Nurse and artist Natalia Jastrzebski has been privileged to help families make lasting memories with her project ‘Hands that Heal.’
She’s now reaching even more patients through CCH’s Artist in Residence program at Modbury Hospital.
Supported by our Curatorial team and Art Therapist Luisa Stocco, as well as the Palliative Care team at Modbury Hospital, Natalia meets with dying patients and their families to produce limited edition linoprints that are gifted to the family during a difficult time.
“As a nurse, I’ve had the privilege of looking after people at the end of their lives and supporting their families through the process,” Natalia said.
“This coincided with the beginning of COVID when visitation was restricted. As part of memory making, we were offering photographs of people’s hands as well as hands and fingerprints for families.
“I had previously undertaken a linoprinting course and made a print of hands which people responded positively to. It sparked the idea to combine the two concepts and offer commemorative prints of loved ones holding hands as part of memory making.
“The idea sat with me for a while without knowing how to bring it to fruition and I’m very grateful that CCH has supported me to make it a reality.”
Luisa usually initiates a gentle contact with patients and their families and explains what the project entails, then leaves it up to them to decide whether they would like to participate.
Natalia said while the circumstance is extremely hard for people, they are usually very receptive to participating.
“Families are going through such a difficult time; I think they like the concept for what it represents; love and connection with their loved one,” Natalia said.
“It’s a privilege to sit with people during such an important and private time and make an artwork which represents their connection.”
Natalia is thrilled to have her first residency through CCH and gain experience working with industry professionals and creating a cohesive body of work.
“I feel like I’m at the beginning of my learning journey, so this is a fantastic opportunity to meet and work with people. I’m extremely grateful to the CCH team for their support and belief in this project,” Natalia said.
A limited edition of prints is made of each artwork. The first is gifted to the participant, the second provided for permanent display in the Palliative Care Unit and the third was displayed as part of an exhibition in the CCH Gallery at Modbury Hospital in early 2023.