The Dementia and Imagination study involves the production of arts outputs that have been produced as part of visual arts interventions for people living with dementia.
The study has stressed the importance of art viewing and art making for people with memory difficulties. Our research methodology includes standardised research observation tools and sessional evaluations by artists and participants to capture this aspect of the research. Some of the art sessions have been structured as sensory installations using film, light and sound. Participants have also been invited to utilise art materials in unconventional ways. This process reflects the participant group who may have inhibited communication and movement.
At the same time, participants often produce physical outputs from the art making sessions and it is inevitable that outcomes are appreciated and/or judged for their aesthetic value and quality. As part of the study each site has incorporated private celebratory events with some work being shown through local exhibition. The study is also looking to share some of the artwork more widely through exhibitions and activities at the end of the intervention period of the study.
This paper provides a dialogue of the discussion within our own study and considers how we can balance considerations of process along with outcomes and how process can be communicated as a less tangible product of a visual art intervention.