Talents on show

    We have many talented individuals living in our aged care services.

    Oak Towers Aged Care Service in Oakleigh wanted to recognise the creativity of their residents so Lifestyle Coordinator Sally Davoren decided to bring their artworks and exhibit them in an art show.

    Service Manager Alla Kats said that art activities have been held throughout the service and residents were invited to submit other works of art they might have, so to that they could be gathered for an exhibition.

    Aged care artists

    “The works of art included knitting projects, poetry, colouring, paintings, ceramics, photography and story making,” Sally said.

    “We also invited residents to bring an old black and white photograph of themselves that they later decorated with colour and fabrics, bringing them to life. This was a great creative activity but also prompted positive reminiscing, with the importance and love of family was a popular theme to emerge. Residents shared stories and the sense of connection in the room was evident.”

    The ‘Heart Art’ group, led by Aged Care Chaplain Vicky Kingston, were also invited to add works to the exhibition.

    “The ‘Heart Art’ group meets weekly and is facilitated by one of our chaplains, Vicky, and is aided by a troupe of fantastic volunteers. The group focuses on producing art with residents experiencing dementia, with artworks including printing, mask making and collages,” she said.

    The exhibition took place at Highway Gallery, a local community art gallery in the city of Monash.

    “We discovered them [the Highway Gallery] on a bus outing and met with one of the wonderful volunteers who assists in coordinating exhibitions. In ongoing liaising, plans were underway to hold the Oak Towers Exhibition.”

    The service held competition to find a title for the exhibition, with Molly Davenport providing the winning name, ‘Hidden Treasures’.

    Community connection through art

    “By exhibiting residents’ art work, they feel a real sense of community connection. Families were welcomed along and a special opening took place inviting residents who contributed significantly to the gallery. One resident, Norman Butler, read his poetry and sang alongside Age Care Chaplain Rick’s guitar playing. Lilia Bothello also sang a song she wrote specifically for the opening (as seen below),” Sally said.

    Over the two week exhibition, residents were transported to see their beautiful pieces displayed in the gallery.

    “They appeared to feel a real sense of pride. We are so thankful for the volunteers who helped man the gallery during this period, without their help the exhibition could not go ahead.”

    Art provides a number of benefits to aged care residents. It provides a great way for them to express themselves, it allows choice, aids dexterity, cognitive planning, socialisation and enjoyment. Art can gives residents the chance to learn new skills or access past abilities. There is no right or wrong with art. Artwork becomes an extension of the self and when this is exhibited and admired the self too may feel valued.

    Read more inspiring stories like this in the latest edition of Networking.

    Posted June 13, 2018 in Lifestyle blog