Giv­ing heart to arty pa­tients

Work goes on sale at John Lewis

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­

CRE­ATIVE day cen­tre pa­tients of a North­wood hospice are proudly dis­play­ing their art­work to the pub­lic for the first time.

Art­work pro­duced at ther­a­peu­tic cre­ative arts ses­sions at Michael So­bell Hospice (MSH) at Mount Ver­non Hos­pi­tal in Rick­mansworth Road, has gone on dis­play at the Wat­ford branch of John Lewis.

The cre­ative arts ses­sions take place three times a week at the hospice day cen­tre and give pa­tients the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press them­selves through im­agery and words in a safe and con­fi­den­tial en­vi­ron­ment.

Arthur McKit­t­er­ick is one of the artists on dis­play and a day cen­tre pa­tient. He had never painted be­fore and ex­plained why the ses­sions are so im­por­tant to him.

“I find the ses­sions very help­ful be­cause they give me op­por­tu­ni­ties for new ex­pe­ri­ences and I am given con­fi­dence by the staff to en­joy the process of cre­ative work,” he said.

Jil Baker, Cre­ative Arts Ther­apy Lead at MSH said: “Pa­tients don’t need to be good at art to ben­e­fit from the ses­sions; the fo­cus is on the process which en­ables peo­ple to put on to pa­per, feel­ings and thoughts that may be dif­fi­cult to ex­press in other ways.

“Some pa­tients also feel in­spired to learn or im­prove paint­ing and craft tech­niques and en­joy dis­cov­er­ing tal­ents they never knew they had. This ex­hi­bi­tion demon­strates a range of work pro­duced in the ses­sions and is an in­spi­ra­tion for other pa­tients.”

Some of the paint­ings that have gone on dis­play are for sale with some of the pro­ceeds be­ing do­nated to Michael So­bell Hospice.

David Brown, another of the artists fea­tured, said: “I de­cided to dis­play my art­work in this ex­hi­bi­tion be­cause I have a strong con­nec­tion to Michael So­bell Hospice who have been very sup­port­ive to me over the past 15 years in help­ing me come to terms with my HIV di­ag­no­sis.

“I wanted to give some­thing back to this amaz­ing char­ity to show my thanks.”

Some of the work by Mr Brown, who only dis­cov­ered he could paint a few years ago, in­cludes a range of wa­ter­colour and ink pieces. He will be donat­ing 20 per cent of any of his pic­tures that are sold, to the hospice.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was or­gan­ised with the help of Pearl Rob­son, the com­mu­nity lia­sion co­or­di­na­tor at John Lewis.

She said: “We have had a con­nec­tion with Michael So­bell Hospice for many years now and al­ways try and support their fan­tas­tic work in any way that we can.

“This ex­hi­bi­tion was a good way of dis­play­ing the art­work to the com­mu­nity in a very pub­lic place where they could en­joy it.”

The work is a com­bi­na­tion of group and in­di­vid­ual pieces cre­ated with dif­fer­ent medi­ums in­clud­ing silk paint­ing, wa­ter­colour, oil and rag paint­ing and a pa­per fold­ing tech­nique called Iris Fold­ing.

It will be on dis­play un­til mid Novem­ber on the sec­ond floor of the Wat­ford store.

Photo by Phil Stone

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