Helix ArCH

2016 - 2018

A co-production with the international artist and film-maker Jordan Baseman and residents at Earsdon Grange Care Home in North Tyneside.

(Screenshot from La, la, la, la)

Helix ArCH was a Wellcome Trust seed funded project co-designed with academics from Newcastle University's Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre (PEALS) and Bristol University's School of Clinical Sciences.

Helix ArCH was part of a pilot project which had been conceived following discussions over about two years which drew on a multi-disciplinary teams different background experiences and knowledge. A research question emerged:

  • To what extent and how do people living with dementia in a care home express their authentic voice and demonstrate their citizenship whilst working with an artist?

The team

Our multi-disciplinary team comprised of Dr Simon Woods, Reader in Bioethics, Jordan Baseman an artist with a national and international reputation,Helix Arts (an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation) highly skilled in brokering creative art collaborations between the public, voluntary and private sectors, Dr Dominic Smith, a post-doctoral artist and curator, an experienced qualitative health researcher, Mabel Leng Sim Lie, and Julian C. Hughes, a professor of old-age psychiatry with expertise in philosophy and ethics.

The film “La, la, la, la” which was made with residents from Earsdon Grange Care Home. It was presented locally, nationally and internationally along with the project’s research findings.

The study was published in the journal Ageing and Society in 2021.

“I adopt methodologies used by journalists and oral historians, specifically combining recorded interviews with the literary device of creative non fiction. The core of my work is contained within voices. The recorded interviews are edited, transcribed into text and then reedited. The constructed narratives within the artworks are positioned from the perspective of lived experience: anecdotal first person narratives, academic expertise and speculative opinion are re-presented within the films/artworks and given equal weight seeking to question how we determine, as individuals and as organised groups of people, what gives our lives and our culture meaning.”

Jordan Baseman

Art, authenticity and citizenship for people living with dementia in a care home

Thanks to our Project Funders

This project was funded by the Wellcome Trust.