Touching Senses

Date(s)/Time: Saturday 26 May 2018 - Saturday 21 Jul 2018, All Day

Ticket Price: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

Community Art

Touching Senses

Work by residents of Cheshire Grange Care Home assisted by Debbie Lyon

Art plays a fundamental part in all our lives, and has a crucial impact on us all. It is all around us, and we often “breathe it in” without even noticing. Everybody has had an artistic experience that has made them think, laugh or cry. Art can help us through sad times, introduce excitement or fun into our lives and connect us to something that is important in our past or present.

The idea behind this project was to use art to evoke dormant memories and thoughts amongst people who normally struggle to express themselves. During each session group leader Debbie used different mediums to stimulate and develop different physical and mental connections that can only be made through the creative process.

With the onset of dementia, thoughts, ideas and communication can become very muddled and so the project used sensory objects – both visual and tactile – to spark moments of memory and joy. Some residents have limited eyesight so the tactile qualities of string, buttons, textured papers and fabrics are important. Other residents found that their muscles and mental connections were stimulated through the movement of threading and the sensory experience of the textiles.

The backgrounds were made first using printing and collage, each resident working on a different piece each week. The following week someone else would work on a piece that another person had started. This collaboration is what gives the work a wonderful sense of unity. Everybody contributed to each piece and the very act of gathering together gave every resident the opportunity to work as a group while expressing themselves creatively.

At the end of the project the staff at Cheshire Grange decided on the title ‘Touching Senses’ as they could see over the months how the process of this project literally touched so many senses for the residents both emotionally and physically.