He's gay, she's straight... and they married for art (video)

ARTISTIC UNITY: University students Paul Cartwright and Nora Battenberg-Cartwright (02183801)

HAPPIEST DAY: The couple tie the knot in Germany

First published in News Worcester News: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , @clairefryWN #WENews

CREATIVE students proved that opposites really do attract when they took their wedding vows – and turned marriage into a work of art.

Nora Battenberg-Cartwright, aged 21, and Paul Cartwright, 20, married in Germany a few days after Christmas to show their commitment to each other – artistically.

However, while they are legally married, live together in the centre of Worcester and are very close friends, Mrs Battenberg-Cartwright is straight, and Mr Cartwright is gay.

The pair, both studying fine art at the University of Worcester, decided to make themselves into an artwork as part of their coursework they are undertaking in their second year.

They make sure they co-ordinate their outfits every day and also make their own clothes – including Mrs Battenberg-Cartwright’s gold wedding dress.

Mrs Battenberg-Cartwright, who is German and moved to the city to study, said: “We work collaboratively on everything, there isn’t a clear line between our work and our tutors have agreed to mark us together.

“We only told our tutors about us doing this a few days ago and they were quite shocked. They said they had to go away and think about it.”

Mr Cartwright said: “It’s about an artistic unity rather than a love union, to join each other in art and make us the art.

"It’s a really truthful marriage and we will still see other people.

“It is a bit strange calling her my wife and her calling me her husband. We do love each other, but in a different way.”

The pair said that while their parents were initially shocked about what they had done, they were supportive and beginning to understand.

The couple have already featured in newspapers in Germany and say they are committed to each other and if they ever divorce, that would be the end of their creative partnership.

Dr James Fisher, head of fine art at the university, said: “Nora and Paul are very serious students.

"They live together and work very closely together and are both very committed artists.”

Dr Fisher said the pair’s work would be marked following a strict set of criteria.

Comments (22)

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11:34am Fri 14 Jan 11

crowquill says...

How lame is that! That picture says it all really. Thank god from now on they will be paying for their own education instead of sponging off the tax payers.
How lame is that! That picture says it all really. Thank god from now on they will be paying for their own education instead of sponging off the tax payers. crowquill
  • Score: 0

11:43am Fri 14 Jan 11

MR H Marks says...

Fair play, each to their own. As a lover of art its certainly an interesting concept.

BTW Crowquill I think you’ll find the taxpayer will still be funding these two which i am sure you will be over joyed about :-), I may be wrong, because they have already started their education.
Fair play, each to their own. As a lover of art its certainly an interesting concept. BTW Crowquill I think you’ll find the taxpayer will still be funding these two which i am sure you will be over joyed about :-), I may be wrong, because they have already started their education. MR H Marks
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Fri 14 Jan 11

molecat says...

I hope the Battenberg family provided the wedding cake.
I hope the Battenberg family provided the wedding cake. molecat
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Fri 14 Jan 11

Demigod says...

I'm going to marry my mate Dave due to our mutual love of potatoes and haribo. Idiots.
I'm going to marry my mate Dave due to our mutual love of potatoes and haribo. Idiots. Demigod
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Fri 14 Jan 11

BernarddeCampio says...

What an excellent idea. Oh wait....
What an excellent idea. Oh wait.... BernarddeCampio
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Fri 14 Jan 11

jeffbroadway says...

poor bloke, hes just parted with half his worldy goods when they get artistically divorced.
poor bloke, hes just parted with half his worldy goods when they get artistically divorced. jeffbroadway
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Fri 14 Jan 11

LsJo says...

Cool :) It's an interesting idea, and the clothes look great considering they made them themselves.
Cool :) It's an interesting idea, and the clothes look great considering they made them themselves. LsJo
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 14 Jan 11

helen donovan says...

"It’s about an artistic unity rather than a love union, to join each other in art and make us the art" What a pair of idiots!

Not to mention showing a complete lack of respect towards marriage and everything it stands for.
"It’s about an artistic unity rather than a love union, to join each other in art and make us the art" What a pair of idiots! Not to mention showing a complete lack of respect towards marriage and everything it stands for. helen donovan
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Fri 14 Jan 11

one94 says...

If anyone thought marriage had lost its sanctity, this just goes to prove it.
.
I wouldnt call it art though. It's more of a cunning stunt surely?
If anyone thought marriage had lost its sanctity, this just goes to prove it. . I wouldnt call it art though. It's more of a cunning stunt surely? one94
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Fri 14 Jan 11

crowquill says...

"BTW Crowquill I think you’ll find the taxpayer will still be funding these two which i am sure you will be over joyed about :-)".....Doh!!!
"BTW Crowquill I think you’ll find the taxpayer will still be funding these two which i am sure you will be over joyed about :-)".....Doh!!! crowquill
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Fri 14 Jan 11

molecat says...

Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art.
Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art. molecat
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Fri 14 Jan 11

MrWXYZ says...

and the problem really is this nasty tory government with their tuition fees rather than all these pointless educational courses that provide v little at best to the jobs market and economy.
and the problem really is this nasty tory government with their tuition fees rather than all these pointless educational courses that provide v little at best to the jobs market and economy. MrWXYZ
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Fri 14 Jan 11

cj072 says...

So what happens when they want to marry for that old fashioned and now rapidly going out of date thing could love? I bet they wont be able to make anything artistic out of getting divorced when they find out how much is costs.
It makes a mockery out of marriage.
So what happens when they want to marry for that old fashioned and now rapidly going out of date thing could love? I bet they wont be able to make anything artistic out of getting divorced when they find out how much is costs. It makes a mockery out of marriage. cj072
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Fri 14 Jan 11

Maggie Would says...

molecat wrote:
Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art.
Sarcasm, Molecat? You can do better than that!
[quote][p][bold]molecat[/bold] wrote: Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art.[/p][/quote]Sarcasm, Molecat? You can do better than that! Maggie Would
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Fri 14 Jan 11

molecat says...

Maggie Would wrote:
molecat wrote: Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art.
Sarcasm, Molecat? You can do better than that!
I can do patronising too. Do you know what patronising means, sweetheart?
;-)
[quote][p][bold]Maggie Would[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molecat[/bold] wrote: Let's hope they put us on the artistic map and become Worcester's answer to Gilbert and George. We should be thankful that they are such talented artists that they managed to secure places at the University of Worcester and didn't end up at some second rate art college like St Martins School of Art.[/p][/quote]Sarcasm, Molecat? You can do better than that![/p][/quote]I can do patronising too. Do you know what patronising means, sweetheart? ;-) molecat
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Fri 14 Jan 11

varien says...

I have just watched the video. Now excuse me whilst I throw up.
What this couple have done is in my opinion the biggest load of b*******
I have come across for some time.
I have just watched the video. Now excuse me whilst I throw up. What this couple have done is in my opinion the biggest load of b******* I have come across for some time. varien
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Fri 14 Jan 11

moonpig says...

molecat wrote:
I hope the Battenberg family provided the wedding cake.
Brilliant!
[quote][p][bold]molecat[/bold] wrote: I hope the Battenberg family provided the wedding cake.[/p][/quote]Brilliant! moonpig
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Sun 16 Jan 11

VI says...

Surely we have better things to report on than these two clowns.
Surely we have better things to report on than these two clowns. VI
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Sun 16 Jan 11

205man says...

how can students be expected to be taken seriously when you see this sort of press????
you have students rioting and smashing up london asking to be heard and taken seriously , and then you read this sort of mindless rubbish.
whilst im not labeling all students the same, these 2 do not paint a good picture of modern students, and this sort of stupid act, would possibly influence peoples opinions of them.

if i was a parent and my kids did this i think i would disown them
how can students be expected to be taken seriously when you see this sort of press???? you have students rioting and smashing up london asking to be heard and taken seriously , and then you read this sort of mindless rubbish. whilst im not labeling all students the same, these 2 do not paint a good picture of modern students, and this sort of stupid act, would possibly influence peoples opinions of them. if i was a parent and my kids did this i think i would disown them 205man
  • Score: 0

1:02am Mon 17 Jan 11

val worcestershire says...

Such a mockery of something sacred. How is it an honest marriage if they will both be having relationships with/seeing other people? I thought that when you got married you were joined to that person until death do you part and that the relationship became exclusive. I suppose, if they end up finding someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with, they will divorce on the grounds of a non consummation of marriage as they have not slept together?!! Perhaps they have a pre-nuptual agreement Jeff Broadway.
205 man, I agree, they could make all students look irresponsible and therefore not taken serious and yet we know the majority of students are there for serious study to improve their future prospects.
I am not surprised at these two peoples parents attitudes and deep down they have probably not changed their minds, but are just accepting it as they know their offspring can and will go ahead any way, as they are both over 18. I do not know if you could go so far as to say they are of sound mind! Still, each to their own. It would be a shock to any parent. They could make themselves artistic without going that far.
If I am committed to caring for my dog, should I marry him too to show this committment?
Good Luck to them because in this day and age any couple need all the luck in the world for their marriage to work, with all the pressures these days, financial and otherwise.
Such a mockery of something sacred. How is it an honest marriage if they will both be having relationships with/seeing other people? I thought that when you got married you were joined to that person until death do you part and that the relationship became exclusive. I suppose, if they end up finding someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with, they will divorce on the grounds of a non consummation of marriage as they have not slept together?!! Perhaps they have a pre-nuptual agreement Jeff Broadway. 205 man, I agree, they could make all students look irresponsible and therefore not taken serious and yet we know the majority of students are there for serious study to improve their future prospects. I am not surprised at these two peoples parents attitudes and deep down they have probably not changed their minds, but are just accepting it as they know their offspring can and will go ahead any way, as they are both over 18. I do not know if you could go so far as to say they are of sound mind! Still, each to their own. It would be a shock to any parent. They could make themselves artistic without going that far. If I am committed to caring for my dog, should I marry him too to show this committment? Good Luck to them because in this day and age any couple need all the luck in the world for their marriage to work, with all the pressures these days, financial and otherwise. val worcestershire
  • Score: 0

11:30am Tue 18 Jan 11

Anthadlas says...

Why does modern student art mean look stupid and try to irritate people?
Why does modern student art mean look stupid and try to irritate people? Anthadlas
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Tue 18 Jan 11

jovialcommonsense says...

They're Harry and Willy.
They're Harry and Willy. jovialcommonsense
  • Score: 0
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