We will become like (a) family – Hospital Activities Programme Jan – Mar 2017

Over the past year Artlink has been working towards this programme of
exhibitions, workshops and events which explores in some detail different aspects
of older age. We want to share the stories of love, life and family we came across
in our research.

We aren’t looking at this through rose-tinted spectacles; we know about the
problems that exist and the hardship that is experienced. What we want to show is
just how remarkable and resilient people are, how enthusiastic they are to join in,
work together and share their experiences.

Each participating hospital has its own ‘theme’ and all events match the interests of
the amazing people we have met and worked with over the years.

Although the exhibitions and events are aimed at older audiences and for those
who care for older people, we have designed this programme to have an open
appeal. You will be introduced to artists and writers who have an interesting
perspective on older age, as well as to local people and organisations who do
amazing work giving advice, support and providing recreational activities.

To make sure that everyone has the opportunity to join in, we have placed some of
these events are on closed wards and some in public spaces. All events are free.
If you want to take part, check what’s on on your ward, or find out more, get in
touch with us at Artlink.

Kirsty Williams: kirsty@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or 0131 229 3555
Trevor Cromie: trevor@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or 0131 5376127

Balcarres Ward

These workshops developed out of the taster tester workshops we did earlier in the year.

Balcarres is an acute admissions ward and Claire Barclay has been working on the female ward. Claire started with embroidery workshops as a means of participatory workshop while sitting around a table. This enables work to be carried on from one workshop to another while also enabling group conversations around the table.

Claire started of by bringing different size embroidery hoops, blanks squares and different coloured embroidery treads along to the workshops. Some patients had done embroidery before while others were beginners. As the workshops developed styles and aesthetics began to develop, with some people starting and developing their square to completion while others started and were happy for Claire or other patients to complete their square.

The outcome from this series of workshops will be a wall mounted collaborative piece that comprised of finished pieces. This will be displayed in the breakfast room of the ward, a space that is used by all the patients and their visitors.

More images will be posted as the workshops progress.

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Ward 14

This series of workshops developed out of the taster tester workshops we did earlier in the year.

Ward 14 is a male only dementia ward and James Mclardy has been working on the ward with their activities coordinator Vanessa Campbell. To engage the men on this ward James had to devise a practical workshop that somehow related back to the patients working past. The idea he came up with was to paint and wood grain long strips of wood. It was an immediate success with the patients, so much so that James had to keep prepping more pieces of wood for the next workshop as the men went into production overdrive. The results are individual while maintaining a familiar aesthetic across all the pieces produced.

James then took the grained pieces of wood and cut notches out of them so they could fit together in a modular system – this was also a great success with the patients enabling them to put together new and different constructions in the workshop.

The workshop is ongoing and it has been agreed that the outcome from these workshops will be:

  • A ‘grained’ artwork which will hang in the activities room.
  • A ‘grained’ modular system that allows the patients to continue to build constructions with Vanessa once the Artlink programme of workshops is finished.
  • A large scale sign which has been ‘grained’ by the patients which says ‘Welcome to our ward’.

I’ll post more images as things progress.

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Taster Tester workshops

This year we started doing taster tester workshops on the wards. These comprised a series of two workshops per ward. These were designed to help us get to know patients and staff on different wards while helping us determine whether the ward wanted us to develop a longer workshop programme with them. The intention was to do the taster tester workshops on four wards and then develop a workshop programme on two of those wards. The feedback at the end was that each ward wanted us to work with them on a longer basis, therefore we initiated four workshop programmes which go onto the end of March 2016.

The taster tester workshops were on Wards 13, 14, 17 and Balcarres and we are currently working on Ward 14 and Balcarres. Here are some photographs from the initial workshops. Later on in the blog you can see what we have been doing on each of the wards.

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