Art as therapy

16 May 2022

De revalidanten van twee hospitalisatieafdelingen op campus Pellenberg ontpoppen zich dit voorjaar tot kunstenaars. Samen met Atelier Sarah Versteele creëren ze tijdens wekelijkse workshops twee unieke en persoonlijke werken die uiteindelijk te zien zullen zijn op de campus zelf. “Voor veel revalidanten is het een hele nieuwe en positieve ervaring om zelf iets creatiefs te maken en vast te stellen dat dit lukt, ondanks hun beperking.”

Kunst als therapie

Sinds mid-March, Tuesday is 'art day' for the rehabilitation patients of ward E 232 and E 233. Every week, they collaborate on 2 large art creations that tell their story and that will be put on display for all patients, employees and visitors. The artists are partly adults with an acquired brain injury or celebral palsy, partly adults in rehabilitation for a spine injury, amputation of a limb, polytrauma, burns or a disorder of the peripheral nerve system.

New experience

Every rehabilitation patient works according his own physical and creative possibilities: in a modified manner, with or without aids. This makes this type of art therapy accessible for everyone. Psychologist Carine: “For many it is a whole new experience to make something creatively and to find that they can do it, despite their possible limitations in e.g. hand function. This gives them a positive and satisfied feeling.”

When I paint a whole new me emerges.
rehab patient
Kunst als therapie

What's more, the workshop provide a moment of relaxation and rest in the rehabilitation programme. “While painting, they stop worrying for a moment about the past or the future. We also see that people really look forward to it.”

Creative therapy

The first phase of the project is all about a unique and large triptych entitled ‘Rehabilitation’, in which patients paint their impressions, expressions and feelings while rehabilitating. Then, a cabinet will be created: a colourful artistic patchwork of various small and bigger canvases themed 'the wall of stories' Every canvas will tell an indiviidual story of one of the rehabilitation patients through images or text.

To me, the canvases are like a film reel or life line that release a lot of emotions.
a rehabilitation patient
Kunst als therapie_3

“The rehabilitation patients are able to express themselves and tell their story, which brings them together even more”, says artist Sarah Versteele, who leads the workshops. “It's a type of creative therapy, because art reduces stress and creates a positive mindset. We talk and laugh a lot, the rehabilitation patients empty their head and get in touch with their intuition making them reflect less. They need this. And it makes them very proud, and rightly so.”

Do you want to support 'Art in the tower'?

The project 'Art in the tower' can be realised in part thanks to the Fonds Emilie Leus, that has made a budget available for this. For continuing the project, the working group is looking for additional financial support. If you are interested to contribute to 'Art in the tower', please get in touch with ilse.baert@uzleuven.be or tel. 016 33 83 52.

Last edit: 29 September 2022