When local artist Penny Smith went with her husband to Komga Hospital for their Covid-19 jab, she was immediately struck by what she saw.
“I noticed what a nice hospital it was, how clean and how smartly run it was,” she said.
“I said to them ‘You’ve got no paintings on your walls’, and they said they couldn’t afford it.”
This gave Smith an idea, and when her husband returned for his follow-up vaccination on August 2, she brought a surprise with her – six paintings which she had done herself, for the hospital to hang up in their offices and reception area.
“I’ve had lots of blessings in my life and I like to bless other people when I can,” she said.
Smith has been an artist all her life, and joked that most people know her simply as Penny the Artist.
She and her husband originally lived in Mozambique for ten years, where her husband ran a diving business.
While in Mozambique, a lack of art supplies made Smith get creative with her materials, which led to a rather interesting result.
“That’s when I started painting on bark like you see in those paintings [at Komga Hospital]. It’s the epidermis of the coconut palm tree,” said Smith.
“It’s very different, it’s very unique.”
Komga Hospital acting nursing service manager Martha Makwadini thanked Smith for her kind donation and said they were happy with their new artwork, which was sure to brighten up the space for staff and patients alike.