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Art and dementia explored in new exhibition at Skipton Town Hall's Craven Gallery

Artwork created by people with dementia has gone on display in the new Artyfacts exhibition at Craven Gallery within Skipton Town Hall.

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Artwork created by people with dementia has gone on display in the new Artyfacts exhibition at Craven Gallery within Skipton Town Hall.

The artists themselves were invited to the opening on Thursday (OCT 6) to see their work exhibited alongside paintings, sculptures and artefacts from Craven Museum and the Roebuck collection, which were used to inspire the work created.

The exhibition is the culmination of ten sessions working with people living with dementia and their carers, run by arts and health charity Pioneer Projects in partnership with Craven Museum.

These sessions used the museum's permanent collections including paintings, sculpture and artefacts to stimulate creative responses from participants.

The work they produced includes strong, bright surface prints, inspired by the still life paintings of Matthew Smith and John Bratby and sits proudly alongside the fine art greats in a rich, vibrant and colourful exhibition.

June Hodgson, from Skipton, one of the project's participants, said: "I think it's lovely to see everything all together. I don't think anyone will believe that we did this."

Also on display is a piece called The White Forest, made by residents of care homes with the help of artist David Ashby, featuring groups of pottery sculptures, giving further context to the work of Pioneer Projects.

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Craven District Council chairman Chris Moorby opened the exhibition, and said: "It was great to see the work that has been done - the imagination and the use of colours was unbelievable.

"It's marvellous for somebody who suffers with dementia to have somewhere to go and do something creative like this."

Pioneer Projects has been delivering creative, artist-led sessions for people living with dementia in Craven for the past six years, in Settle, Skipton and Bentham, and also works with four care homes in the area, training staff and delivering creative sessions.

The aim is to help participants who are often quiet and lacking in confidence, to build up their self-esteem through the sessions.

Pioneer Projects is the first organisation in the UK to use ground breaking research from Meet Me at MoMA in New York, who recently concluded a seven-year research project into arts engagement for people with Alzheimers and other forms of Dementia.

Artyfacts will run until December 23 at Craven Museum & Gallery in Skipton Town Hall, and is open every day from 10am - 4pm, except Sundays. Admission is free.