D&I on the road and completing the intervention groups, it’s all go for the summer…

Dementia and Imagination

Connecting Communities Through Art.

Scroll down to read about intervention site updates, events this summer and more...

It’s a very busy time on the Dementia and Imagination study as we head towards the brighter months: the final group in North Wales is underway, the last group in the North East will soon be starting and a third group has just commenced in Derbyshire.

Summer months and the better weather mean festivals and we will be at several events over the coming months, including the Eisteddfod in Llangollen in July and the Green Man festival in August.

We were very fortunate in being granted funding to host three events in June as part of the Connected Communities Festival, organised by the AHRC. The festival runs from the 15th to 29th June with events nation wide. Details of the events in Manchester, Ruthin and Newcastle can be found below. We hope to see you there!

The D & I team

Dementia and Imagination at the Llangollen Eisteddfod and the Green Man festival

‘Funny Summer’ by Carol Hanson, with permission.

If you’re attending either of these events this summer you’ll find a stand by Dementia and Imagination. It’s a chance to see first hand some of the project’s exciting activities and perhaps have a try at an art activity yourself.

Research artist Carol Hanson has been busily preparing for both events as she hopes to take two of her illustrated characters on a summer adventure: Doris and Ivor will be joining us

Move over Thelma and Louise, adventurous cartoon pensioners Doris and Ivor are taking a road trip as Carol Hanson starts the engine on their Funny Summer. Dust off those driving gloves and mirror, signal, manoeuvre yourselves down to the Eisteddfod as our illusive duo park their cartoon classic car and mingle with the crowd.

 Showcasing some of their friends' artwork subtly worked into their paper inspired vehicle and picnic, the installation hopes to show the old in a new light with many accessories made from free, donated and recycled materials.

In August it will be a case of Move over Sid and Babs as our two happy campers pack their cartoon rucksacks and pitch up at The Green Man Festival. Follow the sound of crackling cartoon fires and sizzling sausages to Einstein's Garden as Carry On Cartoon Camping (Carry On Researching) takes its first outing. Here the public will be invited to share their own funny memories as well as personal thoughts on memory loss on a giant D & I roadmap, so the team can carry on the research and Carol can carry on her artwork. 

Connected Communities Festival 2015 #2015ccfest

This summer Dementia and Imagination is holding three events in the UK to share some of the initial findings of the research and to share best practice for those who support people to live well with dementia.

The workshops will be held in: Manchester, Newcastle and Ruthin on various dates during the festival and will give attendees the chance to experience a Dementia and Imagination session as well as hear about the research.

To find out more about the events you can visit the Dementia and Imagination website.

The events are funded by the Connected Communities Programme who are the funders for our research. Connected Communities aims to build powerful collaborations between researchers and communities to generate distinctive research insights on the changing role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life and to produce legacies of value for both future research and for communities. The Programme is led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in partnership with other Research Councils and a range of other organisations.

  • The festival runs from 15th – 29th June with events across the country.
  • You can use the following hashtag to follow the events on twitter:


  • We’ll also be tweeting from our @dem_imag page and you can use #dementiaimagination to join in the conversation. 

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. 

Living well with Dementia through the Arts

Dementia and Imagination were delighted to be invited to speak at the ‘Living well with dementia through the arts in North Wales’ symposium. The event was held at Bangor University on the 21st April with a varied programme of speakers for the day. Featured speakers were from Age Cymru’s cARTfrefi project, Connecting Learners and CARTREFI Cymru, The Hidden Corners project, Professor Bob Woods and Kat Algar, all presenting on a variety of projects using the arts with people with dementia.

Our study was represented by Dr Gill Windle, who discussed the methodological challenges of conducting this type of research, Teri Howson who gave a participant case study and Dr Carys Jones’ explanation of why health economics matter and the methods being used to evaluate this for Dementia and Imagination.

Intervention site updates

North East

The third group in this area enjoyed a gallery visit with 9 residents from the care home taking part. The group have also been experimenting with ‘action painting’, a free and in the moment form of using paint, creating sea soundscapes and making shadow puppets. Plans are now taking shape for the fourth and final group which will start in June.

The group looking at the exhibition at the gallery. Image by Jeni McConnell, with permission.


The third group has begun and is now taking place in a day centre for people with dementia living in the local area. Artist’s Sam Metz and Lauren Holford from Nottingham Contemporary will be leading most of the sessions with the group.

For this group the artists will initially be taking inspiration from artists who use text in their work in a number of ways: to connect to particular moments in history, making text illegible through layering and smudging words and letters and mixing graffiti art with text. The artists work created some lively discussion around abstract art and a poem introduced to the group in the session.

Participants scratched and printed a design on to square foam pad which was then inked and used to print the design onto paper. 

Experimenting with print and texture. Image by Teri Howson, with permission.

North Wales

The final group in North Wales have been exploring a process called cyanotype for the past few weeks. Laying objects on to the special paper and placing it in a well lit space creates an imprint onto the paper.

Cyanotype work in the sunshine by participants in North Wales. Image by Catrin Hedd Jones, with permission.

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