Moving Landscapes: a dementia-friendly project

by Grays Wharf in Penryn, England, United Kingdom


raised so far



To creatively engage people living with dementia, connecting them to local artists to explore a shared love of the Cornish landscape.

by Grays Wharf in Penryn, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The more money we are able to raise, the more people living with dementia we can work with. 

Project Aim

To creatively engage people living with dementia, connecting them to local artists to explore a shared love of the Cornish landscape.

Project Team

Grays Wharf is a not-for-profit arts organisation based in Penryn, Cornwall working in partnership with filmmaker and researcher Rachael Jones. This project invites three local artists, Kitty Hillier, Rosanna Martin and Oliver Raymond-Barker, to creatively engage with people living with dementia, and their families and carers, who participate in Sensory Trust’s Creative Spaces project and attend Penryn Memory Café. It is supported by dementia practitioner Ellie Robinson-Carter, Sensory Trust and Arts Well.



Project Outcomes

  • Reduced social isolation for people living with dementia.
  • People living with dementia, and their families and carers, have inspiring and meaningful engagement with local artists.
  • Local artists receive training in working with people living with dementia. 
  • Grays Wharf builds new partnerships for the future through an ambitious and high-quality arts and engagement project.

About the Project

Moving Landscapes invites a painter, ceramicist and photographer to record walks in the landscape. They will each produce a rich creative resource of visual and audio materials to send to participants, who will in turn create personal responses in the form of drawings, collage, sculpture and audio recordings. At the same time, the artists will make new work inspired by their walks.

Throughout this process, the artists and participants will keep in touch with each other to exchange creative ideas through conversations online, over the phone or via the post.

All of the works  by participants and artists will be exhibited online and in the gallery at Grays Wharf where the wider public can engage with the project.

Elements of the works produced will be included in a film by Rachael Jones which will be widely screened in Cornwall, with a live online premiere of the film for all participants to attend.


Working with COVID-19

We have designed this project to work within the restrictions of COVID-19 while still providing meaningful engagement for people and the chance to broaden their creative and social circles. The project can continue even if another lock-down is imposed. 

Why this project is needed

This project supports people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers who, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, have not been able to engage in their usual social and creative activity. Some of the participants have been self-isolating and haven’t been able to enjoy nature and the outdoors as they had been. 

Families and carers are included in the project in order to support the key workers who have experienced disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Family members and carers have reported the added strain and pressure of providing all the stimulation which would normally come from other people and outside groups. Others have reported a worsening of people’s dementia as creative activity and contact with others has decreased.  


(photo credit: Sensory Strollers copyright Sensory Trust)

The usual walking groups have not been able to meet for months, with some people still self-isolating at home. We want to provide a new way of safely connecting with other people and the outdoors.

Benefits for participants

Ellie Robinson-Carter works for the Sensory Trust and independently established the Penryn Memory Café. She says: 

“This project has come at the perfect time, after six months of lock-down our members are feeling weary and really ready for something like this. This kind of project supports development and provides invaluable opportunities to connect to each other, to the community and to places that mean something to people. Research shows that creativity is so important to people with dementia, benefitting them by using undamaged parts of the brain to help maintain neuroplasticity.”


(photo credit: Penryn Memory Cafe copyright Ellie Robinson-Carter)

The Penryn Memory Cafe is not currently able to meet due to COVID-19. We want to give people an exciting new experience they can safely enjoy.  

How we will use the money we raise

We will engage with at least 16 people living with dementia and their families and carers. If we can raise more money, we will work with more people! 

The money raised here will go towards buying equipment and art materials for the artists and participants to use, training for us and the artists in working creatively with people with dementia, time spent engaging with the participants, managing the project and creating the final exhibition. 

Project Legacy 

The reusable materials and art equipment in the creative packs will be donated to The Sensory Trust and Penryn Memory Café for ongoing use after the project. These resources can be re-used by participants, their families, carers and other group facilitators to creatively engage with others beyond this project. Ellie is keen to encourage members of the group to take on a facilitator role and plan future creative walks for others. 

All three artists are keen to gain experience of working with people with dementia and develop their practice in this area. By training and engaging artists in this type of project, we’re creating lifelong skills for them to use again in future work, benefitting local communities. 

Through ambitious engagement projects such as this, Grays Wharf is building positive relationships for the future with and between local groups and artists. Grays Wharf is a Community Interest Company and all proceeds received go into supporting artists and engaging local people with their work.





More about the people involved


Grays Wharf is a not-for-profit arts organisation based in Penryn. We support artists to make work and further their practice while connecting them to local people through ambitious and innovative creative engagement. Megan Beck runs the programmes at Grays Wharf, she is an experienced creative producer and an educator with particular interest in the adult and community sector. 



Rachael Jones is a filmmaker and researcher focussing on the Cornish landscape. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Falmouth University which examines methods of recording the landscape, making connections between geographic, photographic and artistic documentation. Rachael’s approach is to invite others to be part of her process, celebrating participation in the creation of her films and engagement with her projects. 



Ellie Robinson-Carter works for the Sensory Trust and is a Creative Dementia Practitioner & researcher based in Falmouth. Ellie devises creative frameworks and invites individuals to take ownership of them, fostering their authorial voices & personal narratives. Working locally, nationally & internationally, she specialises in working with people living with dementia and their carers, using creative practice to nurture an individual’s self-confidence, independence & self-expression.


(photo credit: Tom Johnson for the Sensory Trust)


The Photobook Project / Ellie Robinson-Carter


Kitty Hillier is a painter based in Cornwall whose work is rooted in what’s above and below the surface, with a belief that all things are delicately interconnected. Seemingly tranquil, Kitty’s paintings are created with layers of shapes derived from close observation of everyday details. They often conjure thoughts of huge sea creatures deep underwater, planetary systems, or the microscopic and atoms of energy that connect all things. 


(photo credit: Ben Mostyn)


On The Rocks / Kitty Hillier


Rosanna Martin is an artist working primarily with ceramics. Her practice explores the relationships between landscape, people and materiality through sculpture, participatory projects and events. Altered topographies and objects and marks left on the land by human activity evoke intrigue and act as starting points for artworks.


(photo credit: Oliver Udy)


Guidelines for the Curation of Geological Materials / Rosanna Martin / Fieldnotes / Eden Project


Oliver Raymond Barker works with the mechanics and alchemy of photography to make images, objects and structures that expand upon what photography is and can be. Working predominantly with alternative analogue techniques he uses photography as a tool to uncover imagined narratives, unseen processes and underlying systems.



Trinity / Oliver Raymond-Barker / 2018


The Sensory Trust is a leading authority on inclusive and sensory design. They use nature and the outdoors to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with disability and health issues, their families and carers. They work throughout the UK, and share their approaches internationally with a wide network of organisations and individuals. The Sensory Trust will provide training for the artists and Grays Wharf in working creatively with people living with dementia.



Founder and Managing Director of Arts Well, Jayne has extensive experience of working in arts and health: she was Director of the national-award winning Arts for Health Cornwall for 11 years, during which time it delivered a wide range of programmes and had far-reaching impact on individuals, organisations and communities. The early part of her career was in education before moving into the NHS, where she spent almost 20 years in a variety of senior management and leadership roles, including as Director of Public Health. Jayne will work with Grays Wharf in the early stages of the project planning to ensure high-quality and positive outcomes for participants and build reflective practice into the project. 


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