May 15, 2019 News

Dementia Art Exhibition celebrates living well with dementia

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Residents from dementia care home Chelsea Court Place and pensioners from the Royal
Hospital Chelsea celebrate their first joint art exhibition at Peter Jones 5th Floor Cafe
from 15th – 28th May, 2019.
The residents and pensioners have been undertaking a highly successful, evidence based
dementia arts programme, culminating in this captivating exhibition which
highlights the benefits that artistic output delivers in living well with dementia.

Stories of Spring:
Stories of Spring has been inspired by the local Chelsea community and coincides with
the iconic Chelsea Flower Show. Memories surrounding the happiness and events of the
Springtime calendar are the inspiration for this compelling collection and celebrates
friendship between the residents, pensioners and carers. The exhibition showcases the
talent, identity and style of the artists with a tangible sense of pride and confidence. It
aims to raise awareness about dementia in the community and illustrates the powerful
influence that creativity can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals who are
living with a diagnosis.

The six themes of Stories of Spring were selected and developed by both residents and
pensioners and created in circle shapes to represent celebration, eternal journeys and
never-ending imaginations. The representative subjects comprise fashion, nature, city
gardens, culture, weddings and architecture; each having its very own story to tell from
each contributing artist. From the beautiful grounds and walled gardens of the Royal
Hospital Chelsea to the fond memories and sense of occasion of weddings and colourful
celebrations of multicultural identities, the artworks are vibrant, thought-provoking
and joyful.

Art Workshops:
The weekly art workshops, which have been delivered to residents at Chelsea Court
Place over the last two years, were developed in conjunction with the Dementia Care
Centre at the University of West London (UWL). The programme uses using the latest
research and evidence to help individuals manage symptoms of dementia and have seen
very positive responses from participants.

James Cook, Managing Director at Chelsea Court Place comments, “The art programme
has been an immense success for our residents and we have seen tangible improvements
and positive outcomes for many participants. Our residents not only look forward
to the classes and cherish the creative outlet, but the workshops have also instigated
friendships and conversation between each other as well as the carers. Our team is
passionate about using creative therapies to help manage symptoms of dementia and
promote wellbeing and Stories of Spring encapsulates these successes. We hope to
inspire more care homes to adopt creative arts programmes for dementia.”

The art workshops are led by Illustrator and Creative Educator Grace Holliday who
incorporates traditional arts skills such as painting, drawing and mixed-media design
as well as sensory workshops. The programme draws personal stories, experiences
and personalities to provide a meaningful programme that enhances wellbeing.
Grace comments, “This inspiring exhibition promotes the the importance of art
and sensory stimulation in relation to helping individuals live with dementia. It is
commonly considered that euphoric feelings and creative achievements are perhaps
an impossibility to people who are faced with a dementia diagnosis, however these
workshops showcase talent, identity and style with a tangible sense of pride.”
Harriet Page, Dementia Specialist Activity Worker at the Royal Hospital has seen
the many benefits that creative activity has had on the Chelsea Pensioners. Harriet
comments, “We are very fortunate to have Grace coming on a weekly basis and working
with the Pensioners on Campbell Ward, all of whom cherish the art classes. They
provide sensory stimulation, physical elements of using fine motor skills and dexterity
and facilitate meaningful and reminiscent conversations as a group session or even 1:1.
Stories of Spring will be running in Peter Jones, Sloane Square from 15th-28th May in
the 5th Floor café. Prints will be available to purchase with proceeds going to Arts 4
Dementia to enable more people the opportunity to benefit from creative arts.

 

Pictured above: Grace Holliday

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