Why art matters Your stories ‘Art is a source of comfort when it matters most’ Andrew Hochhauser is Chair of Paintings in Hospitals. Andrew joins our 60 Years, 60 Voices series to share with us a personal story of the power of art in end of life care... “ My interest in Paintings in Hospitals, which led me to join the Board and eventually become its Chair, is founded on my love of visual art and an appreciation of the impact that it has on our daily lives. As our Communications & Development Manager, Thomas Walshaw, says in his powerful contribution to 60 Years, 60 Voices, 'Art is not a luxury' but an essential part of day-to-day living. Art brings us light, hope and happiness. Many of the contributors to our 60 Voices blog series so far have spoken about the empirical evidence showing that art assists in the healing and recovery process. I would like to talk about a rather different situation, in which someone you love is terminally ill and there is no prospect of them getting better. Nowhere is art more important than in a hospice, where people in the final stages of their lives go to receive expert care. In 1994 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Several courses of radio- and chemotherapy resulted in a period of remission. However, in 2002 her cancer returned and spread. She declined to have further chemotherapy treatment, which had caused her to experience serious side effects, and was told that without further treatment she had only a few months to live. With the support of our family, my mother lived life to the full during that short period. But some two weeks before her death, we were no longer able to provide the care she needed and she was admitted to a local hospice in North London. The care she received there was exceptional, down to the drinks trolley which did the rounds every evening. Yacht Passing by John Miller (1931-2002) However, the one thing absent from her room was art. From her home, I brought one of her favourite possessions, a seascape by the wonderful Cornish artist John Miller. We hung this oil painting at the foot of her bed. When she awoke in the morning, it was the first thing she saw; and before she went to sleep, it was the last thing she saw. She told me how much she appreciated the painting - that it was a source of comfort when comfort mattered most. Art matters. All at Paintings in Hospitals know this. Every year we make a difference to the lives of thousands of patients, their families, medical staff and carers. I am proud to be Chair of this 60-year-old charity. Please support us. ” By donating to Paintings in Hospitals, you can help us comfort and uplift thousands more patients and carers in 2020… Follow #60Voices on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram... Andrew Hochhauser QC is Chair of Paintings in Hospitals. He is a barrister, a Bencher of Middle Temple, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Deputy High Court Judge. In 2011, he obtained an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in British Modernism. Andrew is a trustee of the Courtauld Institute of Art, Chair of the Samuel Courtauld Trust, a Governor of the University of the Arts London, a trustee of the National Aids Trust, a trustee of Ballet Black, Vice-Chairman of the Inns of Court College of Advocacy, a trustee of the V&A Foundation and is honorary Counsel to Westminster Abbey.