The Superact Handmade Wellbeing Exhibition, opened last week by 102-year-old Popham Court care home resident Ruby (pictured to the left), is now open for private viewings at Tonedale Business Park.
The exhibition showcases artwork created by care home residents in Wellington and Devon care settings, supported by professional artists and Wellington based non-profit, Superact. The Wellington care homes are Camelot House, Chelston Park and Popham Court. The exhibition runs for ten days and private viewings are available by request. For more information, please email Janine Stedman, Handmade Wellbeing Project Manager.
An EU Erasmus+ project, Handmade Wellbeing is a two-year collaborative project looking at the importance of creativity in care home settings. Working with international partners University of Helsinki, Finland, University of Tartu, Estonia and Karl-Franzens University Graz, Austria, each partner has run a series of art and craft sessions in local care homes. Training and work experience has been offered to professional artists to run creative activities for care homes residents. In Wellington, artwork has been created by residents, ranging from 3D pictures to pottery hand prints.
Project Manager Janine Stedman said, “At the centre of everything that is Handmade Wellbeing is the Resident and their friends and family. Working closely with our artists, we’ve had some wonderful feedback from family and staff and it’s been such a worthwhile experience. We are very proud of the work that has been created and all visitors are welcome to come along and see the exhibition for themselves.”
Ali Smith, Creative Director of Superact said, “Handmade Wellbeing is a local, a regional and also an international community project. Working with our European partners has offered us the opportunity to share methodologies and to explore different approaches to engagement in local care settings across Europe. This sharing of ideas can only offer greater scope and depth to our ongoing activities.”
Jon Lincoln-Gordon, a local professional artist and founder of ArtTree, a collective of independent artists and teachers, has been working with Superact as Lead Artist on the Handmade Wellbeing activity sessions.
Commenting on the project, Jon said, “It’s been such a lovely experience, creating bespoke activities, taking them into local care settings and seeing residents become involved and engaged over the sessions. For me, all the artistic inspiration from meeting project partners and learning about our different cultures has contributed residents’ activities, bringing everything together.”
Clare Woodhead, Operations Manager at Camelot House, one of the participating are homes in Wellington, commented, “Enabling people to live well with dementia is all about creating opportunities to rediscover hidden talents or discover new interests. Collaborating with the Handmade Wellbeing project has allowed our residents to work with clay, many for the first time, with that all important individual self-expression, something that said ‘This is a little bit of me and this is what I have achieved today.’”