Art & Story sessions is a free opportunity for people living with Dementia and their companions, to try some surprising, creative activities, including wet-on-wet painting and storytelling.
The group meets online, twice a month. Materials and ideas are sent out in the week between sessions.

What happens during a session? 

A session is an hour and fifteen minutes and goes at a gentle, fun pace. These sessions are designed for someone living with dementia and the person caring for them, so you will both attend.  There is one session every two weeks.

The first half will be doing an art activity (wet on wet painting for the first few weeks, with ink and top quality watercolour paper), and the second half is a story share based on a photograph, object or artwork we all look at.

You don’t have to know anything about art to try it. A lot of people who have never done anything arty before really enjoy it. And the story share is fabulous! This communal piece is written up each session and sent out to participants so they can enjoy it again.

Resource packs will be sent out before your first Zoom session, and on the week between sessions you will receive something through the post or dropped off for you. This will work around Covid-Secure guidance but aims to give you lots of different ways to experience the project alongside the digital element of the project.

Your resource pack will include everything you need, and will always be high-quality resources, we know this makes a difference to the outcome, and we want you to get a great surprise at your beautiful results! Being from the comfort of your own home means you can get a cuppa any time you want too!

Who is running them?

This is a joint project between Keighley Creative and Dementia Friendly Keighley. Artist’s Ailsa Lewer and Carine will be running the Zoom sessions, and they have been hosting dementia-friendly creativity sessions for the last 10 years, with backgrounds in art therapy and fine art. Their experience means they can now work remotely, over Zoom, and it still feels like a warm and rewarding place to come together, make and share.

What Technical Knowledge do people need?

None, although you will need a laptop, computer, or digital tablet and an internet connection to join in with this project. We can talk to you about this, and help you get set up so you are ready for the sessions, just remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to technical stuff… so if you need help, please ask.

When? We are hoping to start these sessions at the end of November, but these sessions will be ongoing into the new year, so if you can’t start now, but you are interested in the future, please still talk to us to find out more.

Next Steps: Let Gemma at Keighley Creative 07983 560273 know if you would like to attend, and we will give you a call!

A little information about our Artists

Carine and Ailsa have worked together for many years delivering creative sessions across the Craven region for people living with dementia and other long-term neurological and mental health conditions.
They have delivered sessions in the community, in care homes and in museums and galleries, using a wide range of creative arts and story-making.

Ailsa is a visual artist specialising in drawing and printmaking She has had a career in teaching art in colleges and community settings and is a registered art therapist. She has worked as a freelance artist with Pioneer Projects for 8
years and delivers training in creative approaches to dementia for groups and organisations including The National Trust, Yorkshire Dales National Parks and Museums and Galleries in North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Carine is a multidisciplinary artist, who works as a freelancer for diverse organisations such as Pioneer Projects, Space2 Leeds, Grassington Festival and Skipton Puppet Festival. She also runs the Wishbone Gallery in Grassington, where she shares a workshop space with her partner.

We believe that creating a quiet, respectful and safe space, focusing on enjoyment at the moment and working to stimulate imagination allows for people who live with dementia and cognitive impairment to communicate and
to develop their own individual creativity.

In the last few months, we have developed ways to support group participants to remain in contact and to continue to be creative, using video conferencing platforms, phone, post and delivering packs of materials. This is a very
different approach, but we have worked hard to stay true to the principles we have developed over the last few years. We are delighted to be working with Keighley Creative on this project and to support people who are living with
dementia and their carers to stay in touch, to be creative and, most importantly, to have fun!

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