The ART of Reminiscence: Memory Lane

Members of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire took part in a wonderful creative heritage project called Memory Lane. Junction Arts involved members from across the Derbyshire Dales including; Bakewell, Hope, Hulland Ward and Hartington. Working with artist and project coordinator Jane Wells, to draw a building that holds a special place in each of their hearts.

A Memory Lane drawing, by Rene Smith

Reminiscing is an important part of life for everyone. Memory Lane created a safe space, where individuals could share cherished memories with one another.  This practice of sharing was an excellent opportunity for individuals to bond with their peers and great discussions were had of the good old days!

The drawings were made using a technique called carbon copy drawing, often used by artists for transferring images, that enables participants of all abilities to produce an impressive artwork, each one unique depending on the individuals touch. The images were mounted to take home and everyone was also presented with 4 picture postcards of their drawing to give to family and friends.

To showcase and celebrate the wonderful finished drawings, another version of each image was printed at a larger scale, with a short narrative explaining why they had chosen to draw that particular place. These were exhibited as an ‘imaginary streetscape’ in the venues where each group meets and also in some local libraries.

A valuable outcome of the project is the intellectual and creative stimulation the participants have achieved by taking part. The process of reminiscence and the artistic outcomes to produce a high quality artwork that will be showcased to a wider audience has resulted in a sense of pride and achievement, enhancing the wellbeing of the participants involved.

The participants enjoyed the project so much, that another workshop was delivered to reminisce on the popular theme of the 1960’s. The group worked with photographs covering a range of different themes, including music, culture and fashion. You can see the brilliant drawings here.

 “We found it to be a very worthwhile project which gave the members a finished product to keep with them and for their families”. – Mary Ward, Manager of Age Uk Derby and Derbyshire.

Memory Lane drawing by Rene Mellor.
Memory Lane drawing by Nigel Pullar.
Memory Lane drawing by Rene Mellor
Memory Lane drawing by Annie Ford
Memory Lane drawing by Flo Smith.
Memory Lane drawing by Mary Bacon.
Memory Lane drawing by Tom Jones.
Memory lane drawing by Madge Rowland

I know I can say on the behalf of everyone how much we all enjoyed the project. For 3 weeks we were so excited about what we were going to do. I can’t believe how good my drawing was!” – Sue Thompson, participant.

Age UK
Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.
They help more than 7m people every year, providing companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most.

For more information about Age UK please visit their website