Winchester Live Event Artist Lucy McLoughlin has created a series of uplifting portraits capturing older people in the local community, and is about to display them at a city-centre exhibition. Over the last year, she has painted residents from local charities, St John’s Winchester and Winchester Live at Home Scheme, during various fun activities and outings, celebrating their active and independent lifestyles.
Lucy will be exhibiting her work at Cafe Eighteen71 in The Broadway for several months, from the beginning of February. The permanent exhibition kicked off on 1st February with a private viewing for St John’s residents and attendees at the Live at Home Scheme, as well as trustees, friends and associates of the two charities. She plans to gift the artwork to the residents after the exhibition, and signed prints are available to purchase.
Lucy lives in Winchester with her three sons, aged 9, 7 and 4. Since undertaking an MA in Textile Design at Winchester School of Art, her artistic career has really taken off. As a Live Event Artist Lucy paints people in real time at various events locally and around the UK including Royal Ascot, London Fashion Week, weddings and festivals like the Winchester Hat Fair. Lucy has painted for Ralph Lauren, BBC Radio 2 and ITN.
Lucy is also keen to work with and celebrate the lives of older people. So she approached St John’s Winchester, and together they applied for and received a WINnovation community grant from Winchester City Council to carry out an art project involving older people in the community.
Her involvement with St John’s has seen Lucy attend the Queen’s 90th birthday party, meet (and paint) residents Alistair and Margaret Stewart and Joyce Gow, attend the charity’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as well as various clubs. She also tagged along during the annual Trustees’ outing to Weymouth. Lucy ran four creative workshops with St John’s residents, using different techniques, and she attended an Open Day at St John’s Moorside home for people living with dementia. Her involvement with Live at Home has included painting members during an exercise class and also Singing for Well-being at the United Church in Jewry Street.
Lucy’s exhibition at Café Eighteen71 will be the first time that the cafe has been used to exhibit artwork, and manager Chris Smith is keen to encourage local people to come and take a look. Lucy said: “The café is a very welcoming place, but its walls are quite literally a blank canvas at the moment, so I thought it would be lovely to brighten them up with some artwork. We hope we may have started something here, and that other artists might also share their work at this fabulous central Winchester location.”
Talking about what inspires her, Lucy said: “I love working with older people. I wanted to create uplifting portraits and capture special moments in time. All the people I have painted live independently and it was an absolute joy to spend time with them and to find out more about their lives. I’ve got the best job in the world!”
Lucy would like to find an empty shop in Winchester where she could create large window stickers with some of the artwork as a way to celebrate older people in our community, and to raise awareness of the valuable work of the two charities.
St John’s Winchester Director Clive Cook said: “It’s been great to see Lucy build up so many positive relationships with our residents, and give them such pleasure at the same time. Ours is a vibrant community and Lucy has helped capture the essence of that. We have been delighted to work with Lucy on this project and look forward to further collaborations.”
Lucy can be contacted via www.liveeventartist.co.uk.