We Learn More from the Children than They Learn from Us! Our Collaboration with the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu

We have been collaborating with the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu for two years now, by way of the volunteers department, and we would like to think that the girls and boys with whom we have been involved during this time have benefited in some way from the activities we offer. People tend to respond to the experience of being in hospital in different ways, but it’s important to remember that children are children, and need to have fun, to laugh, play and have a space of their own.

One of the projects we have had the pleasure of taking part in is the big drawing competition that the hospital has been holding for 30 years now — quite an achievement! — to celebrate the feast of St John of God. Every year a mural reflecting the theme of the competition (a portrait, the city, the family, etc) is made and displayed in the main lobby.

The Museu Picasso has the privilege of commissioning this mural from a different artist or illustrator each year; last year the chosen artist was Miguel Gallardo, and this year it is Philip Stanton — two very different styles of illustration, but it is precisely this difference that we find interesting, in contributing an extra richness.

The theme Philip proposed for his mural was the circus, and he painted it in several sessions in situ, in the lobby itself, amid the to-and-fro of the young patients, their families and hospital staff, who would stop to see how it was progressing and offer their opinions.

The competition jury awards prizes for the best drawings. The winners’ names are announced on or around the Feast of St John of God (8 March) and everyone take part in the celebration. In addition to the prize ceremony there is also a special show by members of Barcelona Fire Brigade, who have the same patron saint as the hospital, entertaining the children with a humour-filled spectacle that has everyone laughing.

Drawing competition 2010

The competition attracted a great number of entries, and the results were amazing. The prizes were awarded on 14 March, and believe me, if these young artists have anything to do with it, the future of the art world is looking good! The quality of the drawings was really exceptional, and it was fascinating to see the wealth of colours, lines and perspectives and the assurance and freedom in the handling. It was moving to see how the children communicate and express themselves through drawing, to appreciate their ability to give their best and their view of life. Quite a lesson for us adults, once again.

?Marta Iglesias
Public Programmes

What do you think of drawing as a medium of communication for kids and adults?


The drawings of the 2011 contest on Flickr

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