Cariad Cwtch, 7th November

CARIAD CWTCH 9th November

Research and making are two ways of thinking that continually intercept one another. They are rolling practices, often convoluted, snaking, twisting and coiling together. Neither linear nor continuous, they involve a process of doing and redoing. It is an awkward, fascinating, uncomfortable and irritating process and sometimes completely unsuccessful. Ideas surface slowly, glimpsed intermittently, as if seen at the bottom of a very murky pond. Fishing without a net.’ Alyson Brien

We were really delighted to be joined by Professor Jeffery Wallace, from the School of Education. Jeff talked about his research interest in bibliotherapy, and as usual sparked lots of ideas in all of us. Jeff describes  bibliotherapy as the use of literary texts – for example novels, short stories, poetry – for broadly ‘therapeutic’ purposes, within carefully selected contexts. Its principle of inclusivity is based on group practice and on reading aloud. The novelist Blake Morrison describes bibliotherapy as “an experiment in healing, or, to put it less grandiosely, an attempt to see whether reading can alleviate pain or mental distress.” No ‘critical’ prescriptions are made; instead, the space for reflection on texts offered by bibliotherapy is open, requiring only the sharing of responses for the purposes of mutual support and understanding. 

We also welcomed artist Sue Hunt, who has been conducting fantastic inclusive arts projects in China, India, Australia and Zambia.

Waag Society workshop, Amsterdam

Members of the CARIAD team recently ran a workshop with the WAAG society and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences as part of the Design & Emotion conference.  The workshop ‘Design for our future self’, explored new ways to give a ‘voice’ to users’ needs within the context of dementia.  The workshop was held in the Theatrum Anatomicum in the centre of Amsterdam and looked at existing solutions and methodologies to explore the future scenarios of needs within the growing dementia landscape.






September 2016 CWTCH

We were delighted to welcome Dr Gail Kenning from the University of Technology, Sydney Australia to our monthly cwtch meeting. Gail led a lively discussion on evaluation, particularly from her position as a practicing artist working in applied research. The idea that the terminology and range of methodologies for including participants as partners in research needs to change resonated with most of us, who still feel that the dominant perspective is to view participants as subjects. The possibility that the arts could provide a “third space” provoked suggestions from CARIAD members from all disciplines, and led to discussions how we might encourage our Masters students to have a more active role in our research. We shared ideas on the potential to offer a suite of Masters projects that would enable our students to collaborate, across disciplines, on CARIAD our project. More on this to follow….

The Vale of Glamorgan show

Members of the CARIAD team supported the Alzheimer’s Society at The Vale of Glamorgan show, by running Hand i Pocket sessions.  Visitors to the show were invited to stitch sensory textile pockets for people living with advanced dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society were on hand to offer advice and support.


Breaking Bread Christmas Special a success!

DSC00790A special festive thank you to all our participants who attended our Breaking Bread Christmas Special at Chapter Arts House this Friday. The team hosted their second official workshop and in partnership with the Trinity Project, Splott, Cathays Community Centre and the Dalton Street Centre. We were part funded by the Tesco Charity Trust which enabled us to host a truly special workshop. Focusing on the mobility of the service we set up in a ‘white space’ with an oven hired from M&M Catering Wales. The recipe was a simple cinnamon loaf divided into mini tins for sharing. We also provided icing materials to let the group add festival decorations.

DSC00808The workshop focused on testing what was possible with very limited facilities, cooking times with a hire oven, health and safety, practical issues, as well as continuing to establish key links with Community Services and key protagonists across South Wales. The degree of ‘sharing’ provided by the workshop and the possibilites to connect with people in creative and exciting ways was also monitored.

A massive thank you to everybody who helped make the event possible, Happy Christmas from the team and looking forward to seeing everybody in the new year for more events and workshops.

Cathy visits UTS Sydney working as an International Visiting Scholar


I have been here at UTS in Sydney working as International Visiting Scholar with my collaborators Dr.Gail Kenning and Prof Roger Dunston for nearly three weeks now – I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by.
This weekend we ran a participatory Funshop event at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney supported by Alzheimer’s Australia as part of the Makers Faire and Sydney Design Week. It was very successful and resulted in an interview for local radio and photographs taken for ABC TV (equivalent of the BBC). The museum had a footfall of 5,500 people over the weekend (the usual average is 700 each day) – so they were thrilled. There were about 35 other groups represented at the event and we were told by the Powerhouse staff that ours was one of the most popular with the pubic – it certainly felt like it – exhausting!!.
The theme of the funshop was ‘Hand i Pockets’ – a development from the dementia aprons project I ran in June and we encouraged participants to make sensory pockets for people with late stage dementia. We also gave two public lectures about the research as part of Sydney Design Week. We had an excellent meeting with the CEO from Alzheimer’s Australia NSW who have pledged their support for our research and are helping facilitate meetings. We are travelling 500 miles north to Coffs Harbour tomorrow to meet and interview dementia care managers, OT’s and Alzheimer’s staff there to get a regional perspective outside of Sydney.

Family and freinds attend an afternoon performance with Gladys Resource Group

DSC08802Thanks so much Gladys resource centre for putting on yet another fantastic display with Artis Community on Friday. It was lovely to see parents and friends attend the latest show from service users at the Gladys Resource Centre in Aberdare. Shapes and movements along with Somability technology entertained us all on a very hot afternoon. Looking forward to our next visit, thanks all!