Wortley care home residents’ artwork in M&S exhibition

19 January 2017

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Memories of residents in a Wortley care home have been used to create an artwork which will displayed at the Marks in Time exhibition at the M&S Company Archive.

Residents at Simon Marks Court in Wortley and Halcyon Court in Headingley have taken a step back in time with the M&S Company Archive to share fond memories and create artwork for visitors in Leeds.

The M&S Company Archive is showcasing the artwork in its new temporary exhibition ‘Creative Sparks: Reminiscence Inspiring Art’.

Residents from the care homes spent nine weeks working with local artist, Sarah-Jane Mason, to explore the M&S Company Archive. Taking inspiration from objects including 1950s food packaging and a 1970s kaftan, the residents created archive-inspired artwork using techniques like silk painting, block printing and needle-felting.

Visitors are invited to view the exhibition and discover the inspiration behind the artwork through objects within the M&S Company Archive collection, including unique artefacts, historic garments, films and photographs. The ‘Creative Sparks: Reminiscence Inspiring Art’ exhibition will be on display until 28th February.

The initiative behind this project is to support ‘creative reminiscence’, using historical objects and images to inspire memories and encourage creative expression in older people and those with dementia.

Katie Cameron, M&S Archive and Outreach Officer, said:

“Communicating in an artistic and imaginative way can benefit older people and those with dementia by enhancing their self-worth, wellbeing and their relationships with others. We are really excited to share these pieces with our visitors and delighted that the group thoroughly enjoyed exploring the archive and creating their works of art. We hope that everyone enjoys taking a step back in time with us and sharing their own memories.

“The M&S Company Archive is full of treasures that can evoke memories and encourage conversations. The ‘Creative Sparks’ project is part of a winder community programme including outreach and exhibition visits, reminiscence resources and a monthly Memory Café.”

Both homes are run by Anchor Homes, a not-for-profit charitable organisation that provides housing and care homes for the elderly and those with dementia. Anchor’s Activity Co-ordinators aim to enhance residents’ quality of life and wellbeing by providing a varied range of social and creative activities.

The M&S Company Archive is based at the Michael Marks Building on the University of Leeds campus and enables visitors to explore the impact that M&S has had on the social history of Britain. This exhibition is free to the public and is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and open on selected Saturdays for special events.




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