Making It online workshops are designed for people living with dementia and their care partners.
Making It extends the reach of the National Gallery's Art and Dementia Program, providing a creative outlet for those who are unable to visit in person.
Making It is a series of online workshops for people living with dementia and their care partners. A care partner might include a family member, professional support worker, dementia care staff, or any other person supporting someone with dementia to participate. Works of art by Australian artists, initially from the Australian collection, inspire art-making for any time, at any place, and at your own pace.
Making it encourages creativity and self-expression to support wellbeing and quality of life. By working together, care partners are participating in a type of care that places people with dementia at the centre.
Activities that combine social interaction and intellectual stimulation can reduce social and emotional isolation. Participate with an open heart and mind by sharing success and challenge. Roles can be expanded, understanding increased, perspectives adjusted, and abilities revealed.
Each workshop has three steps: step one are the warmup exercises to engage the eyes, the hands, and the body. Step two is discussion to engage with ideas and artist perspectives. And step three, art-making to engage with creative processes, whether doing or making is more important than the outcome.
As a predictable structure of the workshops becomes familiar, participants will build positive emotional associations through anticipation and trust, and be willing to try something new or to experiment.
Tips for warmup allow participants to follow along in their own way. Our feedback affirms that the exercises are enjoyable, bringing laughter and connection.
Discussion provides an opportunity to view and find inspiration from works of art. A process of discovery, using open-ended questions allows multiple interpretations to be shared. This method will encourage responses beyond yes or no, leading to meaningful discussion where people with dementia are able to demonstrate their ability.
For example, the question, 'what colour is the sky?' could be experienced as a test with a correct answer. Try instead, 'tell me about the sky'.
Asking a question in this way allows participants to make choices and give a variety of responses. Be patient and open.
Allow time for participants to look at the work of art. Process the information and formulate an answer. Don't be afraid of silence. Discussion should be fun, social, and intellectually stimulating to build confidence.
Art-making is a way to explore Themes and concepts explored in works of art. The creative process supports the individuality of each maker through experimentation and self-expression.
Each workshop includes a video that demonstrates the art-making activity. You can watch the video beforehand or you can watch while you make and follow along.
We encourage you to pause or rewind as required.
Established in 2007, the Gallery's Art and Dementia initiative is a non-pharmacological treatment for dementia, encompassing onsite and online workshops, research, symposia, and training. The initiative connects people living with dementia and their care partners with art and the world in enriching and life enhancing ways.
Since 2010, the Gallery has supported a nationwide network of galleries in developing and delivering high-quality, engaging programs for people living with dementia.
Art and Dementia is made possible by the National Gallery’s Access Partner the Lansdowne Foundation.