Butterfly Dreams Mural

Artist Statement

I am very proud of this project. It was the first painting that I completed after my back operation, and it was SmileDial's  very first venture. SmileDial has gone on to do some wonderful things for children that are sick or are a "different type of perfect". I am honoured to have helped them in the early days when it was just a guy with an idea.

The Concept 

In late 2010 an organisation called SmileDial put a call out to artists to create public art murals in the children's ward of Christchurch Public Hospital. This was a new organization that really needed help getting things moving so the general environment in the hospital waiting rooms could be revitalised for children and parents.

After talking over some ideas, we visited the waiting area in the children's ward to measure it up and plan a design for the mural. The concept that I came up with is of a young girl in a dream state that envisions butterflies appearing in her hands and she releases them all around her. The title of the artwork is called Butterfly Dreams. 

Butterfly mural, smiledile,

My main objective was to create a peaceful environment that would interest adults and children. I wanted it to be an area where there are different types of butterflies with many colours. Parents talk about the butterflies and share thoughts about them.

Whilst I focused on the butterflies capturing the attention of young children. I made sure that the painting of the young girl was somewhat technically advanced for adults that appreciate skill in painting. 

I worked on the butterfly mural over the weekends and got to appreciate the long hours and days that families spend in the wards. It became clear to me that the SmileDial project was a really good idea. Some of the hospital staff really loved the transformation as it brought a bit of colour into their working environment.

Butterfly mural before and after photos

So what is SmileDial?

SmileDial started as a project to brighten up children's wards in the Christchurch Public Hospital. Utilising artists and local companies to donate goods that will be used to put some smiles on the dials of sick children and their families. So far artists like myself have donated their time. Others have provided framed artwork. The companies involved have helped with paint and lighting. SmileDial now works on many projects, It is is a registered charity that supports with families who have a child with an ongoing medical condition and/or disability. SmileDial understand that having a child with special needs can be stressful on all family members and we put Smiles on the Dials of mums, dads and siblings (rather than focusing on the family member with special needs). SmileDial also provides a community where parents can ask for advice, share good times and bad and know that they are not alone and others understand the challenges they are facing.You can find out more about SmileDial on their FaceBook page here. smiledial