Care HomesNews

Visually Impaired Artist Curates Care Home Gallery

Prolific sketcher, Michael Perfect, whose drawings ‘reflect his mood’, has recently taken over the walls of the care home where he lives, creating a gallery to display his works of art.

Looking through the artwork produced by Michael, who lives at Farnham Common House – one of The Fremantle Trust’s care homes, you get a sense that this is the work of a seasoned artist. And you’d be right. Michael has been sketching for over 60 years. There are countless pages of artwork, all beautifully sketched in pencil and marked with his signature. The sheer number of sketches is quite remarkable, but what makes this story even more impressive, is the fact that Michael is living with dementia, is severely visually impaired and is registered blind.

Detailed shading and intricate details are all drawn from memory with such impressive skill. A skill that Michael has honed since he was a very young boy.

Michael said: “My parents were very protective of me because of my limited sight and I wasn’t able to do too much. So I picked up my colouring pencils and started drawing and I haven’t stopped since.” When asked about his inspiration and desire to draw, Michael explains: “Sketching helps to ease frustration. For me, my sketches are like mood drawings and I find that the sketches reflect how I’m feeling at the time.”

One of four siblings, Michael grew up in Loudwater, High Wycombe. He attended a mainstream school, but had very little support so left with limited qualifications. In his early twenties, Michael went on to study at a school for the partially sighted in London, where he was able to catch up. The school, located close to London Zoo meant that Michael was able to visit and provided inspiration for his sketches, many of which have a distinctly feline theme and feature a variety of ‘Big Cats’.

He recently moved to Farnham Common house where Harry Dennis, Lifestyle & Wellbeing Support Worker spotted his incredible artistic talent.

Harry commented: “I noticed that Michael would spend hours and hours sketching, so asked to take a look at his artwork and was blown away by not only the number of drawings, but the quality of them. Whilst Michael’s vision is so limited, the level of detail and techniques used are really impressive. I felt that it was only right to create a display of Michael’s work and so together, we selected some of his favourites and created a gallery on our staircase here at Farnham Common House.”

Michael’s artwork now takes pride of place at the foot of the stairs in the care home for all to admire. And based on the rate that Michael is sketching, Harry and the team will need to find more space very soon!