Creating a body of research to support arts interventions for those living with dementia
Originally known as ‘ProVACAT’ (Practising or Viewing Art Cognitive Ability Trial) under the guidance of Professor Michael Baum, Art in Residence originally sought to establish the respective benefits of art discussion and art making on those living with dementia. It quickly became clear that existing evaluative measures were missing some of the benefits of this distinctive work and so action was taken to formally research this work by collaborating with Professor Victoria Tischler, Head of Dementia Care at the University of West London.
Under the guidance of Professor Tischler, Ben Uri progressed Art in Residence through a collaboration with Nightingale House – a teaching care home, open to new creative approaches. Noting that art discussions were distinctive in themselves, but more so in relation to groups of people living with dementia, the sessions have become a key focus, allowing Ben Uri to question what it is uniquely about the collection which build connections.
As the programme gains momentum, two new partners have joined Art in Residence; the Michael Flanders Centre in Acton, and the Holborn Community Association – both long established day centres offering activities for older people and those living with dementia. By diversifying our audiences the aim is to ask what makes the art discussions in particular so distinctive.
As Art in Residence continues to grow, Ben Uri seeks new community partners to be involved in the project, helping it to grow. If you would like to register your interest on behalf of an organisation that supports people living with dementia, their carers or those at risk of dementia through social isolation, contact Arts and Dementia Programme Manager, Emma Hollamby at firstname.lastname@example.org.