The Armchair Gallery enables digital access for older people whose circumstances do not allow for physical visits to world class cultural collections. This strand of work aims to inspire the viewing, appreciation and production of artworks through a series of virtual visits to arts and cultural venues whilst raising curiosity about digital technology.
Working on the project is Claire Ford, who is an arts specialist and has set up a company called We Engage working with older people using digital technology. The programme is being facilitated by artists Sam Metz, Andrea Haley, Graham Elstone and Jo Dacombe with care partners.
A series of short films and virtual tours are being produced and to date include Chatsworth House and Dulwich Picture Gallery. The artworks that feature in these films have been specifically selected by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and curators from Dulwich.
Specific artworks are being shown in a number of care settings in Nottingham alongside movement and visual arts workshops, bringing the artworks to life. We have developed a particular method of delivery during these workshop sessions that includes the use of Timeslips , music and singing, poetry, movement, visual arts, iPads and multisensory stimuli.
An Armchair Gallery App has also been developed by the Imagine programme that offers access to the artworks and virtual tours that have been filmed. A series of toolkits provide tutorials to utilise the collections in a creative way with older people leaving a lasting legacy for this work.
This work also features as a case study in a publication produced by The Baring Foundation – Technically Older; an update on digital arts and creative ageing.