‘Great Expectations’ - Intergenerational, cross community mural celebrates maternity wing at Royal Victoria Hospital

‘Great Expectations’ - Intergenerational, cross community mural celebrates maternity wing at Royal Victoria Hospital image

‘Great Expectations’, a new intergenerational, cross community mural to cover the hoardings around the construction site of the new maternity hospital at the Royal Victoria Hospital has been unveiled.

The artwork, which celebrates the history of the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, was commissioned by GRAHAM-Bam Healthcare Partnership, with the support of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. It was created through the collaborative effort of over 100 individuals from 15 different public, private, educational and community organisations.

Pupils from St Clare’s Primary School and Malvern Primary School worked closely with seniors from Falls 50+ Group and Shankill Senior Forum, with input from an advisory forum which included the New Maternity Project Team, Midwifery Representatives and the Belfast Trust’s Snowdrop Group, a support group for bereaved parents.

Linking generations

Two local cross-community artists, Grainne Kielty and Sandra Robinson facilitated the group’s creative vision and mentored the participants during a series of art sessions as they sketched and painted the striking installation. The linking of the generations was facilitated by Linking Generations Northern Ireland.

Discussing the ‘Great Expectations’ project Attracta Mathews, Community Benefits Advisor from GRAHAM-Bam Healthcare Partnership, said:

“We are thrilled to have such a vibrant hoarding that celebrates the long history of service provided by the hospital. We are really grateful to all those who got involved for embracing the opportunity and sharing their creative talent. They have created visuals which are bright, colourful and which tell a story that the local community relates to. The mural will certainly brighten up the space while the construction process is ongoing.”

Explaining the participants’ connection with the hospital Carmel Maguire, Project Manager, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, said:

“The ‘Great Expectations’ intergenerational, cross community mural celebrates the long history of service provided by the Maternity Hospital which delivers over 6000 babies each year. The participants involved all have a connection to the hospital, some were born there, others gave birth, a number work or have worked in the hospital, others have benefited from its care and a lot of the participants live locally and have experienced the physical changes over the years.

“The artwork welcomes the new state-of-the art facilities for women and their babies and it reflects the critical role that the hospital plays in community life. Thank-you to everyone who invested time and effort into making this artwork.”

Congratulating the pupils, residents, advisory forum and artists, Ken Irvine, Regional Development Officer for Linking Generations from Linking Generations, Northern Ireland said

“This was a fantastic project to be involved in. From the outset, there was a real buzz of excitement and it was clear that everyone wanted to create something meaningful that reflected the vital role that the hospital plays for the entire community. The project had a relatively tight timeframe, but everyone was committed to getting an end product that showed their appreciation. They have done a fantastic job with the assistance of the two artists. Well done!”

About GRAHAM-BAM Healthcare Partnership

GRAHAM-BAM Healthcare Partnership (GBHP) is a joint venture between GRAHAM and BAM Contractors Ltd which delivers strategic healthcare projects on the island of Ireland.

GBHP recently completed the construction of the new £33m Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre at Belfast City Hospital on behalf of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and is currently constructing the £95m Acute Services Block at the Ulster Hospital for the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

In 2017, GBHP was honoured as the overall winner at the Construction Excellence Awards for the Ulster Hospital’s Inpatient Ward Block which has set the standard for healthcare construction.