Project Artists

Here are the artists who are working with people living with dementia on behalf of Dementia and Imagination, together with examples of their art work:

Gillian Brent    

'worry beads' made from nuts and bolts

Worry Nuts

Gillian is a sculptor based in Sheffield making works for exhibition and to commission. She also works as part of the Learning teams at Nottingham Contemporary and The Hepworth Wakefield. She has many years experience working as an artist with people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Gillian was recently commissioned by Leicestershire Artworks to make two pieces for their handling collection for people with dementia and other special needs. In October 2013 she spent two weeks delivering an intensive art intervention for people with dementia at the Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham inspired by the ‘Aquatopia’ exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary.

Joanna Dacombe   

A conch shell and earphones in a box

Conch Shell box

Jo is an artist interested in public spaces, walking, sound, layers of history and objects that tell stories. She works in a variety of media including photography, mapmaking, installation and creating walking experiences. She develops her own projects as well as working to commission.

In addition to working with Nottingham Contemporary, Jo has worked with Leicestershire Artworks for several years, including an award winning project commissioning art work for people with dementia. In 2013 she worked at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, with people with dementia, for which she produced a sound piece for people on the ward to experience.

Claire Ford     

The artist Claire Ford using an iPad to inspire creativity in a woman with dementia
iPad engAGE
Claire is the Founder and Director of iPad engAGE, which is funded by Arts Council England. The aim of iPad engAGE is to inspire Creativity through iPads using various Digital Apps. It is directly focussed around individuals living with Dementia, with the purpose of improving engagement and digitial confidence.

From a young age Claire volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Society at a local day centre using both Visual Arts and Music to engage and develop communication skills. She went on to develop her own education through the Arts and is now a freelance Creative Practitioner facilitating Art Programmes to a wide spectrum of vulnerable audiences, her favourite being that of Dementia. 

In 2011 Claire was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel and research Art Access for Older People across the United States. 

Sian Hughes    

Feathers on a blue background, positioned to look like fish or whales in the sea

Seashore 11

Sian is an artist working with the Cyanotype process for public art commissions, installations and workshops. She also works in Arts in Health, running a range of workshops and processes for a variety of projects.

Sian is the lead artist for Lost in Art, a Gallery based project led by Denbighshire County Council’s Community Arts Service in partnership with Ruthin Craft Centre, for people with dementia and their family careers. 

She is also part of the Creative Alternatives arts team: an arts on prescription programme based in Sefton, Liverpool for people with moderate mental health issues. 

Chris Lewis-Jones      

The artist in his studio, drawing a map
Chris in studio drawing a map
Chris is a fine artist, educator, performer and lecturer, based at the artists run space Primary. In addition to working at Primary, Chris is an Associate Artist at Nottingham Contemporary, teaches at Nottingham Trent University’s International College and, with Simon Withers, is half of the live art company Nu-Urban Gardeners, which explores notions of land and landscape, in art galleries, theatres, community and folkloric contexts.

His practice is informed by an interest in psychogeography and explores evolving notions of context using performative approaches to installation, intervention, walking and mark making. 

Chris’s methodology is dialogic and process driven. The people with whom he works are all colleagues: active participants in the creative process (never passive recipients).  

Sam Metz  


A girl moves round paper sculptures lit by artificial light

Movement Workshop

Sam works as an artist engaged with workshops at Nottingham Contemporary and Quad, Derby. Her work is multidisciplinary and process led, often inspired by bodily interactions with material surfaces and expressed through direct movement or the trace of movement. She works with a diverse range of participants, and has a strong participatory practise. 

Sam has previously worked with people with dementia as part of arts based support activities in a two year project designed to research the efficacy of arts and health programming.

Kate Sweeney    

this is a digital still from Kate Sweeney's 2013 film installation 'Songlines' - conversations about the sea with women living in the North East of England

Digital still from `Songlines` - a 2013 film installation

Kate is a visual artist and film maker. She has been producing film and video work, as well as facilitating and programming public events, exhibitions and community activities regionally, nationally and internationally for around 8 years. She recently produced three short films with poet Colette Bryce that were shortlisted for the 2013 Ted Hughes prize for New Works in Poetry.

Kate is an associate artist at Newcastle University, as part of the Bloodaxe Archive Project - a large scale research project developing a digital interface for the Bloodaxe poetry archive recently purchased by the university. Her film 'Proof', a poetic exploration of the contents of the archive, was premiered at the Festival of the North East 2013 and has been screened numerous times nationally in 2014   



Art and Dementia - Further Reading

Art Therapies and Dementia Care – A systematic review

Arts, Health and Well Being – Royal Society for Public Health

Creative Homes – The Baring Foundation, National Care Forum and NAPA

An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts

Impact of Arts Participation on Health Outcomes for Older Adults

Reawakening the Mind – Arts 4 Dementia

Viewing and Making Art Together – for people with dementia and their carers