Lizzie Bhushan

Lizzie Bhushan studied fine art at Camberwell. She then taught art in Bristol, went to India and learned about Indian Miniature painting in Baroda, then to the Himalayas where she met her future husband. Lizzie has taught art and craft in community settings, a children’s psychiatric and epilepsy centre, and an orthopaedic children’s hospital. She did some counselling training, and for many years taught in a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, specialising in art and technology.

“A week after my 70th birthday, the COVID pandemic hit and I had to lock down. I made a dash from London to Cardiff, as there was a house available on my daughter’s street, belonging to friends. I missed my little grandson, William. I had been very close to him since he was born, and we spent a lot of time together wandering the marshes and riverbanks of East London. He was always fascinated by insects, the birds on the river and the wild creatures we saw.  I found an old hedgehog puppet, Hedge, that his mother Nell had had as a child. Hedge was a useful fellow, as both Nell and William would do things for him they might not do for me. He talks a lot, and he accompanied us on our adventures.

During Lockdown, William didn’t like talking on the phone; the small screen wasn’t at all his idea of fun. I became sad that we could no longer see each other and be together, so I tried making up stories for him as I used to do. He wasn’t happy about the stories as he said there were no pictures. Finally, I began to paint little pictures that his mum could show him and talk about, with animals, birds and insects playing football and having picnics. They centred around Hedge and his friends, Mole, Rabbit, worms, ladybirds, squirrels and sparrows. They began to do the same things in the woods that William did, and they went to the river where he had been. I tried to do them as often as I could and began to fill up sketch books. Later we moved on to dinosaurs, robots, talking vegetables and, eventually, we were unlocked.

These are just some of those pictures. These are William’s pictures.”