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Former Cromer art student is Dreaming Rainbows at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

PUBLISHED: 01:22 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 01:22 11 November 2016

Gresham-based artist Hannah Hardy, whose work is on show at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Gresham-based artist Hannah Hardy, whose work is on show at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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An exhibition of colourful, large scale animal paintings along the corridors of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has been given an extended run, after attracting dozens of positive comments from patients, staff and visitors.

Rainbow Dreamer, by Gresham-based artist Hannah Hardy, whose work is on show at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: SUPPLIEDRainbow Dreamer, by Gresham-based artist Hannah Hardy, whose work is on show at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: SUPPLIED

Entitled Dreaming Rainbows, the show, which has been installed as part of the NNUH Hospital Arts Project, features work by Gresham-based artist, sculptor and spiritual healer Hannah Hardy.

It includes prints made from original pastel, spray paint and acrylic paintings of pets and farm animals, as well as a series of studies made of the artist’s oldest daughter as a baby.

Former Cromer High School student Mrs Hardy, who trained at Wimbledon College of Art and Norwich School of Art and Design, worked on a number of public art schemes in the UK before spending nine years living and working in France, where she ran an art gallery with her mother – also a sculptor – and hosted community art workshops for adults and children.

She was prompted to take up painting animals after spotting a neighbour’s chicken scratching in the grass.

“I just connected with it,” she said. “I have always been interested in animals and animal welfare and I think that speaks through my work.”

More paintings followed, including a horse, a pig a cat and a dog, with mum-of-four Mrs Hardy also working of a series of drawings, paintings and cast resin sculptures of babies.

After returning to north Norfolk in 2005, she set up her own holistic therapy clinic and now has more than 50 clients on her books.

“I think my paintings are accessible and I try through them to convey the sense of compassion and connection I have through my healing work,” she said.

Initially set for a eight-week run, the NNUH exhibition is now in its third month, thanks to an “amazing” response.

“I have had countless messages,” Mrs Hardy said. “People have said the work has helped them tremendously and one lady even said that, after losing her father, it helped her connect with him.”

Future plans include working on a series of large-scale illuminated sculptures as part of a healthcare project and doing art demonstrations for NNUH patients and visitors.

As a result of the Dreaming Rainbows exhibition, Mrs Hardy, whose work has been exhibited as far afield as Morocco, Spain and the USA, has also been approached by two other hospitals wanting to exhibit her work.

“It has been lovely to have done something local that has had a such positive impact on people, many of whom might not normally go into a gallery,” she said.

Paintings by Hannah Hardy are on show at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and, until December 25, as part of the 100 Prints show at the Norwich Art Shop, Upper St Giles Street. To see more of her work, visit www.hannahhardy.com

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