Summer events and activities aplenty, we just need some sunny weather…

Dementia and Imagination

Connecting Communities Through Art

Summer events and activities aplenty, we just need some sunny weather…!

Dementia and Imagination has almost completed all of its intervention groups and the team will shortly be preparing to begin analysing all the data we’ve collected from our participants.

We’ve had some exciting meetings lately with some ‘blue sky’ thinking for a creatively alternative approach to the fourth group in Derbyshire which will start in Autumn and a 24 page list ofpotential papers put forward with ideas from the study so far at our bi-annual face-to-face team meeting in Manchester. It’s going to be a very busy 2016!

It’s been a busy summer so far with appearances by Dementia and Imagination at both the National and International Eisteddfod’s, a conference symposium in Newcastle for the British Society of Gerontology's annual conference to name a few!

With our regular feature of site updates also included we hope you enjoy this update on the research story so far!

The D & I team

New Bangor exhibit for Dementia and Imagination

An exciting collaboration between Dementia and Imagination and Age Cymru will see artwork from the research exhibited in Bangor for the first time.

Age Cymru have opened up their Bangor shop to the study, providing use of their shop window and wall space to exhibit work made by participants in the North Wales area of the study.

Ruth Jones, Retail Development Officer for Age Cymru commented:

“We’re thrilled to be involved in such an innovative and exciting exhibition. 

As the national charity for older people in Wales, Age Cymru has a long standing history of campaigning and supporting older people affected by dementia, as well as families and carers.

We also run an annual arts festival called Gwanwyn which celebrates creativity in later life and so the synergy with Bangor University’s Dementia and Imagination project is perfect.

I would encourage everyone to take the take the opportunity to view this exhibition in our Age Cymru Bangor shop.” 

Art work produced by participants in the study from North Wales has been exhibited in galleries in Denbighshire following 12 weeks of engagement in viewing and making art with a professional artist. This exhibition will take the work to a new location and

provide an opportunity for a new audience to see the work first hand.

The exhibition is being expertly curated by our arts partner Denbighshire County Council Arts Service who have been collaborative partners in North Wales delivering the arts sessions during the intervention.

Siân Green of Denbighshire County Council Arts Service commented: 

"The Denbighshire County Council Arts Service is proud to have contributed to the important research done by Dementia and imagination . It's great that art pieces created by some of our Denbighshire residents living with dementia are displayed here in Bangor . We hope that the exhibition will attract a new audience and highlights the work done by these organizations in North Wales and across the UK."

The exhibit will be on display from August 26th until September 13th. The shop is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm. 

A busy summer for Dementia and Imagination


Our 3 Connected Communities events were a success, bringing together over 100 delegates from the care sector, NHS, community service providers, charities, artists, participants and researchers to discuss the research so far.

Participant’s were given hands on experience of an art session with artists Chris Lewis-Jones and Sam Metz prompting discussion through focus on viewing objects and art. 

Above: exploring objects and meaning in a faux aboriginal statue.

In North Wales artists Siân Hughes and Tara Dean explored to different gallery exhibitions and responded to them with plaster of Paris jewellery that was then marbled on top of and experimentation with mark-making and shape into air drying clay, card and polystyrene circular shapes.

Above: work from exhibition by Dail Behennah ‘Fieldwork – new work in willow and other materials’.

Below: Industrious mark making back in the workroom.

In Newcastle a sensory approach saw delegates drawing to the feel of spaghetti in the inspiring setting of Hatton Gallery. There was also a performance of ‘When I think of you I think of Sunday’s’ by research artist Jeni McConnell, her response to the research so far. Jeni also attended all 3 events and you can read her thoughts on the events in a forthcoming blog on the Dementia and Imagination website.

Right: Drawing to spaghetti in Newcastle.

D&I at the National Eisteddfod

At the national Eisteddfod researcher Dr Catrin Hedd Jones and Denbighshire County Council Arts Service gave a joint presentation on Dementia and Imagination and on Denbighshire’s Lost in Art project, which several of our participant’s have since joined. Catrin presented some of the artistic work created as well as observations surrounding the benefits of taking part in weekly art sessions for the participants and their families and carers.

Above: Dr Catrin Hedd Jones speaking about the research at the Bangor University stand. 

Enhancing environments in care’ conference and The ‘D’ Word play

The research team had a stand at the conference in Bangor with lots of interest in the study and Denbighshire’s ‘Lost in Art’ groups starting in September.

There was also a presentation of the new play The ‘D’ Word, written and directed by Janys Chambers. Janys attended one of the research follow up groups attended by some of our participants and some of the play’s characters have been inspired by participant’s from our research group. The play was commissioned by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and Denbighshire County Council Arts Service and will receive a second run in the Autumn.

It’s a #FunnySummer for Doris & Ivor

Research artist Carol Hanson’s cartoon campers Doris and Ivor pitched up at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen from 7th to the 11th of July. Their car attracted a lot of attention on the field with curiosity about both car and its contents. Doris has also joined the world of Twitter to share her funny adventures this summer. 

The International Eisteddfod also featured an exhibition and workshop stand for people to see some of the artwork made by participants and to have a go themselves. Each day different artists from the project led workshops in techniques they had used during the research interventions including: felting, screen-printing, marbling and collage. The stand was co-run by researchers from Bangor and staff from Denbighshire County Council Arts Service.

Above left: Doris and Ivor’s car at the International Eisteddfod

Above centre: Doris’s Twitter page

Above right: work on display at the International Eisteddfod.

Left: hanging to dry some of the items made during the week.

Doris and Ivor also pitched up at the Green Man festival from the 20th – 23rd Aug, in Einstein’s Garden.

Happy campers Doris and Ivor celebrated humour, living in the moment and dispelling the myths on 'going a bit funny‘ with their cartoon campsite.

Researchers Dr Katherine Taylor and Teri Howson were also Human Books as part of the Human Library, where people could check them out for a 10 minute conversation. 

​Audio visual poetry by Dementia and Imagination participants

Our North East site artists Kate Sweeney and Claire Ford produced a short video with participants as part of one of the intervention sessions in a care home.

The video has been titled ‘The Cruel Sea’ and is narrated by one of the participants and includes input from several residents.

The artists have explored multimedia throughout the project including shadow puppet work and projection.

Intervention Site Updates

North East

The fourth group is almost over meaning the completion of intervention groups in the North East. Thank you to all the care homes, staff and participants for helping and engaging with the research and also to our North East arts partner Equal Arts and artists Claire Ford and Kate Sweeney for the delivery of the arts sessions and supporting the research.


Three groups have now been completed in Derbyshire, seeing the end of the main intervention groups at the site. A fourth wave with a difference is in the pipeline for the autumn, we’ll keep you informed on this fourth wave with a twist!

North Wales

The last group completed their intervention in June, but the exhibition for the fourth wave will be taking place in September in a new Health centre soon to open in Llangollen. Thank you to our participants, relatives and artists for taking part and assisting the research and to our arts partner Denbighshire County Council Arts Service for the delivery of the interventions and support of the research.

Our next newsletter….

Will be out in October!

With the coming of autumn there will be an exciting feature on the fourth group in Derbyshire which will be something a little bit different to the groups so far. There’s also further updates on the research and a wrap up of our end of summer activities including the Green Man festival. 

The Dementia and Imagination research is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council under the Connected Communities programme. Both councils celebrate key anniversaries this year: the AHRC is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary whilst the ESRC celebrates 50 years of research.

We are delighted to be completing our interventions and moving towards the analysis of our data during this important year for both research councils

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