Marilyn’s art to be displayed in patient Art Exhibition

John and Marilyn with Hospice at Home staff
Published on: Monday 26 Feb 2018 at 11:49

Marilyn’s paintings: The story behind the art

St Clare will be hosting an Art Exhibition to showcase a selection of our patients’ art at the Gibberd Gallery at Harlow Civic Centre from Friday 16th March to Friday 23rd March 2018.

The exhibition will include a series of botanical watercolours painted by St Clare patient, Marilyn Taylor, who was cared for by the hospice in 2015.

Marilyn was a teacher and Principal of Wansfell College in Theydon Bois for more than a decade, and was passionate about art and painting for her whole life. After Marilyn was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2014 she took up art classes and began a series of floral watercolour paintings.

Marilyn decided to turn the paintings into a collection of notelet cards which were sold in aid of the hospice, raising over £2,000 for St Clare. Marilyn died at St Clare Hospice on 20th September 2015.

Marilyn’s husband John Taylor, has very kindly chosen to loan Marilyn’s paintings to the hospice, to be included in our Art Exhibition event.

John Taylor said: “When I heard that St Clare was putting on an art exhibition of patients’ art I was very happy to loan Marilyn’s paintings to the gallery. I just love her paintings – so it’s a wonderful thing for other people to see them. Marilyn would have been so pleased. St Clare empowered Marilyn to carry on enjoying her life, and enjoying her painting. It is special for other people to now be able to find joy in her art too. This will be a wonderful way for us to give back to St Clare.”

Commenting on the care that she received at the hospice in 2015, Marilyn said: “The way St Clare cares for people is an eye-opener. St Clare literally gave me back my life, my sense of self and my independence.”

John said: “I felt totally at ease the moment I came in to St Clare. I never had a second’s doubt about the hospice. I think that’s true of everyone who came to see Marilyn. Everyone at the hospice was so caring, and we all had such a positive view of St Clare. I think the world of the hospice movement – the care and people are wonderful.”

John with Marilyn's paintings

“Marilyn had always painted, as far back as she could remember, and her talent was obvious from an early age. She was even offered a place at her local art college when she was just 14. Her greatest love was always for drawing and painting and later for flower painting in watercolours.”

“Marilyn came home from St Clare and continued to paint her floral watercolours. It was then that Marilyn came up with the idea to offer some of her paintings to be used for notecards to be sold in aid of the hospice. She wanted to repay St Clare for the care she had been given. It was our way of helping. The cards have been sold in the hospice shops for the past 2 years and they have raised over £2,000 in that time.”

“Marilyn came back to St Clare at the start of September 2015 and she died, as she chose to, at the hospice on 20th September 2015. We had been together for more than 50 years, and as Marilyn asked me to, I will always remember the good times we had together.”

“It has been two years, and I can talk about it now. I have carried on travelling and going on bird watching holidays, which we used to enjoy doing together. There are no rules for bereavement, that’s the important thing to remember. I don’t really know what it is to grieve – there is no definition for it. Everybody grieves differently. But I think that displaying Marilyn’s paintings is a lovely way to round off this part of our story. I am so very proud of Marilyn, she was the most modest, humble and understated person. People are always astounded when they see her paintings, they didn’t know she had such a talent, and I look forward to sharing it with others.”

Marilyn Taylor’s series of eight botanical watercolours will be on display at the St Clare Art Exhibition which is taking place in the Gibberd Gallery, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, Harlow, CM20 1WG from Friday 16th March to Friday 23rd March. The Gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 4.45pm and on Saturday from 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Printed reproductions of Marilyn’s paintings will be available to order throughout the exhibition, with all profits donated to St Clare Hospice.

Come to the Exhibition!

Entry to the exhibition is free. You can find more information here:

You can read Marilyn’s full story here:

For more information on this event, please get in touch with St Clare Community Fundraising Lead, Dani De’ath on 01279 773738 or email  

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