I am a drama practitioner and AHRC funded PhD candidate at The University of Exeter and Aberystwyth University.
I studied a BA in drama and arts management at the University of Winchester and a MA in theatre & performance at Queen Mary University. While studying for MA I started to work as an evaluator for several participatory art programmes across London. This led me to find my passion in working creatively with people living with dementia. After graduating I held the role of activity manager for a care home in Dorset, before becoming the company’s research associate. I now work as a freelance drama practitioner at Entelechy Arts and specialise in co-creating work with adults living with dementia.
About my research:
My thesis explores the potential for performing art programmes to highlight the social and cultural value of people living with dementia. Drawing on performance and social science theory, I question how artists, by facilitating relationships between people who live with dementia and their local community, can help challenge stigma and isolation. Research has primarily focused on how the arts could help to improve the health of individuals living with the disease. Although such inquiry is valuable, it also risks discriminating against those living with it by only placing them as passive recipients of welfare. My research follows the path of performance scholars who have come to consider art practices with people living with dementia as collaborative instead of transformative. However, where much of this research has focused on the direct practice of care, I am interested in further extending relational approaches to broader community contexts. Inspired by dementia citizenship studies, I consider the influence that people living with dementia can have on the social and cultural development of their community. Through an ethnography of creative processes between practitioners, participants and audience members, I ask; how might artists facilitate the creation of a relationship between people living with dementia and their local community? How can these relationships highlight people living with dementia relational and creative assets? How might such cultural re-valuing start to swing society toward a greater acceptance of those living with dementia?