art Fund for the children’s hospital within the KU Leuven University Foundation.

The idea was to develop a sustainable art project. The building of the new children’s hospital at the Leuven University Hospitals created a space where children can both relax and indulge and develop their creative talents. This 'Muse Space' is intended to give patients the chance to escape, even if only briefly, from their difficult everyday realities.

The activities range from theatre productions to visual arts workshops and encounters with artists. This is one of the areas in which M makes a big contribution. How can we make a substantial and durable link between the museum and the Muse Space? This is our primary question.

Contemporary artist Nel Aerts was kicking things off for us and officially launched the project and the space. The artist was exhibiting at M until 15 March with her exhibition ‘The Waddle Show; a counteract’. From 17 until 20 February, she was the artist-in-residence at the children’s hospital. The idea was that the Muse Space would be transformed into a kind of textiles studio. Each child was given a piece of fabric, a kind of blanket. They could then use different fabrics to apply shapes and images to their blanket. Along with a number of seamstresses, the patients thus created a personal blanket that they could take back to their room or take home.

And this is only the beginning. M will regularly organize activities in the Muse Space.

Would you like updates on our programme at the children’s hospital?