Students Create Sea-Themed Mural for Children’s Hospital

A talented group of A-level Art and Design students from Sussex Downs College in Lewes, have created a vibrant under-the-sea-themed mural at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton.

(L-R) Amy Farmer (the Alex) Li Lord Georgia Burgess Paige MacRae Iona Halfpenny (Sussex Downs) and Alice Pashley (the Alex)
(L-R) Amy Farmer (the Alex) Li Lord Georgia Burgess Paige MacRae Iona Halfpenny (Sussex Downs) and Alice Pashley (the Alex)

Commissioned by the hospital’s official fundraising arm, Rockinghorse children’s charity, the students spent almost three weeks creating the artwork which is located on level 9 of the Alex.
Under the supervision of tutor James DiBiase, Applied Art & Design Coordinator at Sussex Downs College, students Iona Halfpenny, 18, Paige MacRae, 19, Georgia Burgess, 18, and Li Lord, also 18, worked on the mural which will contribute towards their final A-level grades.

The artwork features a rich variety of sea-themed creatures including colourful fishes, an octopus and a mermaid, as well as a treasure chest of gold coins referencing Rockinghorse’s 50th anniversary. The colourful mural has been created to help young patients feel less stressful during their time on the Alex’s medical ward.

Liz McCluskey, Schools and Community Fundraiser at Rockinghorse, said: “We were delighted to team up with students from Sussex Downs once again to create another vibrant mural at the Alex. The rainforest mural situated in the Children’s Emergency Department has been so well received that we were asked to create another one on level 9’s medical ward.
“The students decided on an under-the-sea theme for the mural which has already proved a great talking point amongst staff and young patients. We are so pleased with the outcome and would like to thank James, Iona, Paige, Georgia and Li for all their hard work in bringing the mural to life.”

Tutor James DiBiase, added: “Following the success of last year’s rainforest mural, the students and I were thrilled and excited by the prospect of working on a new mural. Projects that are ‘live’ briefs are a great challenge as they really raise the demands and expectations of the learner. The four girls really did themselves justice; they have done a truly fantastic job creating a wonderful outcome.”

Rockinghorse is the official fundraising arm of the Alex, raising money for items necessary to every child’s treatment; from furnishings and toys for the wards through to cutting-edge diagnostic machines and life-saving medical equipment. The charity is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has launched the Sussex Giving for Sussex Children appeal.
To find out more about their work, visit them online at