Leckhampton Court Hospice Artist in Residence scheme raises awareness of living with Huntington’s

A pioneering scheme at Gloucestershire’s Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice is raising awareness of living with Huntington’s disease, and will see artwork produced by a patient go on display at Gloucester Cathedral later this month.

The project, funded by The Barnwood Trust and The Catholic Women’s League, has seen Steve Hart, who is living with Huntington’s disease, appointed as Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court’s ‘Artist in Residence’ supported by his assistant, Jo Chilman, from Crossroads Care.

It follows Steve’s positive experience with creative arts as part of his day hospice treatment programme in 2018, and his wish to help others to build on this experience.

Experimenting with different techniques

Working alongside other patients in the art room, Steve has been demonstrating how to live positively with an illness, and how to find new ways of working.

“I find the art relaxing," Steve said. "It's something to look forward to each week and I also enjoy the company.”

Experimenting with different techniques including marbling, mark-making with sgraffito and acrylic paints, monoprinting, and experimental mark-making with inks using twigs, Steve has even created artwork using tea stains from his mug of tea. This is very fitting as Steve’s creative sessions are fuelled by tea with three sugars!

Steve adds: “It's really good to be trying new things."

Raising awareness of Huntington's disease among young people

The scheme has seen the hospice forge links with The Kings School in Gloucester, where Steve is visiting the Art Department to demonstrate his monoprinting techniques to pupils, helping raise awareness with young people about what it is like to live with a life-limiting condition such as Huntingdon’s disease.

Emily Bainbridge is Creative Arts Coordinator at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

“Steve is an example of somebody who is always game for trying new things and demonstrates how to live positively in the face of the challenges of an illness such as Huntington’s," Emily said. "It is brilliant to involve young people in this project. The pupils at Kings School are familiar with the Cathedral as part of their everyday experience and we hope it will be interesting for them to see some of the work that Steve has produced, inspired by the architecture, and to meet Steve in person and see first-hand the positive impact that creativity can have."

From architect to Artist in Residence

In his working life, Steve was an Architectural Technician working with Gloucester-based architectural practice Astam, where he worked on a project at Gloucester Cathedral.

The experience inspired Steve to explore the building’s stained glass details, masons’ marks and sweeping architectural structures as part of his Artist in Residence, with staff at Gloucester Cathedral giving Steve access to the Cathedral Archives, including maps and illuminated manuscripts, to inspire his work.

Go and see Steve's artwork

The artwork created by Steve as part of his Artist in Residence goes on display at the Art and Wellbeing: Creating Community Exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral between Saturday 29th June and Sunday 14th July.

You can find out more information about his exhibition on the Gloucester Cathedral website.

Our day hospice programme at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice provides a tailored programme of therapies and treatments for people living with life-limiting conditions.