Amana Living residents boost their skills at WA Art Gallery portraiture workshops


Mattie Grant and Julie McKendrick from Frederick Guest Village in Bull Creek.
Mattie Grant and Julie McKendrick from Frederick Guest Village in Bull Creek.

A TRIP to an art gallery is something many of us take for granted but for an isolated older person, it can be an uplifting experience with lasting health benefits.

In WA, more than a quarter of over-65s in private dwellings live alone – the highest rate in the country.

With the ramifications of social isolation comparable to smoking and obesity, it is a significant public health problem.

Last month, older people from Amana Living’s Frederick Guest Village in Bull Creek were among those who took part in portraiture workshops at the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA).

The workshops were run by AGWA educator Lisa Young who taught portraiture using mixed media with a focus on colour.

Amana Living manager of enrichment and allied health services Emily Scarff said it was vital older people stay socially involved and kept making new connections.

“Remaining an active part of your community is an important part of staying happy and healthy as we age,” she said.

“These workshops provided our clients and residents with a social outing where they met new people and interacted in a different environment, as well as an opportunity to learn new skills.

“For some, this was the first time they’ve ever been to an art gallery or had any experience of art since school.”

The workshops formed part of the Amana Living Spring Arts Festival and partnership with the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.