The design team (myself and Hannah, the design assistant) put in place a healthy practice of giving each other time in the morning for our personal ecology such as yoga or meditation, allowing ourselves to start slightly later though refreshed and ready to work each morning. A healthy work and life balance – putting as much value on self-care as on work – supports the artist to work in gentle slowness and authenticity. This awareness was extended to the children, co-creators bound to the hospital, to release some emotions and tension through the artistic activities actively increasing wellbeing. Not expecting them to yield finished products but allowing them to focus on the process.
The set was made accessible to cater for a variety of users, disabled patients and audience members alike. For example, I had to familiarize myself with disability access wheelchair ramp specification to make a strong japanese style bridge fit for purpose with the right angle elevation as per official regulations. Also, as the audience members were led through Dance Base grounds – Scottish National Dance Centre – in an experiential walk leading to the performance space, we had to check the route for lift access, a wide enough path, etc.
As the workshops were to happen on hospital grounds, all items to be brought in needed to be approved following strict health & safety rules to assure a safe practice. Each item was disinfected ahead of each day to avoid cross-contamination, such as between the children’s oncology ward and general admission. It was the first time I facilitated workshops in such an environment. Nowadays, most hospitals incorporate the arts as a tool to improve wellbeing.