Interactive

Fascinating blog post about touch

holding the moment of holding

A recent edition of the BBC Worldservice programme, The Forum, focussed on ‘The real vs the virtual’. Amongst the guests was Edmund de Waal, potter and author. Bridget Kendall, the host of the programme spoke, rather gushingly, about how holding one of de Waal’s pot allowed her to commune with de Waal himself… I am being somewhat unkind as her response is not uncommon amongst people blessed with, what I would consider to be, a romantic imagination. Lots of people, historians and archaeologists being foremost amongst them, have a strong, emotional response to holding a a special object or being in a certain space. Through the object they believe themselves to be in direct contact with the person who held or made that object or who occupied that space in the past. I have to confess to a certain cynicism as I don’t share this response; however lots of…

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Ophelia Has A Dream

Cruising the internet, or what my beloved Grandma used to call the interset – I came across this exquisite video Orphelia Has A Dream by Miharayasuhiro and Paolo Roversi via an inspiring blog:  The Artful Blog. This magical, interactive film was apparently made in celebration of the Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde exhibition on show at Tate Britain

A brilliant in depth discussion of John Millais Everett’s original painting of Ophelia, which the contemporary version is clearly inspired by, can be seen at Khan Academy. The original painting is a scene deriving from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in which Ophelia who apparently “loses her mind” when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream. Shakespeare’s scene can be read here plus Ten things you never knew about Ophelia

Intentionally seeking out art that incorporates the human hand in some shape or form to inspire my research: Ophelia’s left hand in this contemporary version immediately captivated my attention. With her delicate palms turned upwards, seemingly in submission and in acceptance of her fate, before she drowns, floating in a ditch of flowers. I would be fascinated to hear the response and reaction of people who are living with dementia.  Some of the flowers, in the original painting, which include forget-me-nots, resonate as a powerful symbol of dementia.

Dementia Patients Find Their Memory Through Art – as in some museums in the UK which are becoming more and more dementia friendly i.e Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery, it is now commonplace in cities across Germany to provide museum guided tours for people who are living with dementia – followed by a hands-on activity after interactive discussions of a specific theme of painting/s in the gallery.

“The fact that music can instantly evoke memories and emotions in those with dementia is well known. But that images can have a similar effect on the collective and personal memory is not as widely accepted” according to Andrea Kasiske.

“All that they take, colour, form, shape, and they process it in some way, that is real, and in the moment, and it translates in an Alzheimer person’s brain to have some meaning. The creative arts are an avenue to tap into a non verbal emotional place in a person. When they are given paint, markers, any kind of medium for art making and their hands are involved, and their muscles are involved, things are tapped in them that are genuine, and active and alive, so the creative arts bypass the limitations and they simply go to the strengths. People still have imaginations intact all the way to the very, very end of their progressive disease.” – Judy Holstein – Director CJE Senior Life Day Service Chicago from the film I Remember Better When I Paint

Held in the Hand

Held in the Hand

This fascinating collection of objects, housed in a special box, was created by 13 artists across the UK who made handheld tactile objects, commissioned by Leicestershire Artworks, with funding from Renaissance East Midlands.

This magical box is available for loan to schools and local communities, and is a brilliant, interactive concept to help engage and stimulate creativity in people including those with severe learning disabilities and dementia…

http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/leisure_tourism/museums/open_museum/artworks/heldinthehand.htm