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Inspiring the arts

Susanna Howard explains how the experience of dementia can inspire various artistic practices - including the work of young people and students.
Some people’s words go into anthologies, and in our anthology, ‘The Things Between Us’– that has been taken and used here at Created Out of Mind to inspire artistic practice, and really, just to raise awareness about what people are saying about their lived experience of dementia from the care home. So we work with Proms Inspire and the young composer competition winners, and they created musical pieces from the words of people from the anthology. That was fantastic. And also, we worked with ceramicists at Central St. Martin’s, and they all had a piece of clay that was the weight of a human brain.
And they took one of the poems that most resonated to them, and then they moulded a pot in response to that. And it was wonderful working with the young people at Central St. Martin’s, and how their perceptions of what dementia was had been completely changed by hearing people’s words. That was fantastic.

Susanna Howard explains how the experience of dementia can inspire various artistic practices – including the work of young people and students.

This step demonstrates how the lived experience of dementia can have a knock-on effect, not only inspiring one art form, but how it can ripple through the artistic community. Susanna explains how the anthologies created through the work of Living Words with people living with dementia in care home setting have been used to influenced the National Youth Choir for the BBC Proms inspire, as well as in the creation of ceramic vases at Central St Martins.

Are you aware of any pieces of art or creative output that have been inspired by the experience of living with dementia? If so, please do share these in the comments, or add them to the Communal Pinboard at the end of this week.

CREDITS We would like to extend a special thank you to the following individuals and organisations for providing supplementary footage and images for this video: * Living Words / Zbigniew Kotkiewicz * David Sandison/ Wellcome * Vessels from ‘Ceramic Diaries’ by Studio Senses developed in partnership with Created Out of Mind/ Central St Martins (2017).
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Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives

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