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Is this the UK’s biggest ever care home-sourced art gallery?

Residents at care homes across the nation have been drawing in a crowd with the world’s biggest ever care home art exhibition.

Residents in almost 40 Care UK care homes have taken part, with over 50 pieces of artwork on show in a virtual gallery, which is now open to the public. 

From Edinburgh to Kent, residents across the UK submitted artwork as part of the partnership between the care home provider and pioneering charity, The Big Draw, which promotes the therapeutic benefits of drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and promoting positive wellbeing. 

From recreating Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to collaborating with local school children to create giant collages of forests, and drawing and painting artwork that highlights important topical issues, such as the impact of climate change, residents have been ‘etching’ to put their creative skills to the test. Visitors to the gallery might be surprised at the quality of the artwork and there has already been interest in purchasing some of it to frame.

Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, said: “We’re thrilled Care UK have chosen to partner with The Big Draw for a third year running to promote the benefits of art on improving physical and mental wellbeing. We loved seeing the resident’s wonderful artistic talents in their immersive virtual art gallery which offered a truly fascinating experience into our theme around nature. We want to say a big thank you to Care UK for taking part and look forward to working with the residents and the team on future projects.”

Commenting on her artwork featuring in a national gallery, Doris, a resident at Appleby House, said: “Heavens above, it’s an honour – I’m very proud, but it wasn’t just me, we all got involved!”. Sharing the excitement towards the national gallery, resident Jean at Dashwood Manor said: “I’m excited – a gallery wow. It’ll be nice to see all the pictures.”

Jean, a resident at Dashwood Manor, added: “I’m excited – a gallery wow. It’ll be nice to see all the pictures.”

At Sherwood Grange, in Kingston Vale, resident Ida added: “I always look forward to the art projects because they keep me busy and engage my mind. I was never a naturally arty person before Sherwood Grange, but find myself looking forward to each art project more and more – and I can spend time chatting and remembering while taking part!”.

Another resident, Jean at Harrier Lodge, in Whitstable, who collaborated on floral themed artwork with pupils at Joy Lane Primary School, said: “I really enjoy painting as I find it relaxing and I like looking at all of the different colours.”

Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert said: “We’re excited to be showcasing the resident’s talents on the worldwide stage with our online exhibition that is free for anyone to enjoy.

“The Big Draw Festival is a fantastic initiative which residents have enjoyed and looked forward to for a third year running. Creative activities play a big part of life within our care homes, and we actively encourage residents to continue lifelong arty hobbies and try new expressive pastimes through imaginative and creative activities planned by our lifestyle team.

“Drawing has a variety of benefits for older people, especially those living with dementia, as it provides an alternative way to communicate and express emotions, and an opportunity to relive happy memories.

“We certainly have some very skilled and talented artists who can now say their artwork features in an exhibition – one which certainly looks the art!”

Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, said: “We’re thrilled Care UK have chosen to partner with The Big Draw for a third year running to promote the benefits of art on improving physical and mental wellbeing. We loved seeing the resident’s wonderful artistic talents in their immersive virtual art gallery which offered a truly fascinating experience into our theme around nature. We want to say a big thank you to Care UK for taking part and look forward to working with the residents and the team on future projects.”

Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, the month-long Big Draw Festival promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception.

After a successful participation in the Big Draw Festival last year, Care UK renewed its partnership becoming the main health and social care partner and leading the way in changing perceptions of life in a care home by promoting activity-based care and encouraging other care homes to follow suit. Across the country, care homes have been getting arty and working with their local communities virtually to create works of art around the theme ‘Make the Change’. The opening of the virtual gallery to the public was the grand finale to the 2021 partnership.

To see the residents’ artwork, please visit artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/en/exhibition/8482502/care-uk-art-exhibition

To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with the Big Draw, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit careuk.com/the-big-draw

 

Edel Harris

WAGS NOMINATION

SkillForce

GNR

CareLineLive

Dementia Ad

thecareworkerscharity.org.uk

nacas.org.uk

stephensons.co.uk

hiltonnursingpartners.org.uk

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