Woven Narratives: A Craft Encounter with Tapestry Weaving in a Residential Aged Care Facility
For six months, a tapestry artist/researcher moved her studio into an aged care home to conduct a participatory art project. Drawing on ethnographic-based qualitative approaches, narrative inquiry and researcher-generated photographs, this arts-based research textually and visually documents the impact of introducing the studio-based craft activity of participatory tapestry weaving into an aged care environment. As well as highlighting the joy of creative collaboration and of learning a new skill, this project explores how tapestry weaving facilitated the understanding of the participants’ worlds through stories and reminiscence. This paper also disseminates that craft, as a practice and method, connects materials, ideas and people through engagement, and facilitates wellbeing. Given rapid population ageing, and the fear and stigma surrounding aged care homes, this paper argues that craft practice might help demystify and connect aged care with the broader community, as well as enhancing residents’ quality of life.
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