Showcasing 'Creative Lives' Exhibition

As part of our work within the field of Dementia and Visual Arts,, SOLA took part in a public exhibition called Thinking bac, Looking forward held at St. George's Hall, Liverpool from 24th April- 6th May 2013.

The exhibition involved those organisations funded through Liverpool City Council's Grassroots Grants. SOLA was additionally funded by Granby Toxteth Development Trust and worked in partnership with several organisations and company groups/projects.

We were granted an area on the main corridor of the exhibition and enjoyed showcasing 4 projects that we have been able to deliver. Some of these have been posted on this blog and you may be familiar with.

Since October 2012 SOLA ARTS has been working with the community through creativity, as a way to enable;

·      memory recall, reminiscence, hand-eye coordination development, self-confidence, opportunity for social interaction, a sense of belonging, self-pride and self-agency.

These are a small selection of the ways that people who are in their third stage of life can benefit from being involved with the visual arts.

These types of creative stimulus can be very beneficial for people who experience Dementia or Alzheimer’s. This project has engaged people who live with or are vulnerable to memory loss or Dementia through creative activities with. Carers have also benefited from therapeutic arts activities. In addition, young women have been involved in creatively based awareness raising activities around cultural issues and dementia.  

Visual Arts with Liverpool African Elders Luncheon Club

This project has enabled the elders and volunteers at an intergenerational level, to develop crafts skills to create a range of artwork. This has included acrylic flower and glass painted jar decoration pieces and cards out of recycled materials. Being invovled in creative activity has given the elders a greater sense of self-agency, confidence, socialising focus and quality of life. Participants hand-eye coordination has improved, as have short memory abilities enabled by repetitive creative activity.

The elders have been able to embrace creativity in their third age and many memories  have been stimulated by the activities, the tactile experience, smells and sensual stimulus.

The group visited the exhibition and the laughter and joy was evident seeing their work and success celebrated. Of course we had to have a cuppa and cake at St. George's Hall Cafe before leaving, which went down a treat!

Of course we have all enjoyed the experience and we hope to work with the elders and volunteers again in the near future.

This project has been additional funded by Granby Toxteth Development Trust.

Arts & Crafts workshops for Netherley 'Forget-Me-Not' Dementia & Alzheimer's Carer's Forum

We were invited to deliver a series of workshops for the launch of the Netherley Carer's Forum.

Carer's and people living with Dementia or Alzheimer's got involved in making forget-me-not flower decoration, designing a logo for the group and designing plant pots to plant forget-me-not seeds in.

The day was simply fantastic and we feel privileged to have been invited to participate in the launch of a great project for a community with a wealth of warmth and care.

The group logo is in developed. We will keep you posted!

Henna painting and flower making crafts for Yemeni Dementia carers and other BME individuals
This group met in January 2013 working on henna painting and acrylic resin flower making. What began as a short term programme for carers as a relaxation and therapeutic arts space has now evolved into a space for members of the wider black and ethnic minority communities in Liverpool to come together to relax and aid their mental and physical well-being through the therapeutic qualities of learning and practicing henna painting.

A big thanks to Faiza for initially bringing the Yemeni ladies together.

SOLA has partnered with Granby Toxteth Development Project to co-fund and host the activities, which have run from January 2013 until now and will continue for the foreseeable future.
This project was part-funded by Granby Toxteth Development Trust and based at the Trust's premises on Lodge Lane, Toxteth. 

A visit to see the exhibition and of course a cuppa and piece of cake as well as a tour of St. George's Hall was a must for the group.

'Same as Usual' (SAAS) Somali arts & culture project for young Somali women

Since April 2012 up to the present time, SOLA has been partnering with Asli Somali restaurant and Rainbow Health & Social Care Project in Toxteth, to work with young Somali women on an arts & culture project. 

This has been in collaboration with a local Somali poet. The project has more recently partnered with KAALMO Youth Development project working with East African youth, to support delivery of the SAAS programme of activity- particularly film-making.

The group chose to focus on a poem ‘My beautiful bundle of Qat’ written by local poet Abdillahi Awed about the leaf ‘Qat’. This is a leaf chewed as a stimulant and relaxant. Qat is widely used in the Somali community and is very much a part of Somali culture. There is much debate about the negative effects of Qat, including research linking it with the onset of mental health problems and dementia. 

This is a concern, as Qat is used by people of all ages in the community and early dementia is becoming more common in young Somali people as a result.
The young women, aged 14-17, chose to explore the issue of Qat and make artwork about its effects. As part of this, they linked the issue to their identity as being young, Scouse, and Somali. The resulting artwork, ranges from films, to storyboards illustrating the poem, to images based on Somali culture and nature, as well as 2D paintings, multi-media work and 2 films exploring personal identity and mental health.

It has been a great project and we look forward to holding another public exhibition over the coming months, of all of the work made.


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