Written by Susan Langford, Magic Me Founder & Director, January 2024
Do you have space to be creative? To get out some paints or an instrument, improvise a dance, with nobody watching? A place to experiment and try things out? To gather the materials and tools you need, and leave ‘work in progress’ without having to tidy up?
For many of us, our creative space doubles up – the ‘art’ table has to be cleared so people can make and eat lunch; the quiet place for writing is your bedroom.
So when I saw this photo of the Arts Studio at Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, my heart soared with joy for the people who get to work in it – and I felt very jealous! How fantastic that people living in a care home have the creative space that most of us don’t.
I love the paint marks on the table – evidence of past creativity and permission to splash colours and go for it. Objects, photos and artworks that inspire and set the scene. A place to hang or prop works to dry – a big table to spread things out and to gather around with others.
One day, every care home will have an Art Studio. In the meantime, as artists always have, we start from where we are, with what we’ve got.
As I write, the Magic Me office is full of colour, texture, scents. My colleagues Chloe, Kimberly and Rhovie are creating packs of materials to go to care homes across London. Hibiscus flowers, turmeric, acetates, cutglass plates and torches to bounce light into ever changing patterns on a ceiling. Inks, paints, light-sensitive printing paper. Magic Me artists will partner with care home staff to bring creative sensory activities to older people, in bedrooms, corridors, lounges – wherever they are. Our Magic Moments approach changes spaces, bringing the possibilities of the Art Studio into every room, every day.
Read more about our Magic Moments approach here.
You can find out more about Appleby House’s studio in this recent report by NAPA.
* Title inspired by A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf, 1929 Photo Credit: Alison Teader, Programme Director, Arts in Care Homes, NAPA