Monday, 11 November 2013

hand-made from memory

Press release

A celebration of art and poetry made from memory by older people with dementia will take place at Pinfold Lane Day Centre Bury, 19 November 2pm-3.30pm, when the Spaghetti Maze project is shared in a show-and-tell and the project blog is made public.

Older people with dementia living in Bury spent 6 months re-capturing their memories through art and poetry during a unique reminiscence project designed to preserve favourite moments from their lives in poems and images. Each person's life story is kept in a box containing poems, pictures, short conversations and recordings of interviews. When memory fails, the box is there to help stimulate remembering. It is also an heirloom for family members.

Kath's Family Tree

Spaghetti Maze Lead Artist Lois Blackburn from arts organisation arthur+martha explains: “We all rely on memory to know who we are, so losing memories can be extremely scary – like losing yourself. This project focussed on some of the most memorable and happiest moments of people's lives, which they then put down on paper as creative pieces. Poems and art are very intense ways to express ourselves, good for stimulating a deep, emotional response. As people's dementia increases, we hope that these little prompts will help to bring back happy, reassuring associations.”

Blackburn: “Projects like this can only succeed in an environment where people feel safe and confident. Pinfold Lane centre in Bury gives a superb level of care and the kindness of the staff here played a huge part in supporting participants. This beautiful work has often been made in the face of much hardship and we are very honoured to work with everyone here.”

Davenport adds: “We're interested in the intersections between visual poetry, text art and visual and textile art processes. We've also explored the space that experimental poetry allows for other tangential logics and sensibilities to have room for expression and acknowledgement.”

The Spaghetti Maze project is run by the arts organisation arthur+martha, artist Lois Blackburn and poet Philip Davenport, who work with marginalised groups, devising creative experiments to help people express themselves, be heard and solve problems. The project is a community outreach from Bury's ongoing Text Festival and is supported by Arts Council England.

The project diary can be seen at ; the dedicated Spaghetti Maze blog which showcases much of the participants' work is at

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