Artists put the heart into art as they showcase work for hospice

Stephen Charlton's Rainbow's End
Stephen Charlton's Rainbow's End

More than 30 local artists are to exhibit their work at a pilot exhibition at The Hospice of St Francis this weekend, donating a percentage of any sale proceeds to the Berkhamsted charity.

The autumn art fayre, Art at the Heart, will take place at the Hospice’s health and wellbeing Spring Centre hub and will include work by a range of exhibitors – like Rainbow’s End by Stephen Charlton above – including high-end professional artists, semi-professionals and amateurs, with prices to suit all pockets.

“We have a fantastic light and airy space in our Spring Centre and it lends itself perfectly to hosting an art exhibition,” explains Ray Ashley-Brown, Chaplain at the Spring Garden Lane Hospice.

“I hope that lots of people, especially those who’ve not been up to their local Hospice before, will be motivated to come and visit to see the works by talented local artists and admire the amazing picture-postcard views from the Centre over to the Ashridge Estate,” he continues.

“As well as the art, we’ll also have information available for people who’d like to know more about the various community activities we host here such as film nights and our weekly choir as well as the practical and holistic support the Centre offers to those who are affected by life-shortening illness, like cancer.

“My hope is that by this time next year the exhibition will also be able to showcase work produced in the Spring Centre by our therapeutic art groups for adults and children, which meet there regularly.”

Artists attending Art at the Heart include Julie Wrathall from Bourne End – www.julieannsgallery.co.uk – award-winning figurative artist Peter Keegan, from Olney in Bucks and sculptor and painter Stephen Charlton, from Chesham. Peter will also be painting a live portrait of Hospice Director Dr Ros Taylor, MBE, DL, at a private view on Friday 14th November.

Stephen, who creates contemporary paintings that capture the forces of nature and uses what he sees and feels to connect to everything around us and within us, has donated a framed oil painting on aluminium entitled ‘Rainbows End,’ one in a series of four worth £360.

He said: “It is a delight and a privilege to be involved in this inaugural Art at the Heart event at the Hospice of St Francis. Because art can help connect us to ourselves and to each other, there will always be a solidarity in our hearts.”

Brent Rogers, 70 from Flaunden, who attends the Spring Centre’s Therapeutic Art classes alongside his wife Frances and will be exhibiting at the event, said: “I am mainly a pen and ink artist specialising in buildings and wildlife and have been attending the Spring Centre art therapy workshops for the last twelve months.

“I suffer with leukaemia and am the main carer for Frances, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and coming to the Spring Centre for art therapy gives me the relaxation I need.”

The Art at the Heart exhibition runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday 15th November and from 12-4pm on Sunday 16th. Tea and cake will be served. Entry by donation.

To find out more and access The Spring Centre activity programme, visit www.stfrancis.org.uk/springcentre email springcentre@stfrancis.org.uk or call 01442 869550.