Art brings joy after strokes

Wodonga's Doug Hoth was an artist previous to having a stroke. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
Wodonga's Doug Hoth was an artist previous to having a stroke. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

WHEN stroke victim Doug Hoth was lying on his back, unable to move from that position, the only thing that got him through was the desire to get back into art.

Since having a stroke four years ago, Mr Hoth has slowly regained his status as an artist after honing his left arm to have the same skill as what his right once did.

And yesterday Mr Hoth proved he had not lost his touch in the Stroke Recovery Club’s first art therapy session at Albury’s Commercial Club.

Not only did the art therapy session boost Mr Hoth’s recovery, it helped stroke victims who did not consider themselves artists.

“People can use art as a vehicle to understand the power of their brain,” he said.

“You gain something out of art, you don’t have to be an artist and people need to understand that before they come here.”

The art therapy session was funded by Albury Community Crew.

President Desney McGown had a stroke herself two years ago and wanted to focus on the work of the Stroke Recovery Club.

They have donated $3000 to the project.

Stoke Recovery Club secretary Narelle Maloney said art helped create new pathways in the brain.

“It helps a person get back to who they once were,” she said.

Artistic therapist Cheryl Webster said it was a way for those who could not communicate well to express feelings.

“I watched the group go from sitting there looking like they weren’t going to participate in the world to then really giving art their all and not holding back,” she said.

“It is very important when you lose part of your brain to express and communicate.”

Mrs Maloney said they planned to host another art therapy session in May.