Craft Connections

Big Paintings and Big Laughs

The Craft Connections group, who meet each week at the Cadge Road Community Centre, in Norwich, explored the freedom of working on large canvases with acrylic paints and charcoal.

But first, the artist, Malca, warmed everyone up with a charcoal doodling exercise on a long roll of art paper.

woman drawing with charcoal as friends look on

Charcoal can be used to create so many different effects and moods, depending on how you apply it to paper. Warm up over, it was time to use acrylic paints on professional art paper, mounted on mdf boards.

Two women looking at artwork on an easel

The brief from Malca, was to do a self portrait, but not to get too concerned about formality or accuracy. Think Quentin Blake, said Malca, whose illustrations are, in his own words "freewheeling."

woman painting on a large canvas

The artists illustrated the things that they already do that are good for brain health, and things that they could do more of, using paint for the bold blocks of shape and charcoal, over the top, for details.

women painting on large canvases

The subjects illustrated included mindful exercise, sewing, knitting, spending time with family, going to the beach and more.

woman in yoga pose in front of painting of woman doing yoga pose

The work created by the Craft Connections group was then sprayed with fixative and will feature in an exhibition at the Norfolk Makers Festival in 2024.

Group of smiling women in front of their artwork

Throughout the morning's workshop, there was discussion about how the risk of dementia can be reduced through looking after brain and body health.

What the artists had to say.

"Making yourself do things you wouldn't normally do will help prevent dementia."

"We need to challenge ourselves, mentally and physically, and learn new things constantly."

"This art group gets me out of my comfort zone weekly, and ready to achieve new things."

Find Out More

Research has found that regularly challenging your brain and staying mentally active can lower the risk of dementia. As can staying socially connected and looking after your heart health, through diet and exercise.

Latest evidence suggests up to 40% of call cases of dementia are linked to factors that we may be able to influence.

You can read much more at THINK BRAIN HEALTH on the Alzheimer's Research UK (ARUK) website.

Craft Connections is organised by the Henderson Trust.

Supported by Alzheimer's Research UK

Alzheimer's Research UK logo