Residents of Jewish Care’s Hyman Fine House created artwork which was on display at Brighton’s Jubilee Library, over Dementia Action Week from 12-26 May and Mental Health Awareness Week. The project, Creationlace, has been running in the home for five years and began with colour and song sessions for the residents at the care home. Co-founders of the project, Paul Chi and Miranda Ryder, developed Creationlace to unite people of all abilities to create fabric paintings whilst also enjoying multi-sensory music and aromas.
Mark Pady, Activities Coordinator at Jewish Care’s Hyman Fine House, says, “The group paint together onto flowing fabrics accompanied by a guitarist and singer. We see people of all abilities painting, sometimes in rhythm to the music. You don’t need experience of art and it’s great for all abilities, including people living with dementia, and of all ages. We have invited visitors to come and join us including resident’s grandchildren and families of our carers as well as the children from local nurseries who come and visit the home regularly.
“We are very proud of the artwork and for our residents, especially for people with dementia seeing their work on display brings a great sense of achievement. One of our residents living with dementia, said, ‘At first painting on silk made me nervous to do it but after a while I began to relax and I enjoy it.’
Paul and Miranda have facilitated many of the sessions, Paul says, “The work hasn’t been displayed like this before, the idea to display them was inspired by Miranda, who has had lifelong experience of mental health issues and we both wanted to work with people in the home some of whom are living with dementia and who are challenged by disabilities of one kind or another.
“When I look at the work on display, I see the group experience that we are recording on fabric. . I know that so many people have found it a great way to be together without any judgement, it’s what we do together that this work celebrates and it’s the same with the music. You just need to be present and engagement comes naturally. It’s a fabulous project. We’re thankful to Jewish Care that the project is running.”
Home Manager at Jewish Care’s Hyman Fine House, Natasha Carson, says, “We hope the local community will pop in to the library to have a look at the display. We have an ongoing creative and stimulating programme and always welcome the local community to take part. We are looking forward to being part of the Brighton Fringe Festival again this year and we welcome the community, of all ages and abilities, to come along to see us and take part in a creative day at the Yellow Wave Café on 30 May.”