The Creative Arts Service at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice were delighted and proud to present a group exhibition of art work made by people who attend art sessions at the hospice: Kenny Harrison, Tom McAlister, Paul McGinley, Jimmy McMillan and Sean O’Hagan. The exhibition took place at the Studio Pavilion gallery, House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park and ran from 5thOctober until 21stOctober 2018. The exhibition was visited by over 300 people.
Developed through a process of exploration and experimentation the work in the exhibition celebrated a wide range of mark making. Compositions were created by layering colour and texture. Loose painterly marks were inspired by architecture. And photographic landscapes generated poetry.
Comments from visitors included:
“Brilliant expression, interpretation and commitment. Well executed. Finest of finest.”
“It is so generous of these artists to share their beautiful and creative work with us. Thank you!”
In early 2017 the art team at the Hospice started meeting regularly with Dr Ben Colburn, Senior Lecturer in Moral and Political Philosophy, University of Glasgow to practically and theoretically explore creativity and autonomy at the end of life.
Central to living a good life is the value of autonomy: deciding for yourself what is valuable and living your life in accordance with that decision. Autonomy is an ideal of self-authorship. Being author of your life means shaping it to reflect your values and ambitions, taking responsibility for the course it takes, and forging reciprocal moral relationships (of trust, care and need) with others, helping shape their lives and letting them shape ours too.
The making of this exhibition directly applied some of these ideas and explores how a thread can be traced back through a creative process in such a way that supports a person’s autonomy in life.
A central question for individuals and organisations responsible for end of life care is this: how do we support people in living good lives right to the very end? Doing so involves finding the best ways of treating life-limiting conditions and of reducing pain. But there is an increasing recognition that the good life involves more than just this. Practice in palliative care is moving beyond merely clinical understandings of well-being to a more holistic and social model of care. The aim of these models of care is to recognise the needs of the whole person, as a member of society.
An exhibition of this kind highlights the holistic approach integral to palliative care. That includes supporting people to live life to its fullest, or as the Hospice says, “Where it may not be possible to add days to lives, we aim to add life to days.”
The Prince & Princess of Wales has had a substantial programme of visual art and creative writing since 2003. This is the only fully integrated arts and palliative care service in Scotland and the longest standing.
We’re looking forward to building a creative relationship with our new neighbours, Louise Briggs and her team at the Studio Pavilion, House for An Art Lover.