The paintings and drawings were produced by attendees from the dementia cafés in Furlong House in Bloxwich and Apna Ghar in Pleck, which meet monthly to offer support for people with dementia and their families. They worked with local artist Rhiannon Evans over two months, and created a stunning collection of water colour paintings.
The collection was unveiled to the public and was on proud display at the New Art Gallery Walsall over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Pam Petty from Bloxwich took part in the project with her husband, David. David has dementia and the couple has been coming along to the dementia café for the past two years. Pam said: “David and I enjoyed every minute of the project. It was great to get together with other people who are in the same position as us. We chatted while we painted so we were all able to share our experiences and help each other. David got lots out of it too. He settled really well into the sessions, and enjoyed focusing on creating the painting.”
Studies show that creative arts can be a medium for self-expression for some people with dementia and their carers. Artist Rhiannon said: “Art also encourages a special sort of social engagement that can bring enjoyment, meaning and purpose to people’s lives.
“The dementia café attendees produced powerful, sensitive and colourful work and I also learnt a lot about the history and strength of community in Walsall. Most importantly, people with dementia and their families will feel more confident to visit the gallery again, knowing that they will receive a warm welcome.”