The program uses paints, paper and pencils alongside state-of-the-art surgical equipment and internationally-trained specialists to provide innovative patient support.
Arterie team members, otherwise known as “Arterists”, are formally-qualified artists, designers, architects and educators who deliver the multi-pronged programs in bright orange aprons to all stakeholders - patients, carers, family, volunteers and staff including clinical, admin and executive.
Chief clinical officer Michael Boyer said, “Having an art program is one more aspect of looking after the whole patient. There is more to good cancer care than performing the right operation or prescribing the best medicine. Arterie is something that really helps us look after our patients”.
Arterie Co Founder/Director Amanda Solomon said: “The art is a conduit for conversation and communication. Our aim is to normalise the Lifehouse experience and environment, to make it look and feel less clinical using art practice, art education and art installations. It’s about engaging and focusing on non-medical issues, and having some fun in an otherwise stressful situation.“
Arterie Co Founder/Director Deborah Burdett said: “We get patients and visitors chatting with each other. We see large, burly men, hunched over, intent on colouring in rainbow hues to a butterfly’s wings. Patients sit, stitch and chat with each other. The repetitive nature of some art and craft making activities can be a great stress reliever and people can relax and not think about their illness for once.”
Patient Belinda Ellis is a mother, a teacher and wife healing from stage three breast cancer. She said, “I think that being kept busy was paramount in my maintaining a positive outlook during my treatment. The Day Therapy waiting room can be a sombre place and having happy, orange people pushing these carts filled with art pack surprises made the waiting easier.
“It’s not just medical treatment of the body that makes us get better.”