An exhibition focussing on how painting affects people living with dementia is currently on display at Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Oriel Sycharth gallery.
The exhibition involves work by PhD student Megan Wyatt, who worked alongside eight people living with dementia at special sessions in a Ruthin art gallery to produce paintings as part of her research.
The project was organised with the help of the ‘Lost In Art’ scheme at the Ruthin Craft Centre.
‘Lost in Art’ also explores the role of the visual arts in addressing issues which can affect people with dementia, including social isolation, confidence, communication and quality of life and wellbeing. The original Lost in Art project, based in Ruthin, is now to be extended across North East Wales with funding from the Arts Council for Wales.
Each participant’s painting is now being displayed alongside Megan’s work in Oriel Sycharth – with both sets of paintings being given equal prominence.
Megan, who works as a project officer for the University’s careers team, explained: “It began with a hunch, that people living with dementia could access things using painting which they could not by other means. What happened was that I ran eight individual workshops with people living with dementia on a one-to-one basis, where I would paint and they would too.
“Everyone taking part was encouraged to paint whatever they wanted and I found that, as each session went on, they seemed to find it a help.”
Megan is now developing her thesis for her PhD, and is hoping to present the research – alongside the artwork produced – to examiners at Glyndŵr later this year.
She added: “This has been a fascinating project and I think it has shown how painting can help people living with dementia express themselves in a non-verbal manner – and the impact that that expression has.
“I’d like to thank Ruthin Craft Centre, the Lost in Art project – and, of course, each of the eight painters who worked alongside me to produce this exhibition.”