Dundee care worker shows off his art skills in Channel 4 reality show

A specialist care worker from Dundee has been showing off his art skills as he competes in the Channel 4 programme Drawers Off, running each evening this week.

Craig Cairnie (pictured on the programme), a Senior Support Worker with specialist care group ASC in Balbeggie, Perthshire, surprised his co-workers and service users when he announced he would be appearing in the second season of the Channel 4 life drawing competition.

Presented by comedian Jenny Éclair, Drawers Off is a TV series where groups of five amateur artists take a life drawing class each week, capturing nudes on canvas to win a cash prize.

Whilst the programme is pre-recorded, the results for his cohort won’t be revealed until the final show this Friday. And while his colleagues from ASC are excitedly tuning in every evening to watch, Craig must keep the outcome close to his chest until the results air.

A graduate in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, part of the University of Dundee, Craig had fallen away from drawing simply from the busyness of everyday working life at ASC, where adults with perceived challenging behaviour and learning disabilities are supported to life as full lives as possible.

“I’ve always loved art. It’s been one of the things I feel like I’ve been good at since I was a kid. I feel the one constant that’s been in my life has been drawing,” said Craig, who lives in Dundee. “When you’ve got that time limit like there is in Drawers Off, there’s no time to be precious, you just need to get stuck in. So, it’s a challenge to see what can I actually do in 90 mins.”

A highly valued member of his work team, Craig is also a Positive Behavioural Mentor at ASC, part of Balhousie Care Group and the only facility of its kind in Scotland. He said: “My work at ASC can be challenging at times but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. It feels great to be part of such an incredible team that works tirelessly to give the best person-centred care to each service user and supports them to have the best possible life.

“I had a great time filming this show – met amazing people and stepped out of my comfort zone. It was nerve-wracking but a fun challenge.”

Leanne Fairburn, Manager at ASC, said: “We’re so proud to see Craig excelling at his art. We know how brilliant he is in his role here and he’s so well-loved by our service users, so it’s fabulous to see him showing off his artistic talent too. All the service users and staff are loving seeing him on their TVs and excited to see the results at the end of the week!”

Craig features in week three, this week 13-17 June, every evening at 5.30pm. In Monday’s introductory episode for this group, host Jenny Éclair, commented on his life portrait, “A very proper classical piece of work. You have a skill and you have a talent, it’s a terrible shame to waste it and ignore it.”

At the end of each episode, the contestants judge the others’ work and the highest scoring goes into the winners’ gallery for a final vote at the end of the week. The winning artist takes home the £1000 prize. Craig’s work from Monday’s episode won the session, so it’s all to play for. All episodes can be seen on the Channel 4 catch-up app – All 4.

For more information on ASC visit www.asc-living.co.uk/

For more information on Balhousie Care Group visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

Find more of Craig Cairnie’s art on Instagram @craigcairnie.art and Facebook @Craig Cairnie Art

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