Real Lives: Charity fundraising is an art for Linda

Linda Park
Linda Park
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An Edinburgh-based artist is hoping that her art work will help raise funds for two charities very close to her heart.

Oil painter Linda Park has exhibited her paintings throughout the UK and as far away as New York but now she is showcasing some of her pieces at the Dundas Street Gallery, with proceeds raised going towards type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, which has pledged more than £4m to fund research in Scotland, and Alzheimer Scotland.

Linda said: “Audrey is my oldest friend from school and her eldest daughter, Rebecca, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just eight months old.”

One of the toughest aspects of type 1 diabetes is having to experience hypos, which are when the body’s blood glucose levels drop too low. Some people living with type 1 diabetes don’t experience symptoms warning them of a hypo, making the condition even harder to manage.

Speaking of Rebecca, Linda explained: “Throughout the years I’ve watched her grow up having to endure endless finger prick tests, carb counting and encounter hypos, which is scary as Rebecca is hypo unaware.

“Rebecca is about to become a teenager and I’d love for nothing more for her to one day be able to get rid of her insulin pump. The only way we can do this is through research to find a cure.”

Linda added: “Also, my father has Alzheimer’s, and Alzheimer Scotland has been a fantastic resource for my mother.

“Both these charities do tremendous work which is why I’m doing the exhibition.”

Audrey Peachey, who went to St Columba’s Primary in Kilmacolm with Linda, and now lives in Dunbar said: “I’m so touched Linda is putting on the exhibition. She’s such a talented artist and a true friend. The support I’ve had from her throughout the years has been amazing.

“When Rebecca was diagnosed she was so young – she couldn’t tell us how she was feeling. After several trips to the GP she was sent to the Sick Kids Hospital where they diagnosed type 1 after Rebecca lost consciousness.”

Linda, who lives with husband Richard, son Sam, 12, and daughter Jenna, 10, in Canonmills, is inspired by her travels within Scotland and France and decided to change direction from her architectural studies to become a professional artist.

She said: “I’ve always been interested in art, but used to paint for a hobby. However, once the children were a little older and nearly at school age I embarked on being a full time artist.

“It’s the best thing I’ve done and I love creating pieces that show off how captivating the elements can be and how they draw you in. I love hosting exhibitions and telling the stories behind each piece to people.”