Art with heart

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Sharlena Bunnage (right) likes to make people happy – so she’s done this painting for her hospital colleagues.

Bunnage, a kitchenhand and cleaner at Frankton’s Lakes District Hospital for more than four years, has painted cartoon faces of 62 healthcare staff and given the work to the hospital.

She photographed each person then spent a fortnight – working at home after hours and on
weekends – to painstakingly copy and then paint the faces on to her canvas.

“After work I’d come home and if I was in a good mood I’d do three [faces]; if I was in a really good mood I’d do seven,” says the self-taught artist.

“I got most of the staff. I tried to fit more in but I couldn’t.”

The 56-year-old, who’s painted patients and friends in the past, says she did this project on the spur of the moment as a Christmas gift to the hospital from the community.

“I just wanted to do something for the hospital to make their faces smile. They do a lot for the
community.”

The hospital is no stranger to her kindness. Bunnage donated two of her son’s Oamaru stone carvings to her workplace last year.