Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts

Posted on 14 November 2016 by Monika Reichelt

Painting, drawing, sewing, designing – doesn’t it sound fun? Everybody enjoys being a little creative from time to time and our patients are no exception! From Monday to Wednesday our patients have the opportunity to attend arts and crafts classes which are run by two talented volunteer artists. The classes introduce versatile, creative tasks ranging from group paintings on multi-canvas pieces to designing and producing beautiful bags or even working on Christmas cards and decorations. The ideas brought to the table are endless and the patients themselves are sometimes taken aback by the extent of their hidden talents!

Joan Carrigan, Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor, says

“Whatever our patients come up with our volunteer artists will do their best to facilitate their ideas. Through guidance and encouragement they help patients to implement their visions and have fun while doing it. It’s all about expressing what’s inside of them and releasing their inner artist, regardless if they have any experience or not”.

Many decide to sell their art, give it to friends or family or proudly display it on the hospice walls. One of the pieces currently on display in our patients’ art gallery in the corridor outside the café, is a stunningly vibrant, multi-canvas artwork entitled “Mediterranean Terrace” created by the Wednesday arts and crafts group. It is not just a regular painting – it has a very unique texture consisting of multiple layers made of different materials. The task set was to enrich an already existing painting with extra layers in order to create a 3D, interactive piece. Our art class students scoured every cupboard, box and drawer to look for “just the right” item to use on the artwork, finally settling on sand, threads, leaves and real flowers all of which really bring the wonderful Mediterranean scene to life.

Engaging in this type of creatively stimulating activity is extremely valuable for people with a life limiting illness and can bring many great physical and mental benefits.

Joan said: “The classes really do help our patients in lots of ways. Once they enter the arts and crafts room and start creating it brings back their motivation, boosts confidence and gives them an avenue for self-expression. It is also a great place to socialise and can take you away from clinical routines. And obviously then there’s the aspect of leaving an artistic footprint for others to remember you by. A life-limiting illness can make some people feel like they are not themselves anymore, and through these classes we strive to give that little piece of themselves back, helping them to focus on making today matter”.