An art class started over two decades ago at Donisthorpe has been illustrating its highly therapeutic and creative benefits.
The class is part of the care home’s ongoing art and craft workshop which is run by volunteers. Recently residents have been busy designing and painting the care home’s New Year cards.
Supervising the workshop is volunteer Gloria Stone, who has been involved with the group for fourteen years, and is delighted with the designs. The cards, costing 50p each or £2.50 for six, are on sale at the reception desk.
The class was originally started by late artist and inspirational tutor Diana Nelson. After ill health forced her to step down Gloria was drafted in to help.
“Apart from the creative aspect Diana realized that art and crafts were exceptionally therapeutic aids, and indeed, residents feel better in themselves after spending time with paint, brush and colour.”
Volunteer Suzanne Berson said, “it’s great to see the artists drawing, painting, being very creative and thoroughly enjoying themselves. There is so much laughter here.”
The class meets in a spacious room next to the Trudi Moss suite. “It’s important that residents have an area in which they can come to and create some beautiful work,” she said.
The class can attract from five to twelve members at a time, depending on the availability of residents.
Inspiration stems mainly from graphics, illustrations and greetings cards.
Prolific artist Sonia King said she found the class creatively cheerful and looks forward to attending.
Specialising in figurative painting she enjoys working with bright primary colours.
Recently some members started working with Fimo, a polymer modelling clay used for making jewellery and small trinkets.
“We have one resident who has done some amazing work, sculpting items such as mini-challa, bagels and novelty keyrings,” said Suzanne, who would like to see more attendees.
She wants residents to feel more involved and to dispel doubts of being judged.
“We want to encourage them to join us, because this is where the fun is.”
Perhaps there’s a chance that Donisthorpe has discovered a future Manet or a budding Damien Hirst, one enquires.
Centenarian Rose Price, who until she came to the care home never held a paintbrush in her hand, certainly thinks so.
“I’m not sure about the sharks in formaldehyde — they’re not Kosher, are they? But I’m in no doubt we have access to some tasty pickled herrings.”
by John Fisher