2006, my third year of painting was one hell of a year and gave me so much more confidence. Before I tell you about my second Commission I should let you know that I was also offered a third solo exhibition by the Guernsey Arts Council.
What was going to be so very different about this solo show is that it was sponsored. Spec Savers and Condor Ferries enabled me to be free of worry about transport, delivery and accommodation. I am also proud to say that Mary Perkins, founder of Spec Savers came to the opening of the exhibition..
The exhibition was set up in a large corridor at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. To choose this venue was a stroke of genius, normally hospitals, by their very nature can be subdued places to visit and often traumatic for patients and their visitors. Strange to think that one of the three thesis I had chosen for the final year of my degree course, years before I picked up a paint brush, was Art as a Complementary healer, examining the benefits of art in places of trauma.
Every day for a week, I observed patients and staff reaction to the exhibition and the interaction was vibrant and uplifting. I particularly enjoyed seeing porters pushing patients on trollies, pull over and chat about the paintings. One elderly gentleman very worried about his wife, told me that seeing the paintings each day took away some of the pain.
The days and evenings were filled with visits from groups and individuals from all over the island, particularly the visually impaired groups.
A quote from the Arts Co-ordinator Nancy Strike ” The exhibition was greeted with great enthusiasm by patients, visitors and staff…..The paintings provided a much needed distraction, in the best possible way, helping to alleviate worry and stress”.
As a result of the success and feed back of the exhibition I was asked if I could leave the work for another month. I was more than happy to agree.
The title of the exhibition was called Touching Art, Touching you, and that is what it did, it reached out to new audiences. I was learning more and more that my tactile art, had a valuable role to play and it was every expanding.
The painting HAPPY RAIN is now part of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital permanent art collection.