Mrs Thatcher sees hospital art
Mrs Margaret Thatcher, MP for Finchley and Friern Barnet and Secretary of State for Education, opened an exhibition of patients' art at Friern Hospital, Friern Barnet on Monday.
The exhibition, an annual event at the hospital, contained a variety of paintings from the abstract and primitive to careful draughtsmanship.
Mrs Thatcher said that this was the second time she had attended one of the hospital's art exhibitions. She remembered being vividly impressed by the colour and brightness of the paintings.
“It shows that there is a great deal more talent in people than could ever have been expected or appreciated,” she said. “Art brings contentment and achievement. Patients attend the art classes voluntarily and you can see how their work improves as time goes on.
The exhibition was divided into two sections, work by patients, and work by staff in their spare time. It was held to coincide with the beginning of Mind Week.
Mrs Thatcher was introduced by Mrs Peggy Jay, chairman of the hospital management committee.
Others present at the opening ceremony included Mrs Olive Dykes, vice-chairman of the Management Committee; Mrs Diana Irons, a member; and Mrs Lipson, chairman of the Establishment Committee.
The exhibition was presented by Mrs Pauline Goodwin, head of occupational therapy, and the two art teachers, Mrs Zainab Reddy and Miss Christine Wood.
The patients' appreciation of the art classes was summed up in a quote from one of them in the rehabilitation ward: “After my family had grown up and married I felt rather lost and lonely without them. After entering hospital I took up art and to my surprise I found this filled a gap in my life.”