Archived News Item


Mercy Place Abbotsford residents and long-time friends Brother Patrick Henigan and John Bartlett joined forces recently to hold their own art exhibition at the Collingwood Gallery. Both men are distinguished artists in their own right, but this is the first time they have hosted an exhibition together.

Br. Patrick, who is 91 years old, stopped painting professionally 25 years ago to commit his time to working with homeless men and to his religious life. “Art has always provided an important creative release for me,” explained Br. Patrick. “It is the one constant in my life. No matter what else is happening around me – I know I can always turn to art.”

In October 2015 Br. Patrick visited the Collingwood Gallery to view one of John’s exhibitions with Mercy Place Abbotsford Resident Liaison Officer, Tracee Carter, and asked if he could have his own art exhibition. 

“I told Br. Patrick he could have his own exhibition but he would need to have more than one artwork to display,” said Ms Carter. “Br. Patrick started painting day and night and even skipped his afternoon nap to complete a total of 34 paintings for the exhibition.”

John is 87 years old and only moved into Mercy Place Abbotsford in December last year. He chose the residential aged care home away from his family in Shepparton to be close to friends. John managed to create eight new artworks for the joint exhibition with Br. Patrick.  “I started oil painting in my forties but since moving into Mercy Place Abbotsford I have started drawing in charcoal,” said John. “I am enjoying the challenge and I am grateful to have a platform to still be able to express myself.” John is a self-taught artist who has been practising for more than 30 years. John has held 13 solo exhibitions and has been involved in 33 group shows.

Br. Patrick’s work is held in the Australian National Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, LaTrobe University Gallery, LaTrobe Valley Art Centre, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Prahran College, the Kedumba Collection and many private collections.  


Messages to: Kasey McCulloch

Media Officer Mercy Health