Engaging people living with dementia and cognitive impairment through the arts

Silk Painting with Hackney Carers

Woman presenting her painting silk

A four-week, socially-distanced silk painting course held at U7 Lounge on Regent’s Canal in Haggeston, London. The participants were members of Hackney Carers, a small independent charity, many of whom care for their loved ones living with dementia Arrow right

Written by Melissa Fry

Each participant decorated two pieces of pongee silk, gradually progressing their designs over the four weeks. This began by sketching ideas onto layout paper, then preparing the silk ready for use, followed by painting onto the silk using specialist dyes and finally embellishing their silks using free-hand embroidery.

Participants paiting and sat individually in booths in a pub
Participants socially distanced within the U7 Lounge
A very colourful piece of silk with hand embroided initials
Loren embroidering her signature to finish off her colourfully painted silk square

Not only was this a chance to learn new techniques, it also gave the particpants some dedicated time to themselves, to express the creative side of their personalities. The group did not know eachother before the programme, making the workshops a valuable opportunity to speak frankly with other people sharing similar circumstances.

Some silk painted with a floral design
Lisa adding metallic details to her floral design