“I wanted to create a feeling of compassion and empathy, of seeing yourself in that person. We put the elderly and the dying away, we shut them away. We’ve kind of given up on them. They’re no longer productive…Particularly in American culture, productivity is so much at the core of what we value in people.”

Claudia Bicen

Episode 6: Claudia Bicen

Claudia Bicen is a self-taught British-American artist living in San Francisco. Her work has been selected for a number of exhibitions including The Outwin: Portraiture Today at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries in London and the Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club in New York where she was awarded the Herman Margulies Award for Excellence.


Fascinated by the human condition, Claudia has worked with communities across the world in both mental health and therapeutic art settings. In 2013, she was invited to Project 387’s artist residency where she produced a contemplative art piece in the forest exploring the relationship between transience and well-being.

Claudia holds a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London.

Today we talk with Claudia about her two year experience talking with hospice patients and how she was able to capture their hearts and souls in her artwork.