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Art keeps Stephen’s brain muscles active

When you see Stephen’s artwork for the first time, you would think he had been an accomplished artist his entire life. Reality is, he joined ACH Group’ Art Hub at Aberfoyle Park only in August.

Stephen Hill was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago and after seeing an ACH Group post on Facebook about an art group near his home, he considered exploring.

“I was aware that art can be a useful therapy for Parkinson’s Disease. With Parkinson’s there is nothing you can do about its existence and progression. It is all about managing and finding activities that might make it easier to live with it,” Stephen said.

“The prospects of a new hobby he would enjoy, combined with the potential health benefits made the decision to join the group an easy one.

“The other reason was that, even though I had never done painting in my adult life, I have always had a certain interest in it and in high school I was fairly good at it and thought I might enjoy that.”

Stephen started his career as a Civil Engineer and finished it as a Town Planner. His familiarity with dimensions, proportions and perspective have been used in an artistic way now.

“These are two-hour sessions. In the first hour we explore new techniques, using different medium. And the other half we can continue work on our projects. In between sessions, I do further work,” Stephen explained.

“I enjoy my time at the group. At the end of the two-hours I am tired, but I don’t mind. It is a satisfying tiredness. I am also enjoying the results. The activity forces my brain and nervous system to concentrate hard, so I can hold the paint brush steady. That doesn’t alter the fact I have Parkinson’s, but I am exercising my brain. I have a feeling it is useful for me and I enjoy it.”

ACH Group offers a range of social opportunities that can support you to maintain your interests or take up new ones; make new friends or reconnect with friends you haven’t seen for a while. We can also support you to get out and about, stay connected to your local community and meet like-minded people.