How creating sculpture benefits people with dementia

An art exhibition in Canterbury by a group of people with dementia presented by a Kent PhD researcher attracted more than 200 visitors within three days.

Sumita Chauhan, a PhD candidate of the School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA), has been working with people with early stages of dementia, on co-creating physical and digital sculpture, as part of a research project supervised by Ania Bobrowicz and Dr Jim Ang.

From November 2015 to April 2016 seven participants engaged and experimented with different types of sculpture-making, from clay and papier-mâché to virtual and digital sculptures during sessions at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge.

All participants showed immense determination and enthusiasm in taking on many different ways of making sculpture.  The title of the exhibition Sculptural Revelations, reflects how the works on display reveal stories of participants’ passions, personality and beliefs.

Sumita Chauhan’s own art, also displayed in the exhibition, reflects her work as an artist as well as researcher investigating the ways in which the creative potential of people with dementia can be explored through meaningful artistic engagement and co-creation.

Visitors to the exhibition

The group show Sculptural Revelations is open daily until Sunday 31 July at The Front Room, The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, 18 High Street, Canterbury and is free to visit.