Researching how creative reminiscence can improve a person’s quality of life when suffering with dementia

After Graduating with a first class honors degree from the BA (Hons) Illustration course, Ginnie Bateman went on to do an MA in Arts Practice, Arts, Health and Wellbeing at USW. Engaging with industry further developed her career prospects and her research concentrated on how creative reminiscence can improve a person’s quality of life when suffering with dementia.

“This interest arose during my undergraduate studies where I worked with a lady that has Alzheimer’s disease. Over a period of time discussing her life story, I developed and illustrated a small book that contained her memories for her to keep. The whole process was enjoyable and had a substantial effect on her health and wellbeing.

Extending this interest into my MA in Arts Practice, Health and Wellbeing, I became particularly interested in memory retrieval and reminiscence. The reflective aspect of each module enabled me to remain focused throughout the course and I developed a strong understanding of the subject. I experimented with a variety of visual metaphors that represented the different stages of memory retrieval, this led me to illustrate the construction of memory as fragmentary, layered or ethereal.

The structure of the course enabled me to push the boundaries of my art practice and for my final module I was creating work that I never dreamt I would be producing.  ‘Between Traces of Memory’ was a collaboration of aesthetic intervention, shadow play and image transformation. The combination of projected evocative objects, vibrant colors and holographic images invited the viewer to become absorbed in an experience of perceptual and embodied awareness.

The course gave me the confidence to pursue new opportunities and I was fortunate to gain valuable experiences from a variety of work placements that I initiated as part of the professional practice module. Upon completing the course, I recognise that the arts have a valuable and vital role to play in healthcare settings and I am currently initiating a project that involves working in residential care homes as a Creative Wellbeing Practitioner.”

Learn more about studying MA Arts Practice, Arts, Health and Wellbeing at USW.