Residents at an old people’s home in Arnold have contributed artwork to a pioneering national exhibition highlighting the therapeutic benefits painting brings to older people – particularly those living with dementia and other medical conditions.
The Golden Gallery Art & Soul exhibition is an evocative collection of multimedia artwork created by residents who are living within the care of older people’s housing and care charity, The Abbeyfield Society, including people with degenerative health conditions.
The inspiring artwork will be on display at City Arts Nottingham and Stapleford library from October 26 to November 5, as part of the City Arts and Nottingham City Council Imagine programme, created to enrich the lives of older people living in care by giving them access to artistic events.
The Abbeyfield Society, which cares for older people across the UK, is marking its 60th anniversary celebrations with the exhibition, in a bid to challenge public perceptions about older age and specifically dementia.
The collection features exhibits created by residents from Abbeyfield’s Millbeck House Care Home in Arnold and Sycamore House in Nottingham where residents take part in regular art projects and activities.
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Charlie Swift is an activities co-ordinator at Abbeyfield’s Sycamore House in Nottingham.
She said: “There are lots of reasons why participation in arts activities are beneficial for our residents. A lot of people have enjoyed art in a variety of forms before coming into a care home, be it going to art galleries, stately homes or painting. It’s important to offer a continuation of what people have enjoyed before.
“All the activities we do are designed to be stimulating, but art in particular can help older people develop their cognitive creativity. The act of using the fingers to hold and control a paintbrush, it all helps with hand function dexterity and creating new pathways in the brain which can make a difference to people when performing fiddly daily tasks like fastening buttons.”
Charlie added: “Seeing the end result of their artwork on display gives people a real feeling of self worth. It’s very important for older people – especially those living in care – to know that they are useful and have a purpose. Art is a medium for this.”
Golden Gallery Art & Soul was launched in Birmingham in June and after the exhibition in Nottingham, the collection moves on to St Albans and Belfast.