Leeds couple’s care home art exhibition is a show of devotion

Norma and Alan.
Norma and Alan.
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A care home is staging what might just be the most touching art exhibition seen in Leeds this year.

The exhibition at Seacroft Grange Care Village features work by two of its residents, husband and wife Alan and Norma Horbury.

They were recently reunited at Seacroft Grange after a period apart, when 81-year-old Norma was living in a nursing home in Wakefield.

Now suffering from dementia, she is well known locally for her portraits, pastels and floral needlepoint.

Her 85-year-old husband, who also has dementia, is a craftsman whose work includes woodcarvings.

The couple’s son, Michael, a writer aged 50, has Parkinson’s disease and is also a resident at Seacroft Grange.

Alan and Norma’s daughter, Belinda May, who is herself a talented artist, has curated the exhibition with the home’s activities manager, Iria Cunha.

Belinda said: “It is a huge relief that my family can be together whilst still receiving proper and friendly care.

“The staff are great because they know each of them and can understand their questions about each other.

“The exhibition brings together the art and craft of my parents to celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary, their first as a family in Seacroft Grange Care Village.”

She added: “Despite his illness, Michael is the happiest I’ve ever seen him and he is writing again.”

Formerly of Gildersome and a key figure in the founding of the area’s community choir, Norma moved into her previous home in Wakefield in 2014 after being diagnosed with vascular dementia requiring full-time nursing care.

She was transferred to Seacroft Grange earlier this year, shortly after her husband became a resident there.

Michael, whose writing is influenced by JG Ballard and George Orwell, also moved into the home earlier this year.

The exhibition, which is entitled A Marriage of Art and Craft, opens today and runs for a fortnight.

It is being held in Seacroft Grange’s bistro and coffee shop, which is open daily to the public from 10am to 4pm.

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