Australian artist draws up portraits of hospital patients

Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014,21:23 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Forgetting their ailments for a brief while, the patients at the government hospital here were all smiles as they tried to look their best for the Australian artist Daniel Connell, who was drawing up their portraits.
Connell has been a familiar figure at the hospital since the Kochi Biennale foundation launched the Arts and Medicine programme 11 months ago at the General hospital here.
The artist, who participated in the 45th edition of the programme, today surprised the patients by inquiring about their whereabouts in their mother tongue Malayalam.    Currently pursuing PhD at School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, Connell has travelled extensively across India exploring the potential of portraiture to generate human connectedness across cultures.
Portraiture is a unique art form that helps one to be sensitive and reflective about their own personality. By looking at their own portraits, the patients will, for a while, think about themselves and the realities of life, the Melbourne-based artist said.
Connell also opined that the project needs to be expanded to more hospitals, adding that hospitals should not be a place of despair, but a place of hope and happiness.    Later, he presented the portraits to the patients as a New Year gift.    The event was organised as part of the ongoing Kochi Biennale foundation’s programme.