A healing gift from life’s journey

Les Ahoy has lived through the ups and downs of battling cancer and the rigours of chemotherapy. Painting became an important part of the journey, for himself and the community.

There was hardly a dry eye in the house when artist Les Ahoy and his partner Maree Simon donated his painting, Cancer affects us all, to staff at the Day Treatment Centre at Calvary Mater Newcastle, during National Reconciliation Week. Painting has been one of the best medicines in Les’ own battle against prostate cancer and an escape from the rigours of recent chemotherapy.

“When I started painting this, I thought it would be about me,” an emotional Les said. “But the focus shifted very quickly and I realised it was not just about me. It’s about everybody,” he said, reflecting the theme this year for National Reconciliation Week.

The large format canvas uses a Western desert dot painting style to depict people’s life journey before and with cancer. At the centre – surrounded by those who have been and those who are yet to come – are patients and staff at the Centre. Amid the calming blues, whites and aqua chosen for Newcastle’s coastal position and the Awabakal people, the figures are represented in purple, which, and unbeknown to Les, is the colour for chemotherapy.

Sarah Scudds, the Unit’s former acting Manager said the whole unit had been excited to receive Les’ painting.

Read more in the Spring issue of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.