Online art gallery: sharing artwork from hospice patients
Marie Curie has launched an online gallery showcasing some of the fantastic artwork created by patients during their day therapy art classes at the Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford. Stephen Davis is the day therapy art tutor at the Hospice.
Art classes may be a simple thing. But we know they make a big difference to many of our hospice patients. People generally find the creative process relaxing, and it takes away their worries for a while. Most of the people who create these works have never painted before. The aim is to allow them to realise their ambition. They can turn out a piece of work they are proud of in a relaxed environment without any pressure to “perform” as such.
Most of them report a real sense of personal accomplishment during the sessions. Many have their work framed and mounted, and this is often a real source of comfort to their families, and leaves a kind of legacy. One of the main reasons I am so keen on the online gallery is that it provides an outlet for the artwork the patients have produced. It can be a real boost to their morale when they see their work on display, and gives them a strong feeling of achievement during what can be difficult times. We run three two-hour sessions at the hospice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, with around five patients at each session.
My method with most beginners is a stage-by-stage demonstration , whereby I show them the technique and then they have a try themselves .This has proved very successful over the years , as it takes away a great deal of the uncertainty which most people feel when confronted with a new learning experience. I work around the group individually, to give each painter encouragement and advice. The other thing which is of great importance to the people within the groups is to see their work exhibited at the annual art show at the Industrial Museum, and also published in our yearly calendar. So please take a moment to have a look at some of the art our patients have created.