Mary-Gay shows us her group's ‘Birds in the Garden' themed collage.
"I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” (Helena Bonham-Carter).
This week at Setting the Scene we set out to convince our participants just how wonderfully creative they are. Initially our group were a little shy when we asked if they'd describe themselves as artistic, however when we dug a little deeper, we found a whole host of creative talents that our modest bunch were hiding! Tommy hand carves walking sticks, Ian and Pam have both performed on stage and many of our members loved to bake.
Over a cuppa and a piece of cake, the group laughed as Rachel recounted facts about famous artists and we laughed as we imagined William Morris throwing his dinner out of the window. Following on, practitioner Jenn led everybody in a movement activity imagining that we were artists applying paint to canvas. Members took turn to lead the group, drawing everything from ballerinas to wheelbarrows.
Next up, it was time to make collages. We separated into three groups with different themes: under the sea, birds in the garden and wedding decorations. With shimmering fabric and shells, Ian, Nancy and Lesley-Ann transformed their table top into an underwater paradise including coral reefs and sharks hiding in dark places. Our ‘birds in the garden' group of Mary-Gay and our two Tommy's used pegs to raise their felt base creating mountains and feathers to re-create a pheasant and thrush on a watering can. Finally our wedding decorations collage took two very different strands. At Ron and Margaret's celebration, symmetry ruled, which was not surprising as we know Ron likes everything "just so”, whereas Pam and Hugh's creation was more whimsical. It was great to see both couples using the props so differently, each to marvellous effect. Not bad for a group which had earlier claimed to not be artistic!
Afterwards we used word-play to write a story, inviting the group to shout out the next single word. Our final, surrealist, piece featured talking sheep and a merry trip to the pictures… Perhaps our group were inspired by our lovely view of the grazing herd outside the Sunday School Rooms!
Finally, the session ended today with a sing-along to Sunny Side of the Street, As Times Goes By and What a Wonderful World. As our group meandered out into the winter sunshine with snow thick on the hills, we couldn't help but reflect what a wonderful morning it had been.
Setting the Scene is a series of creative sessions provided by Theatre by the Lake, run with support from Amy's Care for people living with dementia and their carers. Sessions are free to attend and are on Thursday mornings at 11.00 - 12.30.
Setting the Scene will run until March 28th.Sessions are usually based at Theatre by the Lake but occasionally move to other locations. For more information, please contact Mary Elliott on 017687 72282 ext. 269.
We'd like to thank the Hadfield Trust for supporting future sessions. To hear more about the project or to contribute to Theatre by the Lake's work in Dementia please call our Box Office on 017687 74411.