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Staff at Care UK’s Sherwood Grange care home in London recently held a life drawing class complete with a nude model.

Recognising the creative talents of the skilled artists amongst its residents, staff at Care UK’s Sherwood Grange care home in London recently held a life drawing class complete with a nude model.

Led by a professional tutor and making use of an experienced model more used to posing for professional artists, the team hosted a life drawing class with every sinew and muscle on display for residents to sketch.

At Sherwood Grange, residents are encouraged to take up any activities they enjoy and are no strangers to artistic endeavours, having already taken a trip to France to enjoy sketching and watercolour painting by a lake. Several (clothed) life drawing classes have also been held in the home and at the nearby Dorich House Museum. So, when residents asked for the opportunity to draw a nude model, the team immediately set to work to organise one.

As part of the session, the residents at the home were given expert tuition from professional artist Robin Rutherford who teaches life drawing in a number of locations. A glass of sparkling wine helped add to the sense of occasion.

The unusual activity took place to mark the end of a month-long festival that Care UK has sponsored, The Big Draw, which promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. More than 60 of Care UK’s homes have taken part and, as the team and residents at Sherwood Grange have a special love for painting and drawing, it made sense for them to do something memorable to mark the end of the Big Draw festival.

Residents were full of praise for the art session, including Mollie Wheeldon who said: “I spent my life interested in art and painting landscapes. I always wanted to draw from a nude model and never got around to doing it. It was a really interesting experience; I think we did our best.”

Rick Mayne, Home Manager at Sherwood Grange, said: “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. 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.

“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!”


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