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Poetry written by dementia sufferers

Jon Moreno

[email protected]

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 10:00

THE power of poetry as a form of expression for people suffering with dementia has shone through in a new exhibition of their work.

The Independent Arts exhibition, The Poetry of Dementia, is currently being held at the Lord Louis Library, Newport.

The work selected for the exhibition was culled from a series of creative writing workshops run by Independent Arts, run in six residential care homes across the Island last year.

Creative writing is strongly believed to be an expressive medium particularly suited to those in long term residential settings and living with dementia, said exhibition organisers.

The project typically featured supported sessions with qualified practitioners, who encouraged ideas and imaginative expression through shared discussion, to create pieces of prose.

Those who took part in the sessions also listened to poetry and music and used tactile and visual resources.

Kerry Tindall-Guignard, Independent Arts' workshops coordinator and projects assistant, said: "In putting this exhibition together we wanted to display participants' contributions with sensitivity — and with the dignity and gravitas they deserved.

"To this end, text was paired with specially created images, many from Island locations, which aimed to interpret, rather than simply illustrate, their voices.

"What we learned from working with these groups is that even under the terrible onslaught of a debilitating cognitive illness, such as dementia, the human spirit still retains an enduring ability for profound self-expression.

"Also, where vocabulary may be lost, the mind still searches and seeks out astoundingly beautiful ways to express itself creatively — and poignantly."

The exhibition can be viewed at the library until Thursday, November 23.

 


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