A NEW initiative, which features artwork created by people living with dementia, has received support from legal firm Cartridges Law.
The company will be displaying work from local creative workshop Budding Friends in the foyer of its Cowick Street offices, in support of Age UK Exeter and dementia care in the local community.
The exhibition was launched at a private viewing with some of the artists, their family and friends, as well as the firm’s private client and reception teams. Everyone is invited to drop in and see the colourful displays.
Bridget Garrood, partner at Cartridges Law, said: ‘The artists’ works have added a unique splash of colour to our accessible foyer, and it is our privilege to support this initiative by giving them the opportunity to have their work seen by the public.
‘Cartridges Law has always worked closely with clients across the family generations, so we have always been touched by the realities facing people who live with, or may want to plan for a possible diagnosis of dementia.’
She added: ‘We are proud to have been the first lawyers to join the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, which assists businesses and other organisations to work towards becoming as ‘dementia friendly’ as possible.
‘This can be as simple as subtle alterations in our knowledge and understanding, but also encourages us to consider simple inexpensive changes , e.g. to our signage and décor. All our staff are trained as Dementia Friends, which helps to break down stigma, and we are proud to have our own Dementia Champion, Karyna Squibb of our private client team, who can encourage, train and support us in ensuring that our business is always alert to the challenges which dementia can present to our visitors and clients, and to us as a business.’
Approximately 10 people in the city centre are diagnosed with dementia every week. In 2013, there were 1,592 people with a diagnosis in Exeter.
The vibrant artwork has been created as part of the Age UK Budding Friends art workshops which show how people can live well with dementia through creativity in art. The workshop offers skilled volunteer support to both people with dementia and their carers, often husbands and wives who also enjoy the activities. Each of the pictures is worked on by all of the group members, and the result is vibrant.
The ceremonial ribbon for the opening of the Budding Friends art exhibition at Cartridges Law was cut by Gina Awad of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, who has recently been presented with a national award in recognition of her remarkable efforts and outstanding contribution, having trained over 1200 Dementia Friends, including many of Cartridges law staff.
The Budding Friends workshops were was facilitated by popular St Leonard’s artist Veronica Gosling at Studio 36, creating a safe space where people could experiment with art without fear of stigma and try out different art techniques whilst having a great deal of fun. Speaking at the private view, she was particularly impressed that new friendships had been forged amongst the group members, and social meetings arranged outside of the workshop, thanks to the sessions.
Drop in to Cartridges Law offices, which are based in Cowick Street, St Thomas, to view the artwork.