Deirdre Nelson: Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1992, Deirdre Nelson has pursued a career creating work for exhibitions and commission, and working as an artist facilitator to various groups. Her nomadic nature and interest in communities have allowed her to develop work for exhibitions and to take part in residencies both in UK and Australia .
Kirstin Abraham: Kirstin Georgia Abraham is an emerging visual artist and play practitioner born in Gibraltar and currently based in Fife, Scotland. Her work focuses on creating sensory experiences, installations and play spaces that increase wellbeing and positive mental health in children. She is passionate about collaborating with children and young adults with additional support needs, disabilities and visual impairments to co-design sensory installations.
ArtFelt was an exciting arts project that brought together young children from an Edinburgh nursery and older people from a local care home to explore and celebrate their creativity.
This unique collaboration between Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation and Starcatchers recognised the positive impact that strong intergenerational partnerships can have on communities and the role the arts can play in helping to strengthen these relationships.
The children, from Forbes Nursery Greenhill, Edinburgh, and residents of Morlich House, Edinburgh, collaborated with artists over three months (October – December 2018), taking part in a range of creative activities first separately and then together, culminating in an event sharing what they had been working on with families and friends.
A key aim of ArtFelt was to evaluate the impact that artist-led activities can have on intergenerational partnerships.
It also aimed to increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of both artists and the professionals working in the nursery and care home.
Anne Gallacher, Luminate’s Director, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Starcatchers on ArtFelt. Scotland’s population is ageing, and Luminate’s work consistently shows that creativity has no age. In ArtFeltwe are looking forward to collaborating with some of our youngest and oldest citizens – connecting people through creativity, and building relationships across the generations.”
Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers, said: “Intergenerational relationships are so important. We’ve seen first-hand through our other community engagement projects how much joy and inspiration can come from an adult and child taking part in artistic and creative activities together. The experience can help build new relationships and strengthen existing ones as well as help build individuals’ confidence and self-esteem – whatever their age.”
ArtFelt artist Deirdre Nelson worked with residents in Morlich House, visiting once a week during October 2018. Early Years artist Kirstin Cunningham did the same at Forbes Nursery Greenhill. The children joined Morlich House residents, with both artists, during six sessions in November and December before inviting family and friends to celebrate what they had been working on.
ArtFelt will be independently evaluated by Ruth Stevenson of Ruthless Research with a final evaluation available for shared learning in 2019. View the evaluation here.
Trying out making silk poppies today with elderly residents at Morlich House @LuminateScot @StarcatchersUK . Next week we bring both nursery + carehome together. Watch this space for news of this exciting collaboration. #Edinburgh pic.twitter.com/k0YAwB11EA
— deirdre nelson (@dstitch) October 25, 2018
— deirdre nelson (@dstitch) November 1, 2018