Lesli’s art program a catalyst for a different kind of communication

One of the delights of offering the FraAngelico art program for palliative care patients at the Mary Potter Hospice is that it can be a catalyst for a different kind of communication.

We offer our palliative care patients an opportunity to leave their fingerprints on ceramic items such as plates or coasters in the same way they have left their ‘fingerprints’ in the hearts and lives of those who love them. Their painted fingerprints are enhanced with whatever design they choose, and the items are completed to become gifts for family or close friends.

A participant recently had been described by staff as only responding in flat monosyllabic answers, so I was surprised when I introduced the art program, to hear her say, “That sounds like a lovely idea.”

We went on to discuss her ideas about items, design, colours and text, and she continued to share her thoughts about it all.

The day of the initial art session, she told me she was feeling flat, but she was still prepared to go ahead and participated well in putting her prints on the items.

Later in the day, I returned to her room to leave another brochure with her husband, and he told me how she had been making plans for family to add their prints to the design, and that she was looking forward to doing some more. It was good to see a little smile on his face, and especially good to see a little smile on hers.


Lesli Townsend, Fra Angelico Coordinator, Mary Potter Hospice, Calvary North Adelaide Hospital

The FraAngelico program is generously funded by the Mary Potter Foundation to offer creative comfort to patients and families.