Norman’s conquest is to continue as an artist, despite his multiple sclerosis

Disabled painter Norman Hurst, who has MS, now paints using his mouth after losing the use of his hands.
Disabled painter Norman Hurst, who has MS, now paints using his mouth after losing the use of his hands.
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TALENTED Norman Hurst is an artist with a difference.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has left the 65-year-old unable to use his hands.

So, in order to create his mini-masterpieces, Norman has developed a technique of painting with a brush in his mouth.

Now an exhibition of his work is to be put on display at Victoria Lodge Care Home, Leechmere Road, where he has been a resident for 10 years.

“The paintings in the exhibition have all be done using my mouth,” he said.

“I think it took a couple of years to do them all.”

Norman’s passion for art started as a teenager.

After leaving school he spent three years at art college, where he studied photography.

The grandfather-of-two went on to have a creative career, working as a professional photographer and script editor.

In 1975 Norman developed MS and, when the illness became to much, he moved into Victoria Lodge.

“When I retired and came into Victoria Lodge I had to stop. I couldn’t use my hands to hold the brush.”

But with the encouragement from his personal activities leader at the Lodge, Norman started up his passion again three years ago.

With the help of the home’s volunteer, Bill Crake, who mixes Norman’s paints and places the brush in his mouth, the artist has been able to continue his love of painting watercolours.

“After all these years of not doing any painting I wanted to get back into it,” said Norman.

“I thought I would try it with my mouth and it seems to have worked.

“I need help from Bill to draw some of the lines as I find it difficult to get them very straight.

“I do it to express myself. I have to work from photographs, mainly landscape.

“My favourite place to paint is the Lake District.”

Veronica Ross, current personal activities leader at the Lodge, said: “It’s absolutely marvellous for someone disabled to be able to do that.

“I couldn’t do what he does with both of my hands, never mind using my mouth. It really is incredible.”

Norman’s work will be exhibited on Sunday, August 26, at 1pm in the Victoria Lodge.

Entry is 50p including drinks and money raised will go to the residents’ fund.

For more information call 523 7530.

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