Plenty of positives to painting project

The four-panelled, oil and acrylic painting titled 'Northumberland' commissioned as part of a refurbishment project at Northgate Hospital near Morpeth.
The four-panelled, oil and acrylic painting titled 'Northumberland' commissioned as part of a refurbishment project at Northgate Hospital near Morpeth.
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PATIENTS at a Morpeth hospital have created a work of art celebrating the beauty of the county.

The painting, commissioned as part of a refurbishment project at Northgate Hospital, involved people suffering from mental-health issues and learning disabilities working with artist Simon Terry, one of the Arts Project team at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

The large four-panelled, oil and acrylic piece titled Northumberland features the carefully-observed wildlife of the region and is set against a backdrop that includes industry and former coalfields, the Cheviot Hills and the sweep of the coastline towards Alnmouth, with Holy Island in the distance.

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 and 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.”

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

Alongside the recently-installed piece at Northgate is a temporary display detailing how it was made.

It also includes information about how artwork can help in healthcare settings.