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 in partnership with us is Claire Legg, an arts specialist from We Engage which aims to engage older people with digital technology. The programme is currently being facilitated by artists Andrea Haley, Annie Ball, Jane Stockley, Elaine Winter, emma Wass and Graham Elstone. Partner organisations comprise care homes; memory cafes; retirement villages and sheltered housing accommodation and hospices supporting people with nursing, dementia and end of life care.
A series of short films and virtual tours have been produced and to date that include Chatsworth House Dulwich Picture Gallery, Lowry Gallery, Pitt Rivers Museum, Newstead Abbey, Mr Straws House and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The artworks and collections that feature in these films have been specifically selected by curators at the cultural venues and Duke and Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth.
Specific collections are being facilitated in a number of different settings that support older people in Nottingham. We have developed a particular method of delivery during workshop sessions to support older people living with dementia. The model includes Timeslips, music and singing, poetry, movement, visual arts, iPads and multisensory stimuli.
An Armchair Gallery App is being developed by App Developer Robin Shackford. This App will offer access to the artworks and virtual tours that have been filmed. A series of ‘How To’ guides will provide tutorials to utilise the collections in a creative way with older people leaving a lasting legacy for this work. This will be launched in Autumn 2018.
Armchair Gallery features as a case study in a publication produced by The Baring Foundation – Technically Older; an update on digital arts and creative ageing and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing – Inquiry report 2017 (pg 135).