1. ITV Report

Artwork by people from the region living with early onset dementia goes on show in Washington

Artwork by people with early onset dementia goes on show today Credit: Equal Arts

An exhibition of work created by people living with early onset dementia and their carers living in the region opens to the public today.

Creative Age, a new exhibition created by a group of the same name, opens on April 22nd at Arts Centre Washington, with an event to launch the project.

A member of the Creative Age group Credit: Equal Arts

The event will include drawings, felting, glasswork, giant portraits, cyanotype printing, animation, fantasy film and a 3D installation of Penshaw Monument.

The launch event will take place from 11am until 2pm with members of the public invited to meet the group, make a flower to be placed on the Penshaw Monument installation and take part in a number of free workshops delivered by the artists who have been working with the group.

Members of the Creative Age group Credit: Equal Arts

The group at Arts Centre Washington have been working with different artists using different mediums and gaining new skills to create their first exhibition.

The initiative has been devised by older people’s charity Equal Arts based in Gateshead and funded by Comic Relief and Arts Council England.

The group meets weekly in a number of cultural venues in the North East and Cumbria, Creative Age moves away from memory-based activities for people living with dementia and instead focuses on living in the moment and exploring creativity.

Creating art Credit: Equal Arts

Douglas Hunter, co-director of Equal Arts, said:

“Creative Age supports cultural venues to widen their offer and provide people living with dementia and their carers valuable links within their communities.

“There is a growing understanding that creativity is intact long after other cognitive functions decline. Moving away from reminiscence, Creative Age instead focuses on the Imagination Model, exploring people’s ideas and being creative.”

– Douglas Hunter
Creative Age groups meet every Friday Credit: Equal Arts

Rachel Hamer, Participation Co-ordinator at Arts Centre Washington, added:

“The group have been on an amazing journey from the start of this project to working towards this exhibition. Participants are excited to share the work that they have created and share the skills that they have gained from a range of fantastic artists. “One of the main benefits that the members have found during the sessions is the peer to peer support and conversations that happen without dementia being the focus of the group but with creativity at the forefront. We wanted to host this special opening event to celebrate the group and showcase other work that is happening with dementia in the region.”

– Rachel Hamer
A piece of art made by the group members Credit: Equal Arts

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said:

“Truly, this is what the arts and art are all about as they are helping improve people’s lives through creativity. I know this is a worthy project and I know this is going to be a very worthy exhibition.”

– Cllr John Kelly
A piece of art Credit: Equal Arts

The exhibition will run until June 2nd.