Great Thoughts, Dementia Programme

I paint ideas, not things. My intention is less to paint works that are pleasing to the eye than to suggest great thoughts which will speak to the imagination and the heart…

- G F Watts

In 2019-2020, the Great Thoughts Dementia Programme took place as a series of monthly offsite workshops. We have provided local care homes, which specialise in Dementia Care, with art workshops and talks adapted to suit individuals' needs.

These include:

Meet Watts

An introductory session of storytelling and conversation. Participants have the opportunity to engage with paintings from the collection at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village and with a collection of handling objects, which are used as a way to start conversations and prompt reflection. Depending on the needs of participants, these sessions may be delivered one-to-one or in a group of approximately eight people.

Making: Clay

After a brief introduction to Mary Watts and her use of local clay, pre-rolled and cut clay tiles are presented to the group who can then add decorative textures to the clay.

Making: Print

Following a brief introduction to Mary Watts and her use of pattern, participants are encouraged to decorate a selection of postcards with pre-made stamps and inks.

The objective of these workshops is to facilitate opportunities for the participants to feel a sense of enjoyment and achievement. For some participants, this may be evident in a smile on their face when they witness the shocked expression of a carer touching a cold piece of clay. For others, it may be independently choosing which colour of ink they wish to use.

Partners: Eastlake Care Home, Eastbury Care Home, Broadwater Lodge Care Home, Tarragon Court Care Home and Millmead Care Home.

Please contact Ellen Love, Community Programme Curator, at if you wish to be a Great Thoughts partner for 2020-2021.