Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"What makes me happy?"

Art can be a very personal thing. I myself like alsorts of different styles of painting , sculpture and performance art but particularly if there’s some fun involved – be that Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” which can be seen at the National Gallery in London – one could spend a lifetime working out what all the symbols mean – or Kristof’s wrapping of the Reichstag in a large white blanket! So my test is does it make me smile or think?

Being asked to judge the World Kidney Day childrens’ art competition came as a bit of a shock – I’m not widely known as an art critic . But it was one of those pleasant tasks that make the “it’s not just about the kidney” point fabulously well. Children were asked to draw, paint or colour-in on the theme of “What makes Me Happy?“ and the 3 categories were under 7s, under 12s and under 18s.
There were stunning drawings and colourings from all 3 age groups . Happy faces, sunshine, flowers – as one might see in any primary school art class up and down the land. Some of the boys had drawn tanks, cars – a Hummer I think, and play station consoles for the title “what makes me happy”. Kidneys were prominent and came in all shapes and sizes from the children who had received the gift of life.
They all made me smile so judging on my criteria was extremely difficult, the winners speak for themselves. Children and young people from the UK's paediatric renal units competed an the winners were (under 7s) Evelina Children's Hospital, (under 12s), Birmingham Children's Hospital and (under 18s), Yorkhill Children's Hospital.

One of the colourings by a 9 year old girl on dialysis made a big impression on me – “me having a a drink on dialysis”.

Poignant and worth more than a thousand words. I would just like to say well done children and thank you to the sponsors Gambro.