Date of Submission



This thesis examined the relationship between children's visual art and hospital contexts. It specifically focused on children's art in the Tile Project within the Mater Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. This ethnographic study consisted of interviews with the creators of the Tile Project as well as interviews and a survey with parents, staff, and children within the Mater Children's Hospital. The interviews were informed by a review of literature in the areas of art in health settings. The study made observations of the community interacting with the tiles and collected images of the tiles used in the hospital and employed the framework of Bourdieu's (1993) fields of cultural production and Abbs's (1987) aesthetic field and dimensions, as well as the aesthetic dimensions of Beardsley (1982), Eisner (1985), and Csikszentmihalyi (1990). The study investigated the aesthetic characteristics of the tiles and their health outcomes in relation to the hospital community. This study is significant because the Mater Children's Hospital Tile Project was a project that reflected art in healthcare settings involving Community Arts, art in design, and art in public buildings. The research identified the unique nature of the Tile Project which saw the hospital as a children's space with artworks for children by children. The study reflected on the value of the tiles in having a healing and distracting quality for parents and children alike and that engagement with the tiles through touch, imagination, and playful games improved the atmosphere of the hospital.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


205 pages


Faculty of Arts

Included in

Art Therapy Commons