Art workshops find beautiful brains
20 April 2023
How art workshops have engaged African and Caribbean communities about how awesome the brain can be - even as we age.
Since February 2023, DPUK has held a series of art workshops focused on promoting brain health and how to keep the brain healthy in older age. People from African and Caribbean communities are underrepresented in dementia research and that matters if research is to accurately represent everyone. 'Your Beautiful Brain' is combatting this disparity by involving African and Caribbean artists and dementia researchers working together to deliver art workshops.
These workshops were a unique opportunity for attendees from the African and Caribbean communities to engage with our artists and each other to create beautiful art and learn about brain health.
The art workshops for brain health were a resounding success, with people telling us they had not only enjoyed themselves, but learned a great deal about brain health and become more aware of dementia. Through these workshops, the DPUK team and our partners have helped promote the importance of keeping the brain active and the role creativity can play in maintaining a healthy brain.
There was a very friendly supportive feel at all our workshops, and participants chatted with each other even though they hadn’t met before. The group became very informal once the drawing and colouring started, with laughter, chatter and questions too...about the brain, dementia and keeping your 'grey cells' active and healthy. - Claire Renshaw - Project Officer at DPUK
Here are some photos from our latest events in Sheffield sand Leeds.
About Beautiful Brain workshops:
The art workshop is a core part of the Your Beautiful Brain project, which received £23,000 in funding from Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Inspire Fund last year. This a partnership between DPUK, a dementia research programme based at the University of Oxford, and Feyi Raimi-Abraham, founder and CEO of the Black Dementia Company. The goal is to pilot the use of art as a vehicle to engage people from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds with dementia research and to increase understanding of brain health.
The workshops were held in first in London then Oxford, and Leeds and Sheffield and were facilitated by Dr. Sarah Bauermeister, programme lead and DPUK's senior scientist.
Attendees were welcomed with an introduction about our project and some techniques which can help them to keep a healthy and active brain into older age. This was followed by a series of fun art activities. These included painting, drawing and doodling - which helped everyone explore their own creative abilities while also learning more about the importance of their own brain health.