Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 14.03.07Ahead of Dementia Awareness week, artistic attendees of a project at ARC for people in the early stages of dementia, are putting the finishing touches to their own creative exhibition.

Participants of the weekly Creative Age sessions have been busy creating some colourful and crafty items over a number of weeks, and their work is now being displayed in ARC for the public to see from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 28 May.

The exhibition, which will be displayed through the duration of Dementia Awareness week (16 – 22 May) will feature work that the group have produced during their sessions with various artists, including Michelle Tripp, who guided the group through experimenting with water colours, sketching and clay creations.

Alison Watson-Shields, ARC’s Older People’s Programme Coordinator said: “Creative Age is a unique opportunity to participate in an activity that is not reliant on memory recall. This exhibition celebrates what people with dementia can create when offered the opportunity to explore new art forms and mediums.”

As well as working with artist Michelle Tripp, the group have created different styles of poetry such as Japanese haikus, tongue twisters and erasure poems, and recently the group worked with scriptwriter and performer Zoe Murtagh to develop their storytelling and performance skills.

The Creative Age sessions take place at ARC all year round due to funding from Ballinger Charitable Trust, Comic Relief, Northern Rock Foundation and Arts Council England and forms part of the venue’s commitment to providing accessible arts opportunities for everyone. The sessions are designed to provide creative, engaging and interactive activities that are designed to stimulate the mind and mental health of those attending.

Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive of ARC said: “Creative Age is a vital arts led opportunity and many people benefit from the sessions which have been taking place here since September 2015. The topics that are covered are so varied and so engaging and we have received excellent feedback from attendees and their carers alike.”

If you, or a family member or friend would be interested in attending Creative Age classes at ARC, contactalison.watson@arconline.co.uk

This exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate what people living with dementia have achieved over the last seven months as part of the Creative Age programme.

The exhibition is free to all and will be displayed on ARC’s first floor foyer from Tuesday 17 May to Saturday 28 May.