The Geriatric Unit

Shire Hill


Old man on the ward 1992
Oil on canvas
102cm x 61cm
40″ x 24″

The corridor 1993
Oil on canvas
122cm x 183cm
48″ x 72″

Woman with zimmer frame 1993
Oil on canvas
127cm x 102cm
50″ x 40″
Almost at the very moment of the birth of my first child I felt an immediate and instinctive knowledge fall upon me – an awareness of my place, and that of my child, within the cycle of life; the reality of a new life entering the world summoned up an almost palpable realisation of my own mortality and the fragility of existence itself.Perhaps as a means of coming to terms with this, I deliberately decided to spend some time working within a geriatric unit at Shire Hill Hospital in Glossop.

A large amount of time was spent talking, reassuring and drawing the men and women I found there.  I hope the paintings speak for themselves; as I was celebrating my son Max learning to walk, so I was witnessing the profound care and skill of the nurse helping an elderly patient re-learning after a stroke the very skills that she too had once learned so many years before.

- Ghislaine Howard