We’ve just come to the end of a block of three sessions at Goodson Lodge Residential Care Home in Trowbridge. Goodson Lodge includes a dedicated dementia care unit, and is run by the Orders of St John Care Trust.
All of our sessions focus on the process of noticing the natural world, and responding creatively. Sometimes an end product is produced, but often participants experiment with different art materials, handle natural objects (feathers, leaves, skulls and shells for example), and share memories with us and each other.
Because Goodson Lodge specialises in dementia care, this focus on art as a way of engaging people with their local environment, in conversation with each other, becomes even more relevant. We don’t start with a fixed idea in mind of what each person’s artwork should look like, but instead support them to get involved in a way that suits their needs and interests. Objects and materials are offered through conversation with each participant, to trigger memories, conversation, and often laughter.
At Goodson Lodge we looked at the shapes and colours of leaves from their gardens, had conversations about feathers and the birds they came from, listened to shells, remembered country walks from childhood, and experimented with combining printing, rubbings and collage, with some residents making cards to send on to loved ones.
I’ll be taking a break from Noticing Nature now for the Summer Months, and will be back with news of our next set of project sessions in September.
Thanks to Activity Coordinators Alex and Gini, for supporting our sessions at Goodson Lodge, and for sharing their photographs of the sessions with us for this blog post. Thanks also, to Artist Rachel Heard who is joining the Celebrating Age Wiltshire team as a Trainee Project Artist, and who joined us for this session.
For more information of the activities and events that they run at Goodson Lodge please take a look at their Facebook Page.