I’ve been asked to contribute to the Gwanwyn blog as one of the lead artists for the project ‘In the Minds Eye’ at the Dementia Assessment Unit Royal Glamorgan, Llantrisant. This is the first time I’ve written a blog, so please bear with me as I learn how it works! As a brief introduction to the project and my involvement in it I’ve pasted my most recent press release below:
In the Minds Eye is a collaboration between Gwanwyn Festival (Age Cymru) and The Dementia Assessment Unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant. Four experienced arts in health artists and curators Jan Gardner, Sol Jorgenson, Alice Briggs and Maureen O’Kane are contributing artwork to the unit which will provide a more stimulating environment for the patients and experiment with ways in which such artwork might contribute to the assessment process itself in some way.
The unit is led by a team of dedicated and passionate professionals who are keen to try new and innovative ways of improving the well being of their patients and this project is thought to be the first of its kind in a DSU in Wales, if not the UK. Alice Briggs, an artist and curator based near Aberystwyth is designing and curating panelled wallpaper to line the corridors of the unit to improve the environment of the ward.
The ward itself is currently very sparsely decorated, but the wallpaper will include a ‘then and now’ series of images designed to stimulate the patients memories and creativity by showing familiar landscapes and buildings from the Rhondda area in the design of the panelling. Alice is working with Rhondda Cynon Taff Digital Archive, local photographers from the area and the public to gather images for the project. ‘In the Minds Eye’ itself will also be evaluated to see if the change in the environment of the unit and the other creative elements of the project can offer benefits to the well being of the patients and staff.