Posted on February 7th 2024
PHA UK member Kevin McAllister has created a meaningful piece of artwork exclusively for our charity, and we’ve made it available to download completely free as a screensaver.
Kevin, who has lived with pulmonary hypertension since he was a child, painted Acceptance in acrylics onto MDF board.
It incorporates part of the PHA UK logo in the form of colourful arrows travelling forwards, and hands reaching up and down in a show of mutual support.
The nails of the single hand are painted with his wife’s nail polish, recognising the unwavering understanding she has shown to him over the years.
Newcastle-based Kevin, who has PH connected to congenital heart disease, said: “The painting has two meanings to it. You could see the single hand as someone asking for help, because they have accepted they can’t do it alone. Those hands reaching across then represent the hospitals, family and friends, and the PHA UK. So the support goes both ways. It’s showing there are always people reaching out to help you, but you have to put your hand up to accept it.”
Although the painting has been inspired by Kevin’s own lived experiences of PH, he said the meaning is representative of many of life’s challenges – and shows the importance of making connections.
“The arrows taken from the PHA UK logo are all about moving forward in life, and travelling onwards, taking each step at a time. It was important to me to make them bright and uplifting.
This piece of artwork is about celebrating the everyday heroes who provide support for people with PH. I want people to look at this painting and be reassured of the support that’s around them – even if they don’t realise it. And I want this to make them feel hopeful.”
Kevin has recently completed a fine art degree and artistic design is a huge part of his life, boosting his mental wellbeing and helping him cope with the challenges of chronic illness.
Describing art as a ‘total escape’, he added: “From the moment I pick up a pencil or a paintbrush, or start designing on my computer, everything else just switches off around me. I don’t think about my health conditions, about being a parent, or a husband – I just get engrossed in creation.
It doesn’t matter what is being created; it’s the feeling of making something myself, from scratch, that sends me into another world. It’s almost like a kind of meditation.”