Friday, 20 April 2012

Spotlight on Leuchie House

Leuchie House, North Berwick
Deciding where to go on holiday is one of those tasks that most adults probably spend much time fantasising about! However for someone who suffers long term physical difficulties finding that perfect getaway is a challenging undertaking, for the simple reason that there are few resorts that understand or are able to cater for their daily needs.
Leuchie House is a unique organisation is Scotland. It is more than just a care home, as it enables guests who require high dependency care a chance to have a real getaway. They go that extra mile by tailoring each person’s stay to their medical and care requirements as well as taking into account their personal tastes. It offers everything from physiotherapy to acupuncture, cooking lessons to excursions to local places of interest and culture.

Hew Dalrymple (1690-1755),
Allan Ramsay, 1754
You cannot write about Leuchie House without mentioning the building itself. It’s a stunning 18th century mansion situated in the pretty outskirts of North Berwick. The site was brought by the distinguished Hamilton-Dalrymple family in 1699, yet the house that now stands was built in 1780 upon the foundations of the building that was originally there. The family were powerful figures in the Scottish legal system and they spent a significant amount of their finances building the archetype of fashionable Georgian interior design.

Dandelion and Burdock,
Linda Jackson, 1993
Leuchie House has recently acquired 20 paintings from Art in Healthcare’s collection. These images are now the focus of the art talks lead by Sally Forsyth, as part of the activity programme advertised at the house. The paintings vary in subject, artistic styles and mediums in an effort to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. The feedback from the participants of the talks suggests that the guests thoroughly enjoy engaging and gaining new insights into the surrounding imagery.

One of the favourite paintings is Linda Jackson’s ‘Dandelion and Burdock,’ which due to its size and prominent position in the Leuchie House waiting room has received much attention from visitors and staff. The image is of an abstract style and is distinctive with its fluid paint strokes and bold colours that juxtapose a stark white backdrop. Yet the painting that really captured my attention is Michael McVeigh’s lithograph of the Grassmarket. It portrays a popular and recognisable Edinburgh attraction, but McVeigh makes the scene his own by infusing the landscape with his own perceptions and fantasy. He paints in a reverie way that draws the viewer in, transforming the familiar into something new and exciting.
Grassmarket, Michael McVeigh, 1992
Art in Healthcare’s involvement with Leuchie House has had a significant role, as the artwork plays a vital part of making it a vibrant and interesting place to be.

Click here to visit the Leuchie House website

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