May's art competition winner has a passion for art

Posted on Thursday 3rd May 2018
May Lancet cover competition winner Emma Barrancos and her winning entry

Emma with her winning artwork on the front cover of The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

Young people treated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital have enjoyed seeing their artwork on the front cover of prestigious medical journal, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Budding artist, Emma Barrancos from New Cross in London, is the latest competition winner to see their artwork on the front cover of a prestigious journal.

Eleven-year-old Emma created a colourful scene of a girl sitting on a hill looking at the sky using coloured pencils. The artwork was selected to feature on the front cover of May’s edition of The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Living with juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the muscles, skin and other organs, Emma has been cared for at Evelina London since September 2017.

Emma said: “For me art is a way of expressing everything I think and feel. It's like I give my pencil to my brain and start drawing without realising it because I love it so much. I was very excited to win the competition because drawing and painting are my passion.”

In 2017 Emma began to lose her strength and mobility so has used art to paint the things she would like to do.

Emma’s mum, Mayer, said: “The illness has been a shock for her and for us. Her life has changed so much – from being a girl who loved to skate, swim, dance and cycle to not being able to walk and using a wheelchair.”

The mother of two added: “Thanks to the doctors, nurses and therapists at Evelina London and Emma’s willpower, little by little she is getting better and is starting to do the things she loves again. She can now touch her feet which months ago was an impossible mission because she had such stiff muscles.”

Dr Nick Wilkinson, consultant rheumatologist at Evelina London, said: “When we first met Emma she couldn’t roll over in bed, let alone sit up or walk due to the inflammation of her muscles. Yet this wouldn’t stop Emma.

“With the biggest smile and extraordinary determination and courage over the past eight months she has overcome her disabilities. The condition isn’t fully controlled but she is back to school and now thanks to the drawing competition everyone can enjoy the pictures Emma brings to light up our clinic rooms.”

During the first six months of 2018, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health has featured the artwork of six young people on its front covers following a competition run in collaboration with Evelina London.

Find out more about the competition and read about January’s cover star, MaryAnn and March’s cover star, Faisal.