Consultant who took up painting during pandemic raises funds

During the pandemic a Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald took up oil painting in an attempt to relax after the intense pressures in the COVID wards.

Chairman, Jonathan Patton being presented his painting by Respiratory Consultant Physician, Dr Jennifer Elder
Chairman, Jonathan Patton being presented his painting by Respiratory Consultant Physician, Dr Jennifer Elder

The result is a spectacular series of paintings which Dr Jennifer Elder sells in order to raise funds for Ukraine. Impressed by her work and her commitment to Ukraine, the acting Chairman of the South Eastern HSC Trust, Jonathan Patton, commissioned a painting of the new Inpatient Ward Block at the Ulster Hospital for his office.

Dr Elder, together with other doctors from across the UK, have joined MAU (Medical Aid Ukraine) which raises funds in order to send essential medical supplies to Ukraine. Equipment and ambulances donated to this cause are now in active use in Ukrainian hospitals and fundraising by MAU now totals almost £100,000.

The Consultant Respiratory Physician, who was born in Scotland but has lived in Co Down for the last 19 years, loves to explore the coast and mountains with her six year old son and uses the local scenery as an inspiration.

Chairman Jonathan Patton’s art piece.

Dr Elder, whose artwork has been inspired by beauty spots such as Strangford Lough, Murlough and Tobermory explained: “I am a Respiratory Doctor first and foremost but one who now ‘breathes art’. There are many things that make us feel alive and for me, painting is one of them.

“I started to paint during lockdown as a way of escaping, after long days working in a Covid-19 high dependency ward. All of us experience hundreds of different lights and moods in a day which I hope I have captured in my paintings. It is one of the reasons why I started to paint.”

Chairman, Jonathan Patton said, “I was so impressed, yet in many ways not surprised at how our staff responded so quickly and so generously to the Ukrainian appeal for help. I believed it was important to mark our staff’s generosity of spirit. When I saw Dr Elder’s paintings and realised she was donating 100% of the funds from her paintings to the Ukraine crisis, I asked her to commission a painting for the Office of the Chairman within Trust Headquarters.

“Jennifer’s painting of the Ulster Hospital site is a fabulous creation and celebrates not just our staff donations to Ukraine, but recognises our development and commitment to our patients and staff within the Trust. I am delighted to accept her painting and it now hangs proudly in the office.”

One of Dr Elder's works of art