Each time I set up the art table at Peter Mac I have wonderful and meaningful encounters with those who participate. As we share a creative time together, I also learn about their lives and loves, the cancer and its treatment, home towns (many come from rural Victoria and beyond), their animals, beliefs, travels, and more. We talk about art and making, relaxing, and finding peaceful spaces within. It inspires people to engage with their creative self. I hear tales of people who have been through treatment and are doing well as well as meet people who are not so fortunate. The art table is an encounter with the breadth of people who come into the hospital… family, carers, patients, staff and volunteers. Each one meaningful and each conversation long lasting in my mind.
Mostly it is adults who sit in this creative space. Children of course join in – especially during school holidays, and when they accompany others to the clinics. I have seen children’s light up with joy when their eyes fall on to the art materials – and their parents’ joy too.
Here are photos of some of the many many people who join in this creative time. Other photos from the old hospital, including the photo project I am, are on earlier posts. Please email me if you would like a copy of your photos. firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside the Wellbeing Centre with Michael and Coco – two young people dealing with illness. Tom the Peter Mac Music Therapists joins us for a perfect combination of art, music and song
Peter Mac long-term patient Michael gets hold of my camera : Coco and me.
Coco and Michael with our water colour painting We talked and painted, turned the piece around 90 degrees every once in a while and kept going.
Having family overseas or far away can add an extra challenge to people in cancer treatment – as Margaret experienced. However, she soon discovered much help and support is available through the hospital and beyond. It was her birthday last week and her neighbour brought her a beautiful bunch of lillies which she painted yesterday. She was looking forward to showing her friend this painting.
This patient has been living with cancer for some time and it has impacted greatly on her and her family – but the love she and her husband have for each other is deep and sustains them through this. She hasn’t had much experience with art, nonetheless her drawing expresses her sense of closeness to her husband.
Sharing stories of being a carer around the art table can be uplifting and comforting; it can be a time for companionship with someone else who understands the trials and tribulations of caring as well as a time to exchange some helpful tips. It is also really relaxing to have a creative time with other people and do something non-cancer related.