Bistro exhibition space at Redwoods CentreWe have 3 exhibition spaces available within our mental health facilities - Mellor House and St Chads at St Georges Hospital in Stafford and the Bistro at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury.  

Traditionally these have been used for entries from our Art Competitions and they are also available for art work from our art groups.


The exhibition space is in the Bistro area, by main reception and we are currently showing an exhibition of work by artist Paul Hoskison. 


Potato prints.pngThe exhibition is titled I Can't Draw and aims to de-mysitify making art and to support and encourage others in their creative journey.  John is an active member of our Wellbeing Art Group and a prolific artist. 

This is John's story...  

I was born in Manchester in an era when we couldn’t afford posh MH diagnoses. we had to make do with name calling like he is a “He’s disruptive”. “Thick as a brick”. “a Troublemaker”. Etc. Those and many other inspiring and life affirming messages from teachers and adults. As they say you hear it often enough… but I didn’t believe it, they probably didn’t even have the titles like BP, BPD Dyslexia, Dyslexia. So, people like me were simply written off, expected to fail.

I had already decided my path at 6 years old and at 14 I got myself a catering apprenticeship with the RAF so I was allowed to leave school at 15,

You could hear the sobs of my teachers as they were throwing me out of the school gate, well I think they were sobs, but the cheering drowned them out, it was not a happy place. Even though I was one of the few who left with an apprenticeship.

I spent the next 50 years overcoming the stresses and trials of running my career and hiding my un-diagnosed MH issues. Over the years I was just fed a diet of meds, Uppers and downers and in betweeners mostly at Zombie Grade 1 doses. It was 35 years before my 1st diagnosis [BPD]came in and I was 59 when they finally told me I was dyslexic – go figure.

Finally, retirement came, and I decided to become an artist – whatever one of those was. I found I couldn’t draw a straight line to save my life. I kind of guessed it was something to do with my Dyslexia, I sat and thought and suddenly a flash of light and the thought “if I can’t draw a straight line then I can use a ruler”.  Simples

I then realised all my life I had spent doing things differently from the perceived norms. I had had to learn to overcome many difficult hurdles. So, I set out to develop my own style. to do things the way I could, to set new boundaries and I did it. Since then I have held many exhibitions, run an art club, sold artwork and have a back catalogue of around 250 pictures.

This exhibition was kept very simple to show the viewers that you don’t need to be able to draw to enjoy art. I have chosen 12 examples of colourful artwork completed without drawing in the hope to inspire others who if they think they “CANT DRAW” their next statement should be “SO WHAT”.

Seriously if I can take it up at 62 and prove them wrong against the odds, I did then I think anyone can find inner peace. I simply want everyone enjoying making Art however they want, and in bright colours. Skill not required ….


Arts for Health Contact Details

Arts for Health - General Enquiries

Jessica Kent - Arts for Health Lead

Redwoods Centre, Somerby Drive,
Shrewsbury SY3 8DS 
01743 210048 / 07814 752783

Helen Wilson - Project Worker

St. George's Hospital, Corporation Street, Stafford ST16 3AG                  07964208542 / 01785221328

Owen Hurcombe - Digital & Communications Project Worker

St, George's Hospital, Corporation Street,
Stafford ST16 3AG

Diana Buckle - Administrator

Redwoods Centre, Somerby Drive,
Shrewsbury SY3 8DS

Amy Smith - Arts for Health Project Assistant

Redwoods Centre, Somerby Drive, Shrewsbury, SY3 8DS