A Little Piece of Me 2021
A Little Piece of Me is a collaborative art project between artist Andrew Christie, the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation Art Program, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Palliative Care teams and – for the first time - John Hunter Children’s Hospital.
The Paediatric Palliative Care teams provide compassionate and specialised care to children and adolescents who have life limiting illnesses. Part of this care can include legacy and memory making projects which are an important aspect to many patients and their families who receive such a diagnosis.
Featuring over 70 participating families who are supported by Paediatric Palliative Care and are each at various stages of their journey, A Little Piece of Me celebrates the many influences that shape the identities of developing children and adolescents.
The project enables families to create a photographic pixel portrait - a technique that uses small images to create a singular large image. With each team’s guidance, families gathered photos of people, places and things that have helped shape their child’s life.
Once collected, the photos were arranged by Andrew Christie to create a portrait of their child.
The process provides families with an opportunity to reflect on their child’s life, and what is important to them. The final artwork creatively captures the wonderful lives of the children and adolescents outside of their illness and offers the families a tangible memory they can keep, but most importantly, tells their unique story.
When displayed together, the portraits create a space that delves into the ways “self” can be explored and expressed. It celebrates the importance of understanding the many facets of identities in developing children and adolescents, while also highlighting how patients and their loved ones create an atmosphere of resilience, adaptability, and creativity during often-trailing times of uncertainty.
This exhibition is being held concurrently with displays at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage Manly and John Hunter Children’s Hospital.
This project is an initiative of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and has been supported by the NSW Government’s $100 million enhancement to palliative care (2017-18 to 2020-21), The Nicholas Trust and Photoking Randwick.
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
“To be able to grow this project and guide new families through the process has been a true honour. The openness of all the families, and the glimpse of their lives we experienced through photography, remind us how supported, joyous and unique these lives are.”
Kirsty-Leah Goymour (Child Life Therapist), Timothy Talty (Art Program Manager)
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
“It has been an honour and privilege to work with families on the “A Little Piece of Me” project. We thank our Westmead families for taking the time out from such busy lives to lovingly select photos to send in. The photos for the portraits shine with the preciousness of every child. The photos that make up the portraits clearly demonstrate the warmth, love and care that resides within the hearts and homes of these families. Truly beautiful.”
Dr Martha Mherekumombe (Staff Specialist), Heather Nicholas (Senior Administration Officer), Sarah Potter (Volunteer Co-ordinator), Elizabeth Shepherd (Palliative Care Program Manager Co-Lead) and Vanessa Starr (Child Life Therapist)
“It has been an honour to be part of this wonderful project. Walking along side our Bear Cottage families through this process and learning about their child’s journey has allowed us to gain deeper insight into their lives and each individual’s journey. The overarching display of love, family and friendships which has enriched each one of these children’s lives is almost palpable in these portraits and is now beautifully represented by these moments captured in time.”
Naomi Cash (Clinical Nurse Specialist), Sue Cowan (Clinical Nurse Specialist)
John Hunter Hospital
“The Paediatric Palliative Care Team are very excited to be involved in this project for the first time. It has been an absolute privilege to work with our families to create such memorable images of the children and for them to show us their individuality through the photographs. Thank you.”
Alexandra Stevens (Clinical Nurse Consultant), Madelon Scully (Occupational Therapist)