THIRTY YEARS OF HELPING: Blank walls now a colourful haven
A FAMILIAR Bowen face has helped to turn the blank walls at Murroona Gardens into colourful art that will not only look great, but help those struggling with dementia.
Local identity Jack Webster is one of Bowen’s hardest working volunteers and his efforts have once again helped the community, with three large murals now adorning the walls of the Hibiscus and Jacaranda wings of the Murroona Gardens Memory Support Units.
Mr Webster is a familiar face to many, raising funds for the Murroona Gardens aged care facility for more than 30 years.
On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays each week, Mr Webster sits at the Centrepoint Plaza selling tickets for his lucky number board.
The generous 91-year-old started seriously fundraising in 2005 with his focus always being to improve the quality of life for the residents who call Muroona Gardens home, and his latest project has done just that.
Painted by Brisbane artists James Ellis and Jarad Danby, who most recently painted a mural on the side of Sky View Units, the murals have provided stimulation for conversation and reminiscence for the residents, staff and families.
In Hibiscus Unit, a blank corridor has been transformed into a lush rainforest with a stunning, larger than life turtle also taking up residence in the corridor. A beautiful sweeping panorama of Horseshoe Bay has turned the Jacaranda Unit into a place of beauty, wrapping around three walls.
Megan Murray, director of nursing and manager of clinical services at Murroona Gardens said the artwork helped in Murroona Garden’s mission to create fun and interactive environments designed to ease the stressors of a dementia diagnosis.
“Dementia rates are increasing and across the country there is an increase in the construction and renovation of dementia specific environments,” she said.
“Wall murals are particularly useful in memory support environments as they bring the outside in and generally make the living environment less clinical and more aesthetically pleasing.
“They also serve the more functional purpose of ‘wayfinding’- creating recognisable markers that help people locate key areas.”
She said the mural had been met with great praise from residents, staff and families and thanked Mr Webster for his amazing contribution.
“Some residents enjoyed watching the artists at work, and others engaged with the themes by touching and identifying familiar scenes,” Ms Murray said.
“The lives of the residents, families and staff at Murroona Gardens Community have been brightened by the hard work and dedication of Jack Webster.”