Handling artwork for people with dementia

'Ocean chest'

‘Ocean chest’ showing its contents

‘Ocean Chest’

Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham 2014

This artwork was made for the patients and staff of Ward B47 at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham as a legacy of the art project ‘The Imaginary of the Ocean Deep’ which took place in October 2013.

Gillian was one of three artists worked with patients, looking at and discussing artworks from the exhibition ‘Aquatopia’ at Nottingham Contemporary and making art inspired by what they saw and imagined.

One of Gillian’s roles for the project was sourcing handling objects and transforming the space where the project took place to recreate aspects of the exhibition in the hospital and provide a stimulating and creative environment. The objects in ‘Ocean Chest’ are those which engaged patients the most, and are now available to be handled and used to trigger conversations, memories and stories with many more patients in the future.

The project was a partnership between Nottingham University Hospitals Charity Trust, Nottingham Contemporary and New Art Exchange.


The lid of ‘Ocean chest’