Loveday and Royal Hospital Chelsea launch art collaboration

Care provider Loveday and the Royal Hospital Chelsea have unveiled an art collaboration to promote dementia awareness.

As part of the ‘Home’ project, Loveday Members and a group of Chelsea Pensioners will enjoy four months of weekly art workshops led by illustrator and creative educator Grace Holliday, who incorporates traditional art skills such as painting, drawing, and mixed-media design into her weekly workshops. The collaboration will culminate in an art exhibition at the Soane Stable Yard – the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s new outreach and visitor centre – which will open on 21 September – World Alzheimer’s Day.

The art programme was developed in partnership with researchers with the University of West London’s Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory, using the latest neuroscience and psychological evidence.

Participants will also come together explore one another’s current homes, forging stronger bonds amongst the communities of artists. Together, the groups will discover Loveday’s creative spaces and explore the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with its spectacular art collection and Grade I listed heritage buildings.

Grace Holliday said: “This inspiring exhibition highlights the significance of art and sensory stimulation in supporting individuals living with dementia. While it's often assumed that euphoria and creative accomplishments are beyond reach for those facing a dementia diagnosis, these workshops defy that notion, showcasing talent, identity and style with a palpable sense of pride. As cognitive decline progresses, memories associated with home, such as family gatherings, familiar surroundings and cherished moments, can become increasingly important and we want to honour this. We are all so excited to create ‘Home’.”

Marina Spiteri, community engagement and outreach manager at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, said: “We are delighted to bring together Chelsea Pensioners and Loveday Members to create ‘Home’. This collaboration symbolises The Royal Hospital’s and Loveday’s shared respect for an individual’s experience, our shared dedication to nurture belonging amongst our communities, and our shared pride in the care that our organisations provide for people living with dementia. Over the next four months, we will create a meaningful, safe and imaginative space within which each artist can connect with their private meaning of ‘home’ and ultimately celebrates work which proudly challenges commonly held misconceptions about what those living with dementia can do.”

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