Elders who returned to painting after decades have work showcased at trendy Hoxton gallery

PUBLISHED: 10:53 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:53 21 February 2020

Eray and the artists. Picture: L&Q

Eray and the artists. Picture: L&Q


Two women who took up art decades after they last touched a paintbrush are having their work shown at a trendy Hoxton gallery.

Some of the artwork from the exhibition. Picture: L&QSome of the artwork from the exhibition. Picture: L&Q

Retired nurse Maurren Lam, 72, hadn't painted since school and only started again two years ago when housing association L&Q hired Eray Ismailov to teach art lessons at her sheltered housing.

Now she is one of nine vulnerable or elderly artists featured in the show at Hoxton 253.

Artwork from the exhibition. Picture: L&QArtwork from the exhibition. Picture: L&Q

Maureen said: "I really enjoyed painting at school, but then life got in the way. I became a nurse and I didn't have the time think about painting until I met Eray. He got me started again and now I can't stop! It's never too late to learn new things. I've started doing birthday cards and I'm thinking about selling them. But the best thing about my new hobby is that it keeps me out of mischief and occupies my free time."

Maureen's friend Stephanie Murphy hadn't painted since 1975, but says the classes have given her more confidence.

Stephanie and her artwork. Picture: L&QStephanie and her artwork. Picture: L&Q

"Creating art takes you out of yourself," she said. "Eray is such a nice guy and so helpful. My home is full of art now because I just don't want to stop."

Eray, who curated the exhibition, said: "Taking these classes has been a revelation. These people have taught me so much and shared so much of themselves and their lives. I'm very happy to be able to spend time with them and call them my friends."

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hackney Gazette