The Imagination Cafe

After its first stop in Llandudno, North Wales, the ground-breaking Imagination Café continues its 2018 tour in London 14-19thMay.

The Imagination Café London is a weeklong, pop-up installation at the Menier Gallery. The Imagination Cafe is touring the UK during 2018, spreading the word about creative approaches to dementia care, and showcasing the artwork of people living with dementia.

Culture& believes mental health is a key diversity issue. Developed by University of West London Professor of Arts and Health and Head of Dementia Care, Victoria Tischler, The Imagination Café is a welcoming art space that showcases a variety of multi-sensory  approaches that can be used in dementia care. These include dementia-friendly food courtesy of Nourish by Jane Clarke and visual arts activities devised as part of Dementia and Imagination, along with and specialist information courtesy of Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. The Imagination Cafe also features ‘Winston’s World’ – a cat’s eye view of dementia by acclaimed cartoonist Tony Husband

The Imagination Café welcomes the public and offers activities including arts specially designed for those with dementia – underpinned by the research of Prof Tischler and her colleagues at Bangor, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester Metropolitan Universities.

The installation provides training to artists interested in working with people with dementia. This is led by artists who worked on Dementia and Imagination, ensuring that the skills and expertise developed during the project funded by the Arts and Humanities and Economic and Social Research Councils – are shared widely

To book a place on one of the training workshops, (15th, 17th, 18th May) click here

To book a place for the afternoon tea, (14-16th May ) click here

From 15-19th: Dementia UK Admiral Nurses advice sessions, Alzheimers Society advice sessions and art activities will be run daily.

A Dementia Friends Sessions will run 1-2 on Friday 18th May.

About The Imagination Café

Dementia and Imagination was a 3 year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, that found the arts to be a powerful tool for enhancing the wellbeing of people living with dementia, and one that also stimulates communication and change in wider society. There is substantial evidence indicating that the arts can also have a transformative effect on understandings of dementia for the public and practitioners. One need we identified was for further training for those who wish to work creatively with people living with dementia. The Imagination Café will provide that training as well as showcase creative research. We hope it inspires people across the UK to provide high-quality creative care for people living with dementia.

We believe that ‘Being old, confused, or even having difficulty eating, should not mean no more culinary delights. The taste buds still work so let’s make sure they have delicious things to taste.’ Prue Leith CBE, patron for Nourish by Jane Clarke.

Ben Pearce, Director Paintings in Hospitals states: ‘The Imagination Cafe will highlight our own interest in developing new collaborations to promote working creatively as a major benefit to people living with dementia. The Menier Gallery is home to Paintings in Hospitals, a national arts and health charity. It is particularly important to us here that we host projects like this in our space, as we use visual arts and creative activity to enhance the wellbeing of service users, families, care staff and the public. The Imagination Cafe will support findings and ideas on arts and dementia, and raise awareness of it more generally with Gallery audiences’

During 2018, the Imagination Café tours to MOSTYN (24-28th April), Wales, the Menier Gallery London (14-19th May) and the Royal College of Art in Edinburgh in September 2018.

About the University of West London

The University of West London is ranked as the top modern university in London, 8th modern university in the UK and 56th university nationally by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Over 97% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduation and they achieve the second highest starting salaries of all the London modern universities.