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A new and extensive exhibition, Celebrating Age, showcases the remarkable artwork produced by residents of care homes at creative workshops run by Independent Arts on the Isle of Wight.

Celebrating Age is the new Independent Arts exhibition at the People’s Pop Up Gallery (PPUG) and has been produced in conjunction with the Celebration of Age Festival, which is coordinated by Age Friendly Island and runs throughout October.

The exhibition shines a light on the wealth of creative expression to be found in our later years. All of the work shown has been produced in creative workshops run by highly experienced Independent Arts practitioners and covers a range of medium from textiles to print, collage, painting and sculpture.

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Kerry Tindall, Independent Arts Programme Manager, says:

“We believe that Celebrating Age is the first major exhibition on the Isle of Wight to show the diverse range of artworks created in care homes by older residents”.

Throughout the many years that Independent Arts have worked in this sector they have devised a series of workshops frequently drawing on art history, local heritage and natural wonder for inspiration whereby participants can come together to produce work of real worth and beauty. In addition workshops are crafted to be accessible for participants facing age-related conditions and
deteriorating health.

Kerry adds:

“Typically those living in care face many daunting challenges that can lead to limited dexterity, cognitive decline, deteriorating eyesight, or complex conditions affecting fine motor skills. You might imagine that such hardship would be an absolute barrier to creative engagement but we have found quite the opposite: residents thrive when they are given the opportunity to participate in meaningful creative activities”.

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All the Independent Arts workshops are designed to be inclusive offering a range of materials, equipment and resources to aid and support participation. Throughout 2019 Independent Arts have
run art and craft workshops in eleven homes across the Island, these include Ancona, Cherry Blossom, Cornelia Manor, Eden House, Inglefield, Hazel Lodge, Westview, Fairhaven, Inver House,
The Gouldings and Downside.

There are estimated to be around 450,000 people living in care homes in the UK. Older people living in care homes may not have access to cultural and artistic activities but participation in the
arts can have a significant impact on well-being, enhancing communication and self-awareness as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

Celebrating Age is on show at PPUG, 33 High Street Newport now until 2nd November. Opening times are Thursday to Saturday, 10:30-15:30.

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