A graffiti artist has been commissioned to create a ‘memory wall’ in a Camden care home, showcasing in spray paint the memories of an older generation that were drawn by the children of neighbouring Haverstock School.
Bradley Woods, an artist from Cardiff-based IllustrateProject.com, was chosen by staff from Shaw healthcare, the owner and operator of Wellesley Road Care Home in Camden, to create a mural in the new purpose-built facility to illustrate treasured memories and pastimes. Children from Haverstock Primary School in Camden chatted with elderly members of their own families to find memories which Mr Woods then used as inspiration for his final mural design.
The mural, which spans the back wall of one of the communal areas, features familiar, homely items, such as a chessboard, a vintage record player and a grandfather clock, and it is designed to comfort residents and help them to reminisce about their past.
The piece took Mr Woods more than 13 hours to complete, with almost 20 cans of spray paint being used. His most recent work includes a mural of Welsh football star, Gareth Bale, commissioned by the BBC in Whitchurch, Cardiff.
June Dover, manager of the Wellesley Road Care Home, said: “The graffiti-style mural has been a great hit with residents since it was painted by Bradley.
“It allows residents to socialise and interact with each other within a relatable environment, helping them to remember aspects of their past, which is often difficult for those with dementia. This acts as a stimulus and encourages residents to communicate more with one another.
“People have been walking past and smiling at the mural and excitedly chatting about how great it is to have something bright and happy on the walls. It has shown how powerful art and imagery can be and also what a positive impact it can have for our residents.”
Graffiti artist, Mr Woods said: “Art can strike a chord with anyone at any age and visuals can really help to create an atmosphere that evokes pleasant memories for residents. The involvement of school children speaking to residents about what they wanted in the mural gave this project a personal touch and made it all that more authentic. Hopefully the nostalgic memorabilia featured in the mural will help transport residents to a bygone era that they can look back on with fondness.
“I’m really touched that the mural is proving to be a comfort to residents, as well as a positive talking point.”
Wellesley Road Care Home is run by Shaw healthcare, and provides a residential care service for elderly patients and those living with dementia. Shaw healthcare provides care for individuals in nursing and residential homes, hospitals, supported living environments and domiciliary care schemes. Its services range from comprehensive care packages through to low level support in the community for older people and adults with physical, sensory or mental health support needs.