Maggie and I are looking forward to attending the Twilling Tweeds workshops to learn skills that we can hopefully share across project participants. We are also funding places through the project for practitioners working with people living with dementia, so that they can share their newly-acquired skill with the people they work with across the islands.
The team enjoyed an intimate library cafe session last night where we presented the project and shared the words of the people we have been working with. Ian Stephen shared his personal experience of working on the project and what it has meant to him as well as relatives of participants, through spontaneous feedback in the local shops. He spoke about the poetry, films and workshops and told several stories and shared his own poetry and the work of Frank Thompson. Ian explained that one relative told him that a session he was involved with immensely improved the quality of what turned out to be his father’s very last week. And that a poetry reading brought a much loved and missed relative back to life for a precious time.
Maggie told some wonderful collected stories in Gaelic and English and Jon offered a projection slideshow of images from the project.
We shared cyanotype images from Mhairi Law’s workshop, word portraits and collages and these were very well received.
The daughter of one of our participants read her mother’s word collage poems and shared with the group that her daughter was so excited about them that she shared them on Facebook with all of the family.
The afternoon session was not quite so lucky with the sunshine but everyone engaged and had fun choosing what to print. We printed a necklace, seaweed from the harbour, flowers from the car park, glass pieces, feathers and some twigs. We managed to print two outside but the rest were finished in the light box.
We were so fortunate with the sunshine this morning, for the cyanotype image print workshop at Solas Day Centre in Stornoway.
Mhairi Law showed everyone examples of her work and encouraged participants to choose items to print. We created some indoors in the light box and some outside in the sunshine. The results were fantastic and I’m sure we will see some of them on the wall soon!.
Jon and I were talking in the car this morning on the way to work about the importance of creating art opportunities which don’t have to result in a finished painting or drawing. No fail tasks where the process is as important as the result.
I’ve found that some people, who have lost confidence in art work, through dementia, are happy to try a less formal approach and try something more abstract, such as colour mixing or collage.
Or to try something more structured, from a tracing or wax and watercolour land and seascapes from a photograph – or in this case, both traced and wax/watercolour from a photograph of a well known scene.
Arts-Based Dementia Friendly Community
An Lanntair has launched a 3 year arts-based ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ project in the Western Isles, in partnership with Life Changes Trust. The project will engage with people who are living with dementia and those in their circle of care, as well as reaching out to the wider Western Isles community, with the intention of building a bi-lingual dementia friendly community that reflects the specific needs of the place and its people.
The project will use various art forms and co-designing techniques for both engaging with people living with dementia, their carers and the wider community. There will be several creative outcomes that emerge from the project itself, such as exhibitions and artwork as well as the development of innovative design solutions using culturally specific memory .
The project also looks to explore the role that bilingualism (Gaelic/English) plays in the delayed onset of dementia and the related benefits of an oral tradition
We will be encouraging people from the local community to be involved throughout the design, development and delivery of the project, building on individual and community assets.
An Lanntair recognise that there is a need for people who are living with dementia and those in their circle of care to be part of an inclusive community, to be encouraged to participate in the arts and to be given more opportunities to maximise their lives and their potential. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org