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International artist completes latest project with help from Cumbrian hospice

Hospice patients painted by Julia Stanton Credit: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

An international artist has completed her latest project with the help of Penrith Day Hospice patients.

Julia Stanton, who works across Europe and America, chose Penrith for her latest challenge in which she created a series of oil paintings of the Hospice patients as part of “The Hospice Project”.

Julia has spent almost a year completing the paintings as she encouraged the patients to chat while she sketched so that each portrait could highlight the individual’s personality and movement.

“This has been a transformative and extremely rewarding project. I set up my easel in the hospice day room, and each week painted a different subject. I’ve developed a great affection for the people who come to spend the day and these portraits will be part of their legacies.

“The Penrith Hospice is a hidden treasure, a lovely friendly and welcoming place for people who are sharing real challenges, and it is staffed by the nicest group of people one can imagine in health care.”

– Julia Stanton


Melvyn Bragg condemns arts cuts in Cumbria

Melvyn Bragg Credit: PA

One of Cumbria's most famous faces has hit out at cutbacks to artistic and cultural centres in the county.

Lord Melvyn Bragg, who was born in Carlisle and grew up in Wigton, believes the government is ignoring the social and financial benefits of the arts.

When will this government understand that the arts are not only beneficial for people and a source of great pleasure... they make money?"

– Lord Melvyn Bragg

Wooden 'Urchin' among Dumfriesshire festival attractions

The 'Urchin' is described as a “floating inhabited sculpture” Credit: Sara Penrhyn Jones

A star attraction at this weekend’s free-to-attend Environmental Art Festival Scotland is the unusual wooden sphere set afloat on the loch in front of the medieval Morton Castle near Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.

The "Urchin", which was shipped up specially from Mid-Wales for this weekend’s free public arts event in Dumfries and Galloway, is described as a “floating inhabited sculpture” or a “contemplation chamber”.

Created by Jenny Hall and Tabitha Pope of Craftedspace, it allows wet-suit clad festival-goers to spend time out on the water rather than just wandering the margins.

The two-day celebration of the art and the environment starts today and includes many eye-catching and highly unusual performance and visual art events.


Scottish Paintings displayed at Paxton

More than 30 paintings by Scottish artists are going on display at Paxton House in the Scottish Borders.

The artwork is on loan from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Works by celebrated eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Scottish artists Sir Henry Raeburn, William McTaggart and Sir William Allan can be enjoyed alongside modern paintings by the renowned Scottish colourists Samuel John Peploe and George Leslie Hunter, and artists with local connections to the Borders, Anne Redpath and Sir William Gillies.

The Picture Gallery at Paxton is the largest private gallery ever to be built in Scotland.

Art exhibition displays work of woman who took her own life

Evie Douglas Credit: Freda Douglas

An art exhibition is displaying the work of a Peebles woman who took her own life.

Evie Douglas was 21 when she died in November last year.

Her mother, Freda Douglas, has put on the exhibition of her daughter's work, to highlight the illness she had.

The art includes self-portraits, photographs and videos of Evie dancing.

Freda wants people to be more open about depression.

Evie was a former pupil at Peebles High School, and taught dance lessons in the town.

Evie Douglas Credit: Freda Douglas
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