Painter’s visit to hos­pi­tal is an in­spi­ra­tion

Woman wins award for artis­tic ef­fort

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A WOMAN who cap­tured her hus­band’s stay at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal on can­vas has won an award for her artis­tic ef­forts.

Rachel Ward, 51, won the Judge’s Choice Award for her paint­ing en­ti­tled ‘The Visit’, which de­picted her hus­band An­drew’s stay in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing his heart trans­plant.

It is be­ing dis­played at the hos­pi­tal’s can­teen, The Hun­gry Hare, un­til Satur­day, Jan­uary 30.

Mrs Ward, who has been paint­ing for a hobby for two years, said: “It’s a pic­ture of An­drew and my son in the first room he was in when he was ad­mit­ted.

“I was try­ing to paint a pic­ture to re­flect that we were still the same peo­ple even though our cir­cum­stances were chang­ing quite dra­mat­i­cally.

“It was the first time I’d taken the kids to visit him since he’d been ad­mit­ted so it was just a nice, happy, fam­ily visit. We were watch­ing the ten­nis on the tele­vi­sion and just be­ing our­selves. I was try­ing to re­flect that re­ally.”

She added she had found so­lace in paint­ing and used it to deal with the stress of her hus­band be­ing ill.

She said: “My hus­band has been liv­ing in Hare­field since July and he had his heart trans­plant in Novem­ber. He’s still in in­ten­sive care, he’s quite poorly.”

The Royal Bromp­ton & Hare­field NHS Foun­da­tion Trust has run an art pro­gramme for 14 years and se­lected four win­ners from its cur­rent crop of sub­mis­sions in De­cem­ber.

Mrs Ward en­tered ‘just for fun’ af­ter see­ing a flyer on the wall dur­ing one of her vis­its to her hus­band, who is a de­vel­op­men­tal bi­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Bath.

She said: “I had the paint­ing in my hus­band’s room for a while for him to en­joy and I thought I’d try putting it into the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause it was rel­e­vant to the hos­pi­tal.

“I was re­ally pleased when I found out I’d won the award. Be­cause my hus­band was so poorly the news got a bit lost, but think­ing about it now I’m re­ally pleased.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever en­tered a paint­ing into a com­pe­ti­tion or an ex­hi­bi­tion.”

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