An Edmonton artist is compiling the words of health-care workers to create a mural that reflects their experiences.
Health-care workers in the Edmonton area submitted one word to a Friends of University Hospitals project to sum up the pandemic -— good or bad.
Edmonton artist AJA Louden is transforming those words into a mural.
“We wanted to know how they are feeling and give them an opportunity to express themselves and be seen in this mural,” Louden said.
Tyler Sherard, executive director of the Friends of University Hospitals, said the group wanted to create a mural for staff to hang in the McMullen Gallery, which has been transformed into a space for them to relax.
“When we contacted AJA he said, ‘Why don’t we do a survey where we get people to chime in about the mural?'” Sherard said.
They received nearly 150 responses from those in the field and Louden said he was impressed with how candid they were.
“People really took the time to sit down and dig deep and deal with some of these uncomfortable feelings and encouraging feelings and give us a really honest reflection of the pandemic experience.”
Many submissions included feelings of isolation, exhaustion and not feeling connected to the world around them. Others focused on teamwork, the idea of coming together and resilience.
“People were really willing to be honest. That can be a challenge…it takes some trust,” Louden explained.
Sherard, the McMullen Gallery director, said he believes staff will see the mural as a chance to reflect.
“But it’s also a commemoration and it’s in honour of the work they’ve done,” Sherard said. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to express themselves and be seen in this mural.”
“I think people will see health-care workers are feeling the multitude of feelings they are feeling throughout the pandemic. I think it’ll show all of these (words) are a part of that experience.”
Louden expects the mural to be installed on Sunday.
The mural will hang in the McMullen Gallery until it finds its final home.
Global Edmonton’s “Health-Care Heroes” series highlights people in Edmonton doing amazing things during the COVID-19 pandemic.