Incredibly-detailed portraits of people living in Washington residential homes have gone on show at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens to complement the Leonardo da Vinci display.
Portrait artist Andrew Tift visited residential homes over two months last year to record the stories of his sitters, as well as capturing their images for these remarkable drawings, so detailed they look like hi-res photos.
Andrew, who is renowned for his paintings of leading politicians, was commissioned for the project as part of a wider initiative to engage people in the arts, sparked by the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life In Drawing exhibition which is on show in the city until May 6.
The artist says he also drew inspiration for his One Day You’ll Be Older Too exhibition from Fannie Flag’s novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.
“The novel tells the story of a woman who visits an old people’s residential home in Alabama and befriends an old lady there who shares her stories of exuberance and sadness while she was growing up,” he explained.
He added: “There is also another purpose to my project which is to address the way that we care for the elderly generation now, and in particular, in the future with an ever-growing elderly population.”
Shauna Gregg, exhibitions, collections and archives officer at Sunderland Museum, said: “We wanted to use the Royal Collections Leonardo da Vinci tour to explore drawing more widely and introduce local elements.”
“Each of the 12 venues has been asked by the Royal Collection to run collaborative learning programmes alongside the tour and the Andrew Tift project forms part of our learning programme, with a theme of health and well-being,” added Jennie Lambert, public engagement and learning manager at the museum.
The project has been funded by Washington Area Committee, which provides local residents with a greater say in council affairs, through its strategic initiative budget.
•See Andrew’s work at the museum until May 6. Entry is free.
•Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing is at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens until May 6. Tickets are £2.50 and are available to book for time slots on https://sunderlandculture.org.uk/events/leonardo-da-vinci/