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Hidden Talent

There is a great talent hidden away in an East Perth aged care home in the form of 77 year old Mary Lou Dudley, an in house artist who devotes most of her waking hours to producing stunning works of art.

Mary Lou, who lives at Catholic Homes’ Archbishop Goody residence, first discovered she had a gift for drawing and painting when she was fifteen years old. An accident left her housebound and to while away the hours she began sketching local people and scenery. Her talent was spotted by her mother who urged Mary Lou to try and get into Edith Cowan University to study fine and commercial art. Mary Lou was successful and quickly gained a reputation as being the best student sketch artist.

During her career she worked as a commercial artist but today she loves to concentrate on her own choice of work. Mary Lou’s absolute favourite is painting with oils but she also has an exceptional talent for sketching from memory. One of her most beautiful pieces is one of three ballerinas which was inspired by a visit from a ballet company.

Ballet dancers

“I just love to sketch and paint,” says Mary Lou. “I get such a sense of satisfaction and it is very therapeutic. I have been here for a long time now and every chance I get, I draw – I just can’t stop.”

 Lifestyle Facilitator Zoe Horner says; “It’s really important we enable residents to harness their strengths and talents and channel it into a meaningful and productive activity that benefits not just themselves, but also the other residents.”

 Mary Lou’s artwork is so prolific it almost covers her bedroom walls and there are many of her drawings and paintings throughout the Archbishop Goody residence

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Mary Lou