Music and art have become two popular pastimes during the long months of coronavirus lockdown, and one nursing home in the U.K. found the perfect way to combine the two.
Residents at Sydmar Lodge Care Home in Edgware, outside London, took photographs re-creating famous album covers, from makeup to the perfect pose. The re-creations cross genres and decades, including covers by David Bowie, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Madonna and more.
The staff member who headed up the project, activities coordinator Robert Speker, told TODAY that he tries to keep his residents entertained with "topical" ideas and that they got on board with his plan "pretty quickly."
He wanted to achieve a mix of current and classic albums that were "well-known," he explained. After he'd chosen the albums, he then had to decide which artist best suited which resident.
"When I was matching the residents up, I had a quick think. Who would like to participate, and which would best suit them? Who wouldn’t mind having tattoos drawn on their arms or zigzags painted on their faces?" Speker said.
"I wanted the resident’s personality to shine through. I feel I managed that, unbelievably," he continued. "The reaction they had was so lovely."
Speker took and edited the photos himself, and when necessary, he did the makeup, as well. For British singer Rag'n'Bone Man's album, he even had to draw tattoos on a resident's arm. It took a couple of weeks to complete the entire project, he said.
"They all had great fun, and it was nice to spend some one-to-one time with them in this time," Speker added.
The photos were posted on Twitter last Friday by Speker in a tweet that amassed tens of thousands of likes and retweets. Another Twitter user named Tim Frost also posted about the project in since-deleted tweets to say his "nan" was front and center in the re-creation of Adele's album "21."
"Thank you all for the kind words and the shares! I cannot wait for the day I can visit Grandma and show her how much she is loved!" Frost wrote.
Speker told TODAY that the reaction to the photos has been "so positive."
"I thought my friends would see it, but obviously it’s spread in a ridiculous way," he said. "I feel really overwhelmed and humbled by the response."