Exploring co-creativity

 'Drawing Hands', Painting by Maurits Cornelis Escher, January 1948

'Drawing Hands', Painting by Maurits Cornelis Escher, January 1948

The term ‘co-creativity’ is increasingly used to describe a particular approach to participatory arts practice, but what does it mean for artists and practitioners who work with people living with dementia?

This project seeks to explore the intricacies, challenges and possibilities of working co-creatively with people with a dementia, and to share best practice for co-creative work.

As a first stage, project leads Julian West and Hannah Zeilig have engaged in a reflective correspondence on the theme of co-creativity. The correspondence has inspired the development of With all – a co-creative arts project, which prioritises equality in the creative process.


With all

Created Out of Mind invited people living with dementias to be part of With all, a project exploring what we can co-create together through improvised workshops.

 
 The With All group celebrate and move together. Photo: David Sandison/Wellcome

The With All group celebrate and move together. Photo: David Sandison/Wellcome

 

Together we explored, experimented and played using music, dance, our personal life-histories and our imaginations. The group included some people living with dementias and their partners, two dancers, three musicians and three researchers.

We've published an article documenting some of the possibilities for using the arts co-creatively with people with a dementia. Read it here

BBC World Service also created a video from a With All session, exploring how improvised music and movement can support people experiencing dementias and those who work with them. Watch it here

and as part of our research, we invite you to take part in this survey. 


Join the conversation

The term 'co-creativity' appears to be enjoying a moment in the spotlight. Recently, François Matarasso described co-creativity as work in which 'the producer-consumer distinction is erased.'

We are interested in how this approach to artistic practice might be thought of and defined in the area of arts and dementia and invite artists, arts practitioners and managers and people living with dementias to help us do this by completing our survey. 

Completing the survey may take you only 5 mins, or may take you hours, depending on how much of your energy you wish to give! However much time and effort you spend, we will be enormously grateful. Thank you!