Old people's home invites nude model for life drawing class

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

A care home in London has bowed to residents’ demand to invite a nude male model for a life drawing class.

Sherwood Grange is a care home based in Kingston Vale, London, which provides both residential and short-term respite care for patients, including specialist care for dementia sufferers.

Residents requested care workers at the home to organise a life drawing class, together with “a nice handsome” man to model.

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Care home residents enjoyed prosecco as they did their pencil sketches. [Photo: Simon Jacobs]

Some 12 residents took part in the life drawing class, led by professional artist Robin Rutherford, to paint a nude male model. They enjoyed glasses of prosecco while working on their pencil sketches.

“Most people expect life in a care home to be a certain way – but here at Sherwood Grange we’re keen to ensure that there are no limitations and every day can be different and fun,” Rick Mayne, home manager at Sherwood Grange, told Metro.

Residents at Care UK's Sherwood Grange care home take part in a nude life drawing class.[Photo: Simon Jacobs]
Residents chose to take part in a life drawing class as part of their regular activity programme. [Photo: Simon Jacobs]

“Life in our care home is all about helping people to enjoy more independent and fulfilling lives – and today that meant expanding people’s experiences and doing something out of the ordinary.

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He added: “It’s fair to say we’ve never had a nude model at the home before – but based on the response we may well do again!”

Care home residents made pencil sketches of a nude model. [Photo: Simon Jacobs]
Some 10 care home residents took part in the life drawing class. [Photo: Simon Jacobs]
A care home resident reveals her finished pencil sketch. [Photo: Simon Jacobs]

Care UK, a group of care homes which Sherwood Grange belongs to, is currently sponsoring an annual month-long festival called The Big Draw which encourages care home residents to exercise creativity and reap the benefits of art therapy. This year’s theme is: “Drawn To Life”.

Of the festival, Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert, said: “Arts are an essential part of life in our care homes and I’ve seen first-hand how drawing and painting can bring satisfaction and pride to older people.

“Using art materials can also be a powerful reminiscence activity for people living with dementia – prompting long forgotten skills and bringing into focus memories of a person’s earlier life.”