A RESPIRATORY consultant who took up oil painting during the first lockdown is selling several pieces to raise funds for Ukraine.
Dr Jennifer Elder, consultant at Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, has taken up painting in an attempt to relax after intense shifts on the Covid wards.
She donated several paintings to raise funds for Medical Aid Ukraine (MAU) which raises money to send essential medical supplies to the war-torn country.
MAU, which is supported by several hospital staff, has so far raised nearly £100,000. The equipment and ambulances donated to the association are now used in Ukrainian hospitals.
Dr Elder, who was born in Scotland but has lived in Co Down for 19 years, said she used the coast and mountains of Northern Ireland and West Scotland as inspiration for his art.
She enjoys exploring stunning locations including Strangford Lough and Murlough in County Down and Tobermory on the Isle of Mull with her six-year-old son.
Dr. Elder is also following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, who was an artist and art teacher.
“I’m first and foremost a respiratory doctor, but one who now ‘breathes art,'” she said.
“There are many things that make us feel alive and for me, painting is one of them.
“I started painting during confinement as a way of escaping, after long days of work in a Covid-19 high dependency service. We all experience hundreds of different lights and moods in a day that I hope to have captured in my paintings. That’s one of the reasons I started painting.”
The acting chairman of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Jonathan Patton, has commissioned a painting of the new inpatient ward block at Ulster Hospital from Dr Elder.
“I was so impressed, but in many ways not surprised how our staff responded so quickly and so generously to the Ukrainian call for help,” he said.
“I thought it was important to mark the generosity of spirit of our staff.
“When I saw Dr. Elder’s paintings and realized that she was donating 100% of the funds from her paintings to the Ukraine crisis, I asked her to commission a painting for the office of the president within the headquarters of the trust.
“Jennifer’s painting of the Ulster Hospital site is a fabulous creation and not only celebrates our staff’s donations to Ukraine, but recognizes our development and commitment to our patients and staff within the trust . I am delighted to accept her painting and it now hangs proudly in the office.”
To view Dr Elder’s art collection and for more information, visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BREATHEartJE.