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Award for Inspirational Member
By Conquest Art on 21st May 2019

The Gibson Award was set up at the request of Gladys Gibson* and each year we ask our group leaders to nominate a member who has shown particular achievement during the previous year.

From the nominations, one is selected and the trophy then presented.

It is a great way to hear about our members’ journeys and how Conquest Art is enriching their lives in some way or another.

This year Caroline Beddows from the Bridport group was chosen for the award.

The judge was impressed by the fact that, despite Caroline’s difficulty getting out of the house, she so enjoys Conquest Art that attending the meetings is a major factor in helping her expand and enrich her life outside the home.

In addition, she has been motivated to make changes in her home life to spend more time following her creative journey.

Group leader, Cathy describes her journey with Conquest Art…

Caroline was one of our first members when we started our group three years ago. Despite her multi-layered medical condition, which has become increasingly more complex over the past year, she is always inspired to be creative.

“Art for me is like escapism. It’s like going to another place and your mind is clear. You forget any worries, pains etc for the present time. It’s very much like reading a good book – you get absorbed.”

“Conquest Art is a stress-free environment. When I go to the art group, it’s somewhere to go rather than stay home alone. It’s a purpose for going out.”

Caroline very often feels unwell and it is a struggle to get out of the house… but, she so enjoys the companionship of the group and seeing the journey of other people’s art work, she wraps up warm, packs her art stuff onto her mobility scooter and comes through the door with a smile.

Conquest Art has encouraged her to continue art work at home and her family are now helping her to turn her garage into an art studio to make a lovely space for her to escape to and continue her creative journey.

She is an inspiration to us all.

* Gladys Gibson was one of Ursula Hulme’s first pupils and attended a class that used to meet in New Malden.  She was once scared by the very word ‘art’, but attending the first group, in her own words, “changed her life”.

She said:  “Painting is my one interest.  I enjoy painting flowers on paper, glass, china, plastic and – my greatest interest – I paint on materials!  The social side of meeting one another is the highlight of our week. Should you approach our room, you would hear laughter and happy voices before you ever saw us.  We all have different activities, some are painting, some drawing, others using felt pens and others making a collage, etc.  The time goes all too quickly.”



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