Finalists to the WCPT Art and Health competition

The WCPT is pleased to announce the finalists of its Art & Health competition, launched in October last year. The selected finalists were being shown at an exhibition for the duration of WCPT’s Congress, World Physical Therapy 2011, in Amsterdam, 20-23 June.  Outstanding pieces of artwork were sought representing the role of physical therapy/physiotherapy within the congress theme of Movement for Health, including:

  • human movement in health and disease
  • people with functional limitations in action
  • physical therapy practice across the lifespan

An overall winner of the competition was chosen as well as finalists and runners-up from each of the four categories (photography, painting, drawing and sculpture). The judging panel was extremely impressed with the quality of the entries and the many creative interpretations of the movement for health theme.

Overall winner & winner of sculpture category

Empathy by Lau Kwok Hung (Italy)

Hung’s sculpture, Empathy, was his inspired by his own voluntary service of lending mobility to an aged father-figure: “Empathising with a visually and audibly impaired nonagenarian has helped me fine-tune in the art of compassion. His silhouette is so empowering that it has become for me an emblem of fatherhood, firmness and faithfulness.”

Lau Kwok-Hung is a 57-year old Chinese artist currently living in Italy.

Winner (photography category)

Sit-stand by David Bevan (UK)

David is a freelance photographer who also works as a musculoskeletal physical therapist. Sit-stand is from a collection titled Posture and Function: ten striking images capturing human posture and dynamic function.

No matter how objective physical therapists attempt to make the assessment of human function, its artistic aesthetic should never be overlooked. Sit-stand is one of ten images which aim to explore the controversial divide between the science and artistry underpinning physical therapy. Inspired by the iconic work of 19th century photographer, Eadward Muybridge, the images create an aesthetic commonly seen in fine art yet an objective assessment of human posture & function.

The complete project may be viewed at

Runner-up (photography category)

Shadows in motion by Ansel LaPier (USA)

This photograph of children shooting basketballs was taken at “Hoopfest”, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament held annually in Spokane, Washington, USA.

This image was photographed by seven-year old Ansel Kinney LaPier two years ago when he started taking photographs at the age of five. This budding shutter-bug was greatly influenced and mentored by his 12-year older brother, Jonas. The brothers have a small company, Through The Eyes of a Child Photography, that sells photography products to raise funds for the local Children’s Hospital. The photographed was submitted by his mother, a physical therapist, Tanya LaPier.

Runner-up (photography category)

A boy named summer morning by Annette Wong (Hong Kong)

He stood on his only leg fracture non-united Stretching up his arm, broken and nerve affected Smile, my child Earthquake was here yet not to be blamed

In this Summer Morning as you are named

Annette Wong is a physical therapist based in Hong Kong. While volunteering at the Red Cross Deyang Amputee and Rehabilitation Centre, she met this 10-year old boy, a victim of the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. Despite his serious injuries, he was radiant with smiles. His surname means summer and his first name means morning.

Winner (painting category)

Life’s a balance by Jane Simmonds (UK)

Under the general theme of movement in health and disease; this image refers to the “balance” we need to strike in our lives in relation to physical activity and health. This can be a challenge and a difficult balance to find. This contemporary pixellated digital painting refers back to pointillist movement and the work of George Seurat, the French post-impressionist painter.

Jane Simmonds is a chartered physical therapist and principal lecturer in the UK, where she leads the MSc in Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation. Jane studied art and design alongside her professional work as a physical therapist. She works in a range of mediums including, painting, print making, photography and video installation. Jane has exhibited her work in a range of healthcare settings and galleries in the UK.

Runner-up (painting category)

The Claw by Jo Kilalee (Ireland)

The Claw was created as part of “ARThritis”, an art group for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The purpose of the project was to give patients the chance to try art, explore their creativity and to express their feelings about their condition through a creative medium. The works of masters such as Renoir, Dufy and Klee, who also suffered from arthritis, were studied. X-rays of the patients’ arthritic joints were used as inspiration for the final designs and this work started from an x-ray of Jo’s hand.

Jo Killalee created this large scale painting as a patient of the

Rheumatology Department at The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, in Dublin, Ireland. Jo first started painting when she was a patient at the hospital.

For more information about this and other arts projects at the hospital, please visit the website of the National Centre for Arts and Health

Runner-up (painting category)

Bevinget Ild-Hara 2010, (Fire-Hara with wings) by Tanja Johnsen (Denmark) Acrylic on canvas, 100 cm x 120 cm

Materialisation of pain and anxiety of the unconscious body

Since that night when I dealt with the Beast, bargained for my life, I ́ve had to hide my soul, my eyes, my face is not the same. My master is not the Sun, I am not nourished by this soil. (Christian Rzepa, 2011)

Tanja Johnsen was born 1971 in Aarhus, Denmark. Tanja works in Copenhagen as an artist and psychiatric physical therapist. She has been painting since 1990 and has had several exhibitions in Denmark.

Runner-up (painting category)

Jump high by Yasemin Skrezka (Germany and Canada) Oil painting, 80cm x 100 cm

The theme Jump high portrays the emotion of glee in posture and movement. The intention of the artwork is to elicit this feeling within the viewer and the positive feelings associated with happiness and jumping strength.

Yasemin Skrezka is an artist and physical therapist working with children and adolescents in psychiatry. Yasemin’s art reflects the many experiences, images and emotions that she observes and “picks up” in movement therapy processes. Her art is dedicated to human nature.

Yasemin trained in Canada as a physical therapist and started painting seven years ago. Her work has been exhibited at clinics and rehabilitation centres in Germany and Canada. More of Yasemin’s work may be viewed at

Winner (drawing category)

Resting and getting up. Being ill and getting well. by Hanne Agerholm (Denmark)

The symbol of the drawing is ”Relaxing and gaining the strength and energy to get up, and to open up for creativity, life energy and joy”.

Hanne Agerholm is a physical therapist and since 2003 has been a specialist in paediatric physical therapy.

Hanne works with children and enjoys drawing. She finds this combination of skills and to be fun can be of great help to the parents in supporting the development of their child.

Runner-up (drawing category)

What lies beneath by Kirsty Kay Russell (United Kingdom)

What Lies Beneath – what the eye cannot see – a perfectly normal leg with normal skin, normal muscles and normal bones is actually a seething, writhing mass of burning hot poisonous serpents, biting, poisoning, suffocating.

Kirsty, a 36 year old mother of two, was diagnosed with chronic pain three years ago following 41 operations on her back in 12 months. Never formally trained, Kirsty picked up some pencils and paper and started to draw her pain in April 2010 following a recommendation by her physical therapist, and she has not stopped since. Kirsty hopes that her pain drawings may help others to understand what it is like to live in horrific pain that never goes away.

Runner-up (drawing category)

Gait training by Dineshrajan S/O Gokanadason (Malaysia)

Dineshrajan S/O Gokanadason is a student of physical therapy at Masterskill College of Nursing & Health Science in Ipoh. Perak, Malaysia.

Runner-up (sculpture category)

Enjoy your healthy life by Helen Stuart (Netherlands)

The materials used in this sculpture are glass by fusing and slumping, based on a stone of pietra vulvica italiana.

Enjoy your healthy life expresses how you use your body to show your expressions, emotions and feelings to everyone, alone and in company. Sport, dance and acrobatics will help you to do so, represented by the figures within the sculpture.

The sculpture is encircled by a Dutch glass tulip to symbolise the Netherlands as a leading country in the development of movement and physical therapy.

Helen Stuart has been a psychosomatic phsical therapist for nearly 50 years and is still working. As an amateur Helen paints and makes creations of glass, stone and ceramics.

Runner-up (sculpture category)

Escalier by Alain Prat (France)

This sculpture was submitted by a physical therapist friend of the artist, Christine Arros. It reminds her of moments shared with patients, when the body stops and pain is present: a healing hand that rests, guides, and encourages to get back on one’s feet.

Self-educated, Alain has worked on and off on creations that were often functional. He carves in wood and stone, but it is through iron and steel that he expresses himself the best.

As well as an artist, Alain also works as an educational sports teacher. Both he and Christine live and work in France.

More of Alain’s work may be viewed at