This strand of work has been carried out in partnership project with the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab. PHD researcher, Roma Patel facilitated a series of creative workshops over 13 weeks with care home residents from Nottinghamshire Hospice, The Firs and Sycamore House and Kenyon Lodge.
Roma introduced a series of digital technologies to older adults and created some playful results. Roma drew her inspiration from self-taught artist Joseph Cornell produced work in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Cornell’s most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple shadow boxes, usually fronted with a glass pane, in which he arranged eclectic fragments of photographs or Victorian bric a brac. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.
Initial workshops engaged residents with pre-made boxes consisting of a range of objects, a camera and drawing materials as way of stimulating ideas and getting to know individuals better. This was the starting point where feelings, experiences about the arts, technology and cultural activities were gleaned, providing a better understanding of people’s preferences in shaping the work that followed.
This project worked well in capturing people’s individual interests and imagination. As a legacy of the project, residents and the volunteers developed a unique sensory box that has been left at Nottinghamshire Hospice for future patients to enjoy. The Imagine Digital programme strand was also presented at the UK Dementia Congress in 2015.