Patients create top artwork

Patients at a Northumberland hospital suffering from mental health issues and learning disabilities have created a work of art celebrating the beauty of the county.

The painting, commissioned as part of a refurbishment project at Northgate Hospital near Morpeth, involved patients working with local artist Simon Terry, one of the arts project team at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

The large four-panelled, oil and acrylic painting titled Northumberland, features the industry and former coalfields of the southwest, the Cheviot Hills and the coastline towards Alnmouth.

Arts project manager Jane Akhurst said: “Projects such as this, alongside regular art workshops provided by the arts project, give patients a sense of hope and purpose.

“The personal encouragement such experiences bring cannot, to my mind, be underestimated.

“Being involved in art groups within the hospital, finding and developing interests and talents in a sociable and welcoming setting over weeks and months, gives patients a model of positive living and self-worth to take with them into their future lives after leaving the care of the hospital.

“It is all about seeing themselves as having something worthwhile to give.”

The painting is the third in a series of similarly large artworks depicting Northumberland all of which involved professional artists working with patients in arts project workshops.

Alongside the recently installed artwork at Northgate is a temporary display detailing how the artwork was made with information about how artwork can help in healthcare settings.

The arts project recently entered more than 60 pieces of patient art work in the Koestler Art Awards.

The project is currently on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, The Gallery at Gateshead Library and at the Koestler Trust’s London Exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre until December 1.