Resident blog: How arts and music helps me wake up with a sense of purpose


In my younger days, and when I was married, I was a qualified electrician. I worked at sea out on the oil rigs, I had a spell in the army, and I was cleared by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to work on weapons.

When I was working on the rigs, you used to have a week on and then a week off. It was during those weeks off that I used to increase my love of art, and started a love of music. I didn’t take up the saxophone until I was 37, but previously I had an interest in both art and sculpture generally, although I didn’t always have the time to do much.

Since I’ve been retired, I’ve had more chance to do the things that I love the most. You’ve got to wake up with a sense of purpose.

I’ve sold some sculptures that I created to America, Australia, Italy; about 30 or so in total. Some of them took me a year to do.

I had a friend who ran a little antique repair shop; he made space for me to create some bigger sculptures. Since that closed down I haven’t done any heavy projects; but I’ve been able to keep creating some at home.

I displayed some of my art at the second annual Primrose Hill Arts Trail recently. Last year, the first time they’d put on the event, I put out nearly 20 pictures. My friend is a photographer and she joined me this year in putting out some of her pictures as well. I say friend – I call her my carer, as she cuts my hair, does the plants and everything!

Everybody who is anybody doing arts and sculptures round here displayed something at the trail. It’s a great event - people walk around the whole of Primrose Hill looking at the different art, and it attracts a few thousand people. We take over the whole lawn outside Jacqueline House!

As part of the event, I got the saxophone and flute out as well. It’s probably the last year I’ll actually display art at the Trail as it’s such an effort to do the work, and I have so many of my arts creations in my flat, it’s getting a bit much.

Nowadays, I get more of a buzz about the music as it’s more emotional.

Bob Ellis-Hawke is a resident at the Oldfield Estate

If, like Bob, you have a passion for arts or music, why not check out C&C’s activities and events calendar. Currently we are running weekly drawing classes online, as well as interactive singalong sessions. We’re phasing in the return of in-person events with lockdown restrictions easing.

Catch up on our other news here.

Close this GDPR cookie privacy notice

We use cookies on this website to provide you with a better online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are OK with your web browser receiving our website's cookies. Our privacy policy explains how we use cookies.