An exhibition of rest-home talent

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Residents of the Observatory Retirement Village put on an art exhibition last week to spark some inspiration and creativity.

Paintings, quilts, jewellery and coin collections made and assembled by residents were among the creations on display last Thursday at the Oamaru retirement home.

Observatory Retirement Village activities co-ordinator Stacey Ralston said the “exhibition of creative art and talent” was a way of “reminding ourselves what skills we have”.

“We have all these talents that have been hidden away in drawers and cupboards,” Miss Ralston said.

“We set this up to remind people we are all talented and creative.”

The exhibition encompassed everything creative, Miss Ralston said, and was well attended by residents and their families.

“People have commented that they didn’t realise we had this much talent here.

“The mood seems lighter and it has provoked enthusiasm in the home.”

One of the exhibitors, Noeline Cleverley, brought out her watercolour paintings and textile art she had produced before moving to Observatory Village.

She was a mostly self-taught artist, who started to pencil draw in high school and attended a few weekend courses.

She loved depicting scenery, such as the North Otago coastline and the Lindis Pass.

Seeing the other residents’ art on display had inspired Mrs Cleverley to dig out her pencils and get creative again.

Some of the works on display had been produced more recently.

The Observatory Retirement Village’s “knitter-natter” group has been active for the past four months.

Members meet every Friday afternoon to knit and yarn, crafting items to be donated to the community.

On display last week were baby clothes, scarves, winter feet warmers and fiddlemuffs – knitted tubes made with ornaments on the inside to help comfort people with dementia.

“A lot of people, when they move into a home, give away their wool and knitting needles,” Miss Ralston said.

“They love making things and it builds confidence.

“It is all about things that enhance people’s lives.”

She said the knitter-natter group was always on the lookout for wool or ornaments that could be used to create garments.

Anyone who had items they would like to donate could contact the Observatory Retirement Village, she said.