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All invited to take part in performance for those with dementia and their carers

PUBLISHED: 15:20 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:20 30 May 2018

Eyebrow Arts team - Sorrel Muggridge, Holly Bodmer, Anna Townley, and Dot Howard. Photo: Adam Shawyer

Eyebrow Arts team - Sorrel Muggridge, Holly Bodmer, Anna Townley, and Dot Howard. Photo: Adam Shawyer

Adam Shawyer

A group which runs creative activities for people living with dementia has highlighted how performance can help those with the condition.

An Eyebrow Arts session. Photo: Dot HowardAn Eyebrow Arts session. Photo: Dot Howard

Eyebrow Arts, run by professional artists Sorrel Muggridge and Dot Howard, devises creative activities for adults with learning disabilities, older people and those living with dementia.

The activities aim to build resilience for the mind and the body and Ms Howard said: “Being creative makes way for playful encounters. Through participating in group creative activities, people relax, smile and connect with others. It brings people together.”

Ms Muggridge added: “Creativity is about being in the moment - it is about making discoveries together and finding joy in what you are doing. Wellbeing is improved when people feel connected rather than isolated. The potential for self expression means people feel valued, which helps to rebuild confidence and self esteem. This is why it is so valuable for carers as well.”

The group goes works in the community in galleries, museums and theatres as well as private care settings including residential homes, dementia support groups and hospitals.

An Eyebrow Arts session. Photo: Anna TownleyAn Eyebrow Arts session. Photo: Anna Townley

Ms Muggridge said: “We combine physical activities such as movement and games with visual and sensory activities that encourage artistic engagement and fine motor skills development.”

She added her most memorable moments of working with people with dementia were “the moments of spontaneous laughter at Harford Hill dementia unit, when what we were doing together took an unexpected but enjoyable turn”.

Ms Howard said: “There have been so many beautiful moments. In our exhibition at Norwich Arts Centre in 2014 called Live in the Moment we made paper wings for people to wear. I will always remember a man grinning and saying ‘I feel as free as a bird’ while moving his arms to make the wings work. He was thoroughly enjoying being within that moment.”

Now a new performance, in which the audience can take part, is to tour Norfolk care homes.

An Invitation, which was developed alongside people at Harford Hill dementia unit run by Independence Matters in Norwich, will visit homes in the autumn.

But there is also an opportunity to take part on June 14 at Norwich Arts Centre, with performances at 11am and 1.30pm.

Nearby parking can be found at Barn Road Car Park (100m walk to the venue) and St Andrew’s Car Park (500m walk to the venue).

Ms Howard said: “An Invitation is a bespoke piece of theatre that we designed for both carers and cared for. The performance welcomes participants to take part together with us, and uses props in fabulous and fun ways that bring out the creative spirit in us all, no matter what our age.

“This has been a really exciting project, it was like taking our artist studio to the Harford Hill centre and inviting the group to join us in our artistic process. Theatre, movement and music enabled moments of contemplation and beauty and a lot of laughter for both the participants and us.”

To book for a free performance of An Invitation, contact Eyebrow Arts at eyebrowarts@live.com or for more information visit www.eyebrowarts.co.uk

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