The collection includes exhibits created by an artist left virtually bed bound by complex medical conditions whose art 'sets her free' and the dementia resident for whom art soothes and calms. But, it also contains pieces created by people living within the family of Abbeyfield for whom art has been a lifelong passion and a mainstay in their continued good health and wellbeing.

Abbeyfield nurtures and encourages this, providing art activities and areas for people to paint and enjoy craft making in its houses and homes.

That includes people like 92-year-old Reverend Michael Lapage of The Tavistock Society’s Drake Lodge, a former silver medal holder for rowing in the 1948 London Olympics and World War II Pilot, whose love of art flourished while he was a missionary in Kenya.

Their paintings and other inspirational and thought provoking pieces will be unveiled at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on Wednesday June 15 2016.

Speaking about this fantastic project, our Head of Dementia Innovation April Dobson, said; “A key part of what we do so well at Abbeyfield is enriching people’s lives with stimulating activities so they interact with others and enjoy happy and varied lives. Creating art is important for people on so many different levels and while the health benefits art brings to people are numerous, these are particularly evident amongst those with dementia or other degenerative conditions.

“It’s hard to overstate just what a profound impact art can have on the lives of people with dementia and for those who may be unable to express themselves through speech or to enjoy conversations due to health conditions like a stroke or deafness. We hope that through the Golden Gallery Art & Soul Exhibition we can help to change people’s perceptions, so they look past the condition and see the person for who they are.”

At gallery displaying the work of people with dementia

Rosie Barker of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery said: “We are delighted to be able to showcase the amazing work done by Abbeyfield residents in our community gallery.  The range and quality of work demonstrates that there is so much more to a person than their age or medical condition, and that talent and personality shine through! 

Birmingham Museums Trust is developing a range of activities that will help support older adults, people living with dementia and people in residential care and this exhibition is a fantastic start for our programme. I’d encourage everyone to drop in and see Art and Soul for an uplifting experience”

Golden Gallery Art & Soul will be live at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from June 15 to October 14 2016, when the collection moves on to Nottingham City Arts Headquarters, St Albans and Belfast.

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