Tameside Hospital has appointed the North West’s first NHS artist in residence, and will launch the initiative by unveiling a permanent exhibition of his work on 31st July at 10:00am in the Ladysmith Building.
Musician Jeff Ward has toured the world with some of the biggest names in British rock music, including Elton John, Kiki Dee and Leo Sawyer. But these days he can be found concentrating on his other passion – painting.
He has created an exhibition of more than 20 landscapes and portraits of local landmarks in his native Ashton under Lyne, and included views of the hospital, as a special thank you to doctors and staff there who are treating him for heart problems.
Jeff (67), who is married with two children and three grandchildren, then plans to share his talents by organising art and music sessions to instruct and entertain patients.
This is an honorary appointment and carries no salary but Jeff, who lives in Aston, says he couldn’t be more delighted.
He explains: “Being able to work with patients and support such a great hospital as Tameside will be such a treat. In my younger days I was lucky enough to work with some great musicians and although I got interested in art at school through a very inspiring teacher I had to make a choice. I chose music then and it served me well. But lately I’ve been able to rekindle my love of painting and I’m just so pleased that people like my work.”
Tameside’s Chief Executive, Karen James, saw his work by chance as he was waiting for an appointment to see the doctor and the two struck up a friendship, which has led to the appointment and exhibition.
Karen says: “ Jeff is such a genuine guy and his work is truly wonderful. He paints like Lowry but uses more vibrant colours and bolder strokes. Having him as our Artist in Residence will be great for our patients and staff alike. His plans include working with our dementia patients to help them reminisce and remember memories through music and painting. We feel very privileged to have him join the team.”
For more information please contact Susan Osborne on 07836 229208 or Jonathan Mason, Senior Communications Officer at Tameside Hospital on 0161 922 4080.