By Claire Fry -
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.
Ms Battenberg-Cartwright added: “We work collaboratively on everything, there isn’t a clear line between our work and our tutors have agreed to mark us together.”
The couple were photographed for the Worcester News in matching shoes and similar clothes.
Dr James Fisher, head of Fine Art at the University of Worcester, described the pair as “serious students” and “committed artists”.
Homophobic preacher Stephen Green, of the small extremist group Christian Voice, told the Daily Mail that the couple were “denigrating” marriage and said it was “no coincidence” that one was a gay man.