A book of poetry written with the help of residents at Linden House and Kingfishers has been published by Lymington’s St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery.
The Sharing Shorelines anthology was created as part of a community engagement project, sponsored by Colten Care, alongside the art exhibition Shorelines: Artists of the South Coast.
The exhibition explored how artists from the 18th century to the present day have drawn inspiration from the cliffs, harbours and beaches of southern England.
St. Barbe invited people affected by dementia to visit the gallery and take part in a series of ‘conversations’ about some of the paintings.
Poet and storyteller Chris Bennett recorded their observations, interpretations and feelings about the artwork.
He said: “The participants’ reactions and observations were very interesting, sometimes giving glimpses of their memories, including holidays they’d spent by the sea. I then took those memories and observations and moulded them into poems.”
Linden House resident Frances Evans helped to write two of the poems in the anthology.
Her daughter Sara Shelton said: “When a loved one has dementia you often feel that who they once were is now lost.
“But just from looking at the paintings with Chris, Mum talked about what she saw and linked them to her own memories – of her love of the sea – even her passion for spring cleaning!
“The resulting poems have the very essence of mum within them, which is wonderful to see.”
Copies of the anthology are available at both St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery and Linden House.