The art of resilience

Registered nurse Annette Janssens, pays tribute to her colleagues at St. Joseph’s Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care with a piece of artwork, which portrays both the struggles and the resilience of nurses throughout the pandemic.    

Works of art are often visual stories unfolding before our eyes. A piece of artwork meticulously created by Annette Janssens, registered nurse (RN) at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (Mount Hope), hangs proudly on a wall at the facility. The piece is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and sacrifices demonstrated by Mount Hope staff during the difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic.    

Depicted is a nurse sitting solemnly on the edge of a hospital bed. Her head is lowered into her hands out of despair and exhaustion.  

A nurse holding a painting of a nurse with an angel touching her shoulder.

“I started creating the artwork as a way to stay calm and resilient during the onset of the pandemic,” says Annette, who has worked as an RN for the past 20 years. “I found it therapeutic and it helped me process what was happening during that stressful time – the good and the bad.”

Crafted using a new technique called diamond painting, a mix between paint-by-numbers and cross-stitch, Annette spent three months tediously applying thousands of tiny beads onto an adhesive canvas to create the shimmery mosaic-like effect. 

At the onset of the pandemic, nurses and all front-line health care workers were hailed as heroes as they navigated the uncertainties brought on by the virus. While vaccines now provide a light at the end of the tunnel, many are still dealing the emotional toll caused during the darkest days of the crisis.

“A lot of nurses- male and female, have felt that same sense of exhaustion during this pandemic,” says Annette referring to the nurse in the art piece. “That feeling of being overwhelmed, tired and knowing just how difficult it has been for so many co-workers, residents and families throughout this last year.”

“The good” Annette mentions relates to her colleagues, the residents at Mount Hope and all nurses across the globe who pulled together despite the many challenges, sacrifices and devastation brought on by the virus. The artwork also portrays an angel who appears behind the nurse, gently resting her hands on her shoulder to signify that she is not alone. 

“In nursing, I like to think that we never work alone. It’s teamwork. The angel behind the women symbolizes that we have to care and look out for each other, too,” says Annette.

“This tribute and dedication to the staff at Mount Hope will be appreciated by all staff across St. Joseph’s,” says Morgan Hoffarth, director of care at Mount Hope. “It will act as a reminder of what so some many health care workers have felt during this unprecedented time, and will no doubt remind all nurses that we are truly strong together.” 

The artwork is currently in a temporary location at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. Plans for permanent spot will be unveiled in the fall. 

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