Emma Snowdon / Inclusive Arts Practice MA

The Golden Years

This exhibition is a creative response to a series of inclusive arts-based research workshops held at The Shoreham Centre with a group of people over 75 years old.

The aim of the project was to explore how inclusive arts practices can support people over 75 to use their hands to promote an increased sense of wellbeing. We explored the different ways that hands can be used to touch and manipulate materials during weaving, calligraphy and acrylic ink, collage, drawing and clay activities.

The materials and processes offered an opportunity to explore, play, learn, make marks and experiment using the hands, and gave space to form new perspectives on age and art. Key themes to emerge were: breaking down barriers to making art, creating space to ‘just be’, the desire for learning and exploration despite age, and the constant flow of continuously altering perspectives.

“When you did that perspective drawing…that taught me a lot. You made us hear about it. To know it exists. Even your pamphlet is about expanding people’s experience.” Michael Anderson, Participant.

During the sessions I became more aware of the creative life force energy within the room, and how seeing our hands-as-tools could unlock this. In an attempt to share something of this experience with you, I invite you to pause…breathe…use your senses and be with the materials that were in our research space and those materials that surround you. Find the place where the art passes between us through the screen of your computer. Consider how your hands move you through that time and space, and ask yourself whether it is your perspective or your age that matters the most.

Gawande, Atul.  Being Mortal. London: Profile Books, 2015:
Anderson, Michael.  A quote about me by a participant at my research workshops





hand taking cork out of bottle
Bottle of Life Force, Glass bottle and water (2020)



Collection of objects in wooden box
Medicine Box ( Handmade paper with glass bottle, gold leaf, wool, charcoal, pebble in copperwire, tissue paper in glass) 2020



Bottles containing objects
Bottle of Experience (Glass bottles with wool, pencil and tissue papers) 2020



Sample slides
Choices (Microscope slides with materials) 2020