#Imagine FPK… My Creative Hub

Hello Finsbury Park,

We headed over to Manor Gardens to speak to Jessica – Manager at the Stroke Service who introduced us to Roger, a stroke survivor who has beautiful art work hanging in the centre. In this My Creative Hub post, Roger talks about his passion for the arts and painting and Jessica talks about the Stroke Service club, which takes place at Manor Gardens on Fridays and the role art has within the service. In addition, if you know anybody that would benefit from using the Stroke Service at Manor Gardens then please read on to see details of how to get involved. We hope you enjoy!

The Stroke Service at Manor Gardens:

Roger: “I prefer capturing movement, things like the boats, there’s always action and movement. I’ve done some in Switzerland of Lake Lucerne and Lake Maggiore but they don’t move in the same way. In a river, you get boats and ships, they’re difficult, but that’s a bit of a challenge. I started to like the inside of churches because they’re colourful. Then from my bedroom window at quarter past eight in the morning, I could see the colours catching the sun. When you paint, you have to open your shoulders like a tennis player. I’ve always loved art since I was about four years old. That’s the impact it’s had. Going back to the 50s and 60s there’s a boy’s magazine called The Eagle. It did notoriously good illustrations. I loved those. I’ve always loved drawing, always loved painting. Art is certainly not leisure. It’s more important than that. I would say I’ve sacrificed quite a lot. I’ve always just loved it, but I cannot emphasise enough that it makes you vulnerable because you want to do this one barmy thing that makes doing anything else impossible. There’s this wonderful critic called Julian Spalding and he says “Nobody loves modern art”. They don’t. They know they’ve got to like it, but that’s not the same thing. I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen in love with a piece of work because I have. In Tate Britain, there’s a French painter called Jacques-Emile Blanche. And in 1990, he painted Ludgate Hill. And it’s like falling in love with a person, and at first you don’t think much of it but then it was stuck in my mind – it was bloody marvellous! Art gives people pleasure, nothing more than that, I see no other deep meaning in it. I really can’t. And I tell that’s the role of art is just to give people delight.”

Jessica: “We have a club on Fridays, where we do exercise, art, storytelling – lunch and tea together and we celebrate birthdays and events together on Fridays. Art can sometimes feel inaccessible to our clients – who’re mainly older and disabled. But it shouldn’t feel like that and I would like to be able to provide a space which enables people to express art in many ways and educates people that art can be expressed in many ways,) educate people that art can be expressed in many ways, including informal ways – that they can make it in any way that they want. “Our Friday clubs start at 10am, where it’s tea and coffee and mingling which leads into our first workshop, somebody comes in and teaches a session. Right now, we have Feldenkrais, which is a type of slow movement therapy that allows the participant to visualise the exercises in their minds, which rehabilitates and eases movement and martial arts for people with disabilities. Which is a really loud session! Yes, stroke club is fun and loud! We have story-telling from ‘InterAct’ who specialises working with stroke survivors. We then have lunch then we have another session after lunch, which is based upon what the clients need. We also provide other services for stroke survivors and their carers, including an outreach support service, provide information and do stroke awareness talks around the borough of Islington.”

If you’d like to get involved or know anybody else that could benefit from the Stroke Service, anyone can access the service directly by contacting:

Islington Stroke Service, Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, 6-9 Manor Gardens, London N7 6LA 020 7561 5269 strokeservice@manorgardenscentre.org

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