Rediscovering a passion for art through illness | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Arterie, Lifehouse News, LivingRoom, Patient Stories

Anyone who has wandered around the LivingRoom will surely have met Elizabeth Miller. Liz visits the gym or attends yoga class most days; but she has found that the arts engagement program “Arterie” has rekindled her love of art and is now one of her favourite activities at Lifehouse.

Liz always had a passion for art. She especially loved painting at high school but when it came to university, she was encouraged to study law.

When she started visiting the LivingRoom in September this year, Liz was excited by the opportunity to reawaken her passion for art. “It’s excellent, it’s put me back in touch with my artistic side. I always loved art but I stopped painting when I was so engrossed in my legal career. The wonderful team encouraged me to start painting again – it’s so inspirational,” she says.

Liz finds Arterie therapeutic as it takes her mind off her illness and gives her the opportunity to create something with her hands. It also helps her feel less alone in her experience with cancer.

“We’re so prolific, every week we’re doing something different. It gives you enjoyment as well as being a much needed distraction. I don’t worry about my illness so much now – because the doctors told me I have aggressive cancer and it is probably going to come back within two years.”

“You get so much encouragement and everyone is so supportive, so that you don’t feel isolated. I love the companionship.”

The variety of projects that Arterie offers has given Liz joy as she nurtures her artistic side again. “I really enjoyed our doll making session. We had a puppet artist come and show us how to make dolls or animals. I made two koalas and I get to see them on display in the foyer!”

The best part of Arterie, Liz says, is the culture. “Everyone is so supportive. It makes you feel like you belong in the team.”

“It’s a great opportunity to try out different things and discover skills and talents that you may not have realised you have. Deborah and her team are there to guide you so you are not totally lost. This has been one of the best experiences at Lifehouse which gives me so much enjoyment.”

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