Since August I’ve been visiting the Oncology Daycare Centre at University College Hospital to work on a new drawing project. Organised by the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Unit charity (LALU), I’ve been at the centre on a weekly basis to make portraits of patients or their relatives. Everyone who poses receives a free signed print of their drawing and I’m planning to exhibit all the drawings next year. The project is open ended and therefore ongoing, a sort of portrait artist in residence and I’m really enjoying meeting and drawing so many interesting and lovely people. Here are some of the drawings (click for full size).
Patients and their relatives often have to wait several hours for appointments and treatment, which means a lot of hanging around trying to fill time and I’m getting some great feedback about how making the portraits has helped make the time at the centre more enjoyable and productive. The prints have been a way to say thank you, something nice arriving in the post or to collect on the next visit to the centre and I’ve had some lovely reactions after people have received their copies of the drawings.
Everyone has been extremely supportive of the project and I have to say some thank you’s to several people. Firstly to Sara Goldman and Steve Roper at LALU for proposing, organising and running the project, Steve is an artist and arts organiser as well as a volunteer at LALU and Sara is LALU’s fundraiser. Next, the staff at the hospital have been amazing and I’ve managed to include a couple of them in the drawings so far, thank you to them for their patience and I’m hugely impressed by their professionalism, kindness and care for their patients. I’m also grateful to the London Graphic Centre for their kind support as they’ve given me drawing materials for the project. Thank you also to photographer Jason Wilde for taking the professional photo’s of the drawings and to Copycats printing shop at the University of London Union for their help in making the prints.
The biggest thank you though is to the people who have posed for the drawings and for their response to the activity of posing and to the finished drawings and prints. Some of their feedback has been heartfelt, moving and everything we hoped for (and more) when conceiving of the project. It is a privilege to be drawing the people I’m meeting in this environment, their strength, courage and great humour is inspiring, wonderful and humbling.