Legacy Art Project brings people, their memories and future together. CCNB led a Project using Art as a connector. This is what happened……
Dear Juliane and Cate,
I think the residents at RSL Lifecare who were involved in the Legacy Art Project may remember our presence in the space provided for art activities for a short while, but the degree to which they claim ownership of the beautiful work they produced may differ. I recall one participant who will remember the experience well and know his work and yet another who stated, “I did not do that” when discussing her lovely “garden” collage. When being shown her birth date written on a page, she happily said “that’s me”!
One lady appeared to feel life had been, and still was, wonderful. This lady smiled often, laughed and recited “I love a Sunburnt Country” but would then suddenly withdraw from the activity and want to return to her room. This lady found it easy to say “no”. Finally, but leaving a lasting impression, one participant kissed my hand as we said goodbye. He happily engaged and produced a beautiful beach scene, but some days was too tired to engage.
This experience impacted me greatly. In the beginning, I was anxious as were some of the participants.. This changed to trying to understand their experience of “self” which varied considerably. Then there was the pleasure of learning when I had begun with little understanding. Finally, compassion and sadness for people in this situation.
My opinion regarding the use of such experiences as the Legacy Art Project for those experiencing memory loss, is that it is a valuable way to allow the expression of feeling that cannot be articulated, to tap into forgotten experiences in life, to recall loved ones and to find parts of the self that may have been lost.
I am left with considerable respect for the experience and skill shown by Art Therapist, Juliane Roebel-Hermann.