The first phase of the Armchair Gallery has now been completed with residents at Millbeck and Sycamore House, facilitated by visual artist Sam Metz and dance artist Andrea Haley.
Each of the sessions followed a similar format, starting with one of the selected artworks from Chatsworth House. They included sculptures by David Nash and the Veiled Vestal Virgin featured in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, Audobon book of American birds, Lady Burlington digital portrait, Lucien Freud family portraits and Old Master Drawings (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Rembrandt).
The workshops included the Timeslips introduction to the artwork and then residents were shown a series of films that have been produced specifically for the project.
“Engagement with using the Timeslips model presented in Claire Ford’s training session seems like a wonderful tool for raising confidence.” Sam Metz
Residents responded well to this model of working and enjoyed watching the films, with many participants recognising Chatsworth as they had visited in the past. They particularly liked the virtual tour of Chatsworth introduced by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
“The warm up where I was using imagery for flicking paint got nearly everyone joining in. Lots of big arm movements; people unfolding their arms to take part. Eye contact between the participants and lots of laughter. Residents appear to really like discussing the art and sharing their opinions.” Andrea Haley
“I enjoyed it so much, art and movement threaded together so well. Says a lot of the person running it.” Quote from participant, Barbara .
As a pilot introduction to the work, the sessions have gone very well with both artists presenting different ways of engaging with residents. The diverse approaches with each artist has worked well.
Comments from the Activity Co-ordinators
“Our residents love music and when encouraged love to dance, so these sessions were popular. Andrea had a nice set structure for each session and utilised feathers, ribbons and balloons etc to go with her artwork themes, she also used Timeslips well. The bird book was a very successful session and also Lady Burlington.”
“The residents with quite advanced dementia seemed to really gain from Andrea’s sessions and were able to join in easily – lots of laughter and talking.”
“Sam’s sessions were really adventurous and this was really appreciated by the residents. They commented on the different things they had achieved. At the beginning of the sessions some were reluctant, but by the end they were very proud of their artwork.”