Woven Narratives: A Craft Encounter with Tapestry Weaving in a Residential Aged Care Facility


  • Ilona Pappne Demecs Queensland University of Technology
  • Evonne Miller Queensland University of Technology




tapestry weaving, studio craft, participatory art, creativity, 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.

Author Biographies

Ilona Pappne Demecs, Queensland University of Technology

Ilona Pappne Demecs is a PhD candidate in the School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. Her research interest includes art-based research and participatory art in various health and aged care contexts.

Evonne Miller, Queensland University of Technology

Evonne Miller is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Queensland University of Technology Design Lab in the Creative Industries Faculty. Her research focuses on how environments can better support users, especially older people, and on the potential of creative and visual methodologies in aged care.


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How to Cite

Pappne Demecs, I., & Miller, E. (2019). Woven Narratives: A Craft Encounter with Tapestry Weaving in a Residential Aged Care Facility. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 4(1), 256–286. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29399