CareCare HomesDementia

Gallery Treatment Celebrates the Art of Dennis

A retired Cornish farmer has been encouraged to pursue his life-long hobby of drawing after staff at his Dorset dementia care home staged an exhibition of his latest work.

Dennis Edwards spoke of his disbelief and joy at the behind-the-scenes efforts of fellow residents and team members at The Aldbury in Poole.

Together, they mounted a collection of his pen drawings from the past six months on a corridor wall alongside views into a courtyard at the Colten Care home.

The works, done in biro pen, illustrate a mix of flowers in the courtyard and scenes from Dennis’s childhood and working life in St Michael’s, Cornwall.

They include life on the farm, his beloved dog Smudge, horses he used to shoe, and motorbikes, bicycles, tractors and cars he maintained and repaired.

The Aldbury Arts Exhibition – the home’s first such showcase devoted to an individual resident – prompted staff, fellow residents and visitors to come along and view the pictures.

Dennis said:
“I couldn’t believe the interest in my drawings and I was overwhelmed that people put so much effort into creating the show. It was just like being in a real art gallery. I thank everyone involved.”

The exhibition was held in The Aldbury’s ground floor Elgar living area, one of four small house group sections named after great composers. The others are Strauss, Beethoven and Mozart.

Cara Duroe, Companionship Team member, said:

“We know how much Dennis loves drawing and we thought it would be a lovely idea to show some of his work.

“We wrote up a biography, just like galleries do when featuring an artist, and we mounted the drawings on card.

“Fellow resident Joyce Holden helped decide in what order and how the drawings would be displayed while Tina Thorne helped write the wording for a promotional poster and invitations, which we gave out to residents. We also invited Dennis’s family along.

“All our residents came for the grand opening and we celebrated with Dennis’s favourite drink of lemonade. He thanked everyone for coming and shed a few happy tears.

“It was a great success and hopefully we can showcase another resident’s work in the future.”