2017 Artist Residency
We hope to foster an understanding of the value of the arts and creative activity, particularly in a care setting, and demonstrate and celebrate the positive impact of ageing creatively.
Artist in Residence a Care Setting initiative 2017
In 2017, visual artist Joanna Hopkins was awarded the inaugural Age & Opportunity Artist in Residence in a Care Setting. The Age & Opportunity Arts programme with Azure, Creative Exchanges and in association with the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), developed this artist’s residency within a care setting that specialises in caring for older people living with dementia.
Joanna engaged with the Orchard Day Care Centre in Blackrock, Co. Dublin and its residents over four months, September to December 2017. Central to Joanna’s interest was the function and importance of the garden at Orchard Day Care Centre.
“The residency culminated in an interactive light and sound installation with the residents. We created handmade paper using materials from the garden. The participants placed their handmade paper onto a sculpture made from multiple pruned branches of trees from the orchard. This installation lit up once touched. The handmade paper featured names, drawings, stories and quotes from the participants. The sculpture also sang with the residents’ voices when touched, a pre-recorded song that a participant had performed to me during a story recording session.
The installation celebrated the organic, ever changing memories that form the stories of our everyday lives – it is not important to me whether stories are true. It is important that they have been told, and listened to” – Joanna Hopkins
The 2017 Age & Opportunity Artist in Residence in a Car Setting was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
We believe that, whether you are 8 or 80 years old, we all should have access and opportunities to attend and participate in the arts and to realise our creative potential. Fresh thinking, bold experimentation and creativity are all fundamental to delivering a high quality of life for older people.
Research shows that arts programmes involving music, visual arts and drama, among other activities, have a profound influence on the quality of life of older people, with positive impacts on health, psychological well-being, confidence and autonomy as well as other benefits such as:
- mental wellbeing
- reduced stress
- improved cognition
- sense of identity and personhood
- increased self-esteem and confidence
- reduced boredom.