Dementia care specialist Belong Crewe has released a special 2021 calendar to raise funds for a telescope for the village. Featuring its residents as life models, the project has recreated some of the world’s most iconic portraits for the calendar which can now be enjoyed by the local community.
Fourteen of the not-for-profit care village’s residents have modelled as famous paintings for the calendar, including works from some of history’s most renowned artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh and Grant Wood, spanning from 15th century Northern Renaissance to 1930s Modernism.
Natalie Ravenscroft, experience coordinator at Belong Crewe, who led the project, explains: “A number of our residents are fascinated by astronomy and our aim is always to indulge their interests, as well as introduce them to new ones. Creating the calendar to help raise telescope funds has been great for fun residents and provides a Christmas gift that can be enjoyed by their loved ones and the wider community, throughout all of 2021.”
Belong colleagues stepped outside their usual roles to become stylists, make-up artists and photographers, working with residents and using recycled materials, props and face paints, to bring their characters to life. The subsequent photoshoot, which took eight hours over the course of two days, saw staff capturing their model’s alter egos for the project.
Natalie Ravenscroft continues: “There’s been a real buzz around the village – everyone has been excited to see the final result. Our models really enjoyed getting dressed up, contributing their ideas, and many reminisced about old times from childhood when they used to play dress up or were involved in school plays. It’s been a great success.”
For one of the more ambitious photos, Picasso’s ‘Portrait of Dora Marr’, Jean, 85, commented: “The make-up tickled my face and felt so relaxing. I can’t remember having my face painted – it looks bright and joyful.” Another resident, Gillian, 80, spoke of taking on the role of Frida Kahlo and her distinct facial features: “Look at my eyebrows! They are marvellous!”.