Beeston artist, Matthew Lyons is painting a series of large artworks featuring Treetops Hospice staff and volunteers to help the local charity celebrate their 40th anniversary.
Matthew, 53, has been painting all his life and has a passion for making the ‘ordinary become extraordinary’ through his portraits.
This passion culminated in a public exhibition last year of twenty individual portraits depicting the ‘People of Beeston’. During a public tour of the exhibition, he was approached by Treetops Hospice.
“After the ‘People of Beeston’ exhibition, I had the idea to do something similar, but this time with groups, so painting groups of those who work and volunteer at Treetops is the perfect next project for me.
“It also gives me a great opportunity to paint some quite large paintings – three times larger than I’m used to! Most of the time you have to consider that a commissioned painting is going to hang in someone’s home, so it has to be a domestic scale. In the hospice there is space to accommodate larger paintings. “
Treetops Chief Executive, Julie Heath, explained that the portraits were a wonderful way to help the charity celebrate their significant milestone:
“We are so proud of everything we’ve achieved in the local community over the last 40 years. During this time, we’ve supported hundreds of patients and their families at the most difficult times of their lives.
“We couldn’t have achieved this without the dedication and commitment of all our staff and volunteers so to be able to immortalise some of them in paint is wonderful. We will proudly display the paintings for everyone to enjoy for many more years to come.”
In total, Matthew is painting three group portraits over six months. The staff and volunteers involved come from across all areas of the end-of-life hospice including nurses, admin staff, the hospice cook, a counsellor and volunteers from the Long Eaton Treetops charity shop and gardening team.
The group portraits will be revealed later this year as part of the hospice’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
“I feel honoured to be able to work with the people from the hospice to create these paintings which will celebrate the people and the work that they do. I’m very excited to see how it comes together.
“Every painting I do has something to challenge me. With these portraits it’s going to be creating an interesting painting which has a recognisable group of people.
I want to create something which is of interest to the people who recognise the staff and volunteers but also for those who don’t; because of the composition, the light or the texture in the painting. That way the paintings will have longevity. I hope that the hospice will love them and want to hang them for the next 40 years!”
Matthew’s inspiration comes from artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Paula Rego and Billy Childish. He paints from photographs onto heavily primed plywood boards with charcoal under-drawing which he likes to have showing through the painting.
Once complete, Matthew is gifting the paintings to the hospice but welcomes donations towards the costs of the painting or framing.
This year, Treetops Hospice is celebrating 40 years of caring for people and their families in the local community. During this time, the hospice has supported thousands of patients with end-of-life nursing care and bereavement counselling.
About Treetops Hospice
Treetops Hospice, the leading end-of-life care charity in Derby, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
The charity provides support from diagnosis onwards for patients with conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart and respiratory conditions.
This year, we are very proud to be celebrating 40 years of caring for people and their families in our local community. During this time, we have supported thousands of patients with end-of-life nursing care and bereavement counselling.
We have achieved this amazing milestone thanks to our dedicated volunteers who help across the whole hospice and in our charity shops, our hard-working staff team, and our supporters, past and present.
Last year, our team of Hospice at Home nurses provided over 20,000 hours of care to terminally-ill patients, working day and night to give much-needed support.
Our team of bereavement counsellors provided over 4,500 counselling sessions – more than 900 of them to children and young people. Wellbeing team members provide valuable information and support to those who need it.
Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need and welcomes donations to ensure the future of the hospice and its services: www.treetopshospice.org.uk/donate
A counselling session for a bereaved child costs £34.50. An overnight Hospice at Home nursing shift for a patient at the end of life costs £108.
Treetops Hospice, Derby Road, Risley, Derbyshire, DE72 3SS
0115 949 1264 | www.treetopshospice.org.uk
Registered Charity Number 519540