Creative efforts of older people transform care home into exhibition space.
With a splash of colour and support from professional artists, residents at a South Tyneside care setting plan to take their work on a touring exhibition of the region.
For the past six months the group of 12 women at Bedewell Grange in Hebburn have been working with creative ageing charity Equal Arts to create a number of watercolour and textile pieces.
Led by Equal Arts’ Lindsey Grieves, the busy weekly sessions have been an opportunity for the group and staff to explore their creativity and ideas.
This week residents their families and friends officially opened the exhibition that will be on display at the venue in Campbell Park Road over the spring ahead of plans to take it to venues across the region.
Jill Wright, activities coordinator at the Barchester-run setting, said: “The reaction from residents and their families has been absolutely amazing. It’s fantastic seeing the confidence of residents grown.
“At the start they were saying we can’t or we’ve never painted but I’d always say you used to run families, have jobs – you’re only discovering art now. Their work is just outstanding.”
The project, based on the theme of by the sea, was made possible with £1,000 from The Culture Spring, an initiative working to increase participation in arts and culture in South Tyneside and Sunderland.
Lindsey, herself a freelance ceramicist, added: “The acknowledgement of praise from the community and relatives at the exhibition has been amazing. It's given them a real sense of achievement and a belief in themselves that wasn't necessarily there before. I'm so very proud of them all.
"It's been a real pleasure to work with the residents. I've seen the class grow in numbers, week on week. They look forward to being together, making each other laugh, growing in confidence, whilst learning something new and being creative."
Orders for prints of the artwork are now being taken for a limited time with prints being dispatched in March. Large prints (A3) cost £20, medium (A4) £15 and small (A5) £10.
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