Be part of research exploring the life enhancing impact contemporary art can have on people with dementia
Artful is a free 10-week research program for people living with dementia and their carers at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This program focuses of creating new connections and life enriching experiences through creative engagement with contemporary art and artists.
In five fortnightly visits to the MCA small groups are supported by trained MCA Artist Educators to have discussions in the gallery followed by hands-on creative art-making sessions. On the alternate fortnights, five at-home artmaking packs are given to extend creative engagement and expression.
The program is completely free thanks to the generous support of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
Please contact Artful coordinator Clare Thackway firstname.lastname@example.org or call +02 9245 2400
ARTFUL incorporates a 3-year (2016-2018)research initiative which is conducted in collaboration with the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney and Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. This research investigates exactly how contemporary art can enhance well-being and brain changes in people with dementia.
A lot of programs in the past have only asked people to look at paintings and talk about them, whereas in this one there is a lot of tactile stimulation and using brain cells that people haven't been using for a long time. We would like to think this program will be able to make neurons in the brain flourish again.
Professor Sharon Naismith, head of the Brain and Mind Centre's healthy brain ageing program
Do you need to have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s to be a part of the program?
This program is for people living with any diagnoses of dementia may not be suitable for people with advanced dementia or complex care needs. We invite carers to attend and engage in the program. If you are interested in the program, please call us to discuss any specific needs you may have. +02 9245 2400
Art has helped settle me down. Yes, I forget people's names but when I'm doing art I am suddenly in a different environment. It is all calm and I can think. The stress just dies away.
Norman Rickard, ARTFUL participant
How is this program different from other art and dementia programs?
This program is unique due to the combination of viewing and art making led by contemporary artists. Participants are exposed to new materials and experimental and creative approaches to art making.
Why should you come?
Previous participants have expressed that this program offer new avenues for meaningful connections between people living with dementia and their carers and/or loved ones. We have also seen the impact art and creative expression can have on participants leading to improved self-esteem, well-being and social inclusion.
Doing the at home packs together was a wonderful idea because it made us connect more.