Co-creativity: possibilities for using the arts with people with a dementia

Zeilig, Hannah, West, Julian and van der Byl Williams, Millie (2018) Co-creativity: possibilities for using the arts with people with a dementia. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 19 (2). pp. 135-145. ISSN 1471-7794

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of co-creativity in relation to artistic practice with people with a dementia. The aim of the discussion is to outline how co-creativity offers fresh approaches for engaging artists and people with dementia, can contribute to less restrictive understandings of “creativity” and above all, expand the understanding of people with a dementia as creative, relational and agential. Design/methodology/approach In order to examine current conceptions of co-creativity and to inform the artistic practice, relevant literature was explored and eight expert interviews were conducted. The interviews were thematically analysed and are included here. Findings This paper consequently demonstrates that improvisation, structure, leadership and equality are central elements of co-creative processes and outlines how co-creativity can offer fresh insights into the way in which the arts can engage people with a dementia, the relationship between creativity and dementia and the transformative potential of the co-creative arts for those living with a dementia. Research limitations/implications The paper discusses some of the difficulties that are inherent a co-creative approach, including power relations and the limitations of inclusivity. Due to ethical restrictions, the paper is limited by not including the perspectives of people living with a dementia. Practical implications This paper paves the way for future research into co-creative processes in a variety of different contexts. Social implications A more nuanced understanding of co-creativity with people with dementia could challenge the dominant biomedical and social paradigms that associate “dementia” with irretrievable loss and decline by creating opportunities for creative agency. Originality/value This exploration of co-creativity with people with dementia is the first of its kind and contributes to the wider understanding of co-creativity and co-creative practice.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2020 00:07
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 02:26
DOI: 10.1108/QAOA-02-2018-0008


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