Leuchie House Project

DATE POSTED: 12th of September 2019

Artist Emily Learmont reports on the art workshops she held in Leuchie House. This project was funded by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

Leuchie House is based in East Lothian in the middle of the countryside and supports people who have MS, who have had a stroke, or who are living with a number of other neurological conditions. They provide essential breaks for participants, their carers and family members.

Leuchie House welcomed Princess Anne to its art room on a recent visit. You can see the art made in Emily's workshop in the background.

I visited Leuchie House, near North Berwick, every other week from March to June this year to hold art workshops with the visitors there. Taking inspiration from the themed holidays that are programmed by the event organisers at Leuchie House, we made artworks in response to East Lothian wildlife, the landscape in springtime, music and Easter festivities. Each participant worked on their own individual pieces, usually on a small scale, supporting these on the table, their laps or across the arm rests of their wheelchairs – often producing several per session. They worked in watercolour paints, oil pastels, water-soluble pencils, tissue paper and gold leaf; but the most popular materials were Brusho ink crystals and acrylic inks, which we dropped onto wet watercolour paper. These produced all sorts of exciting, unexpected effects and satisfying abstract qualities. At the end of the series of workshops, we assembled the artworks on a specially commissioned frame to create an installation that can be constantly renewed. The workshops were accompanied by much laughter and story-telling – and the installation captures the participants’ joyful bursts of energy.

Emily with some of the participants in from the art workshops

Quotes from the participants involved in the project

It makes me feel:

It’s a bubble of happiness.” 

Emotional.  A lot of people telling their feelings on that day. 

‘Very alive, because of colour…”

“Relaxed, calm.” 

Art in Healthcare artist, Emily Learmont

We thank Ecclesiastical Insurance Group for sponsoring this project.