Perch eats cancer. A symbolic mural has decorated the cancer hospital in Gdynia!

A perch eats cancer – such symbolic images will soon be on display on the wall of the Gdynia Maritime Hospital, where doctors are fighting serious diseases. Crustaceans – a symbol of the disease being fought in oncology at the PCK Maritime Hospital, and Baltic perch – a symbol of the measures being taken in this fight. A hopeful mural with marine motifs will be created in the spring on one of the walls of the hospital in Redlow. The competition to design the mural was won by Aniela Kaleta.

Last November, Pomeranian Hospitals announced a competition for the design of a mural to be created in the spring of this year on one of the walls of the Gdynia Oncology Centre at the PCK Maritime Hospital in Gdynia Redłowo. The aim – to break taboos and stereotypes and encourage regular oncological examinations. We have just met the winner of the competition – Aniela Kaleta, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, and currently a student of Philosophy at the University of Gdańsk.

From among the submitted works, the jury selected the one which, in the opinion of its members, best fits the theme and the hospital environment.

– We are delighted that a mural will soon be created at the Gdynia Maritime Hospital, which in its message will give hope to the sick and encourage everyone to have regular check-ups. We want it to catch the eye and attract attention, creating genuine curiosity in the minds of its recipients, while at the same time beautifying the hospital grounds,” says Jolanta Sobierańska-Grenda, president of the Pomeranian Hospitals, who presented the winner with a cheque for PLN 5,000.

Maintained in orange and green colours, the design takes up the entire space of the building’s rectangular wall and depicts a school of perch hunting for crustaceans. The largest perch holds a crayfish in its mouth, while four rows of fish circle around it, swimming towards the cluster of crayfish. The arrangement of fish resembles spreading circles on the water, the area of the fish widening, pushing the crustaceans into a smaller and smaller area, eventually knocking them all out. The bush growing in front of the wall has been incorporated into the design of the mural. It symbolises the sea scrub in which the crayfish hide. Depending on the amount of foliage, the crustaceans will be more or less visible to the observer.

– I wanted my design to fill those going to the cancer ward with hope. Taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word ‘cancer’, I placed the cancer in the form of a crustacean. I juxtaposed it with a much larger fish symbolising the measures taken to fight the disease. I wanted my project to have a maritime theme because of its location on the wall of one of the buildings of the Marine Hospital in Gdynia. That is why the fish featured in the mural are perches, a species found in the Baltic Sea that feeds on crustaceans, among other things. Despite the hunting scene, the mural exudes tranquillity. Warm colours are balanced by cool ones. The rhythm obtained by the repetitive shape of the fish dominates the anomalies in the circles caused by the presence of the crayfish. The recipient of the mural can be sure of the victory of the perch,” concludes Aniela Kaleta.

As the artist explains, the simplicity of the design and the use of the circle shape refer to modernist architecture, common in Gdynia, but the fish motifs are also inspired by Japanese art (after all, the author is a graduate of the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology), in which the carp is a frequent motif – a symbol of, among other things, strength, courage and perseverance in pursuing one’s goal.

The winner, as stipulated in the competition rules, was awarded a cheque for PLN 5 000 and the opportunity to produce her work. This is not the first artistic activity at the Maritime Hospital. In June last year, the Oncological Surgery Clinic was opened, where the central place is occupied by an art installation made of glass by Edyta Barańska, and the walls of the rooms are decorated with graphics by artists associated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.

source: UM Gdynia /
visualisation, photo: Pomeranian Hospitals /

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Graphics | Gdynia | Murals | Health | whiteMAD on Instagram

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