Creative course helps patients socialise and develop their artistic skills

15 November 2017

Creative course helps patients socialise and develop their artistic skills
Patients are becoming more confident in making art thanks to a creative course that helps them express themselves and get to know each other.

The monthly Art and Wellbeing Course, organised by Imperial Health Charity, features a variety of workshops, designed to help patients develop their artistic skills and enhance their wellbeing and recovery.

A recent workshop brought patients to the St Mary’s A&E to visit the new commissioned artworks by Emma Haworth and Chris Orr RA, before trying their hand creating their own landscapes using ink painting and collages.

Suzanne, one of the workshop regulars, believes initiatives like this can make a huge difference:

“I used to go to a lot of art classes but it’s been quite difficult since I was diagnosed with cancer. The course really helps and I find art therapeutic. I like to be part of a group and I like being instructed and being taken into bits of art that I haven’t done before.”

The workshops offer guidance for patients to help them gain confidence with different art styles. Suzanne believes the community that’s formed around the course is an equally important part of it:

“It’s now become a social thing as well. We’re able to relate to one another. A lot of us are struggling with life and our conditions. You don’t need to talk about it here but you understand that everybody is in a similar situation.”

Kate Pleydell, Arts Officer at the charity, said: “We’re delighted to offer this opportunity to patients. These workshops are a brilliant way for them to build their confidence, see wonderful works of art and do something surprising and stimulating in the hospital.”

“We often hear first-hand from staff and patients just how much of an impact art can have and this course is something that we’re extremely passionate about.”

The course takes place from 2-5pm on the first Saturday of each month with workshops held at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals. Anyone interested in joining should contact the charity’s Arts team by emailing arts@imperialcharity.org.uk or phoning 020 3857 9843.