The aim of the residential weekend was to offer participants a rare chance to explore their own creative practice as individuals and also to provide a collaborative and stimulating environment which supports new work. This is not a narrow event restricted to dementia as a niche interest or to a single art form. Our aim is to use dementia as a jumping off point, a stimulus, for creative work which we hope will go beyond limits and cross borders.
We hoped to appeal to artists who perhaps have already engaged with ageing and dementia through their creative work. But equally we looked for artists who are simply open to responding to dementia in some way as a creative stimulus for new work; artists who simply want space to reflect and go with the flow. By artists we mean anyone for whom creative practice is a professional commitment.
The weekend was hosted by Mark Butler, Visiting Fellow, and Professor June Andrews from the Dementia Services Development Centre. We are continually looking to support different responses to dementia and have in the last couple of years paid a lot of attention to how age and dementia are framed in artist practice and the media.
We were also joined by established artists, writers and performers who helped design the event and who were involved to offer advice and support where needed to all of us.