ARTWORK depicting the impact of music and dance on elderly people has been unveiled at a Colchester care home.

Giant silhouettes of dancers doing the flamenco and tango leap across the foreground of a collage.

It has been made up of magazine cuttings and old music sheets, bordered at both ends by giant piano keyboards.

Musical Memories, as the piece has been called, was commissioned as part of a Music and Movement initiative at Alderwood care home in Essex Hall Road.

The aim is to bring the benefits of music and movement to all residents through exercise classes, dancing, a residents’ choir and a comprehensive programme of music and movement-based events throughout the year.

Nikki Leaney, manager of Alderwood, said: “All the 13 care homes in our group have been tasked with coming up with new ways of making a difference to our residents’ lives by providing a new programme of purposeful and meaningful activities.

“We’ve chosen music as our theme as it’s so engaging. Our new programme will be judged against other initiatives within the group with a prize giving in October.”

Homes in the Carebase group have been given £1,000 to invest in their initiative.


The provocative piece had input from all the residents

Measuring 4.5 metre-square, the art was designed and overseen by Harwich artist Sylvia Paul, but produced by the Alderwood residents.

It will now become a permanent fixture in the home’s brasserie after being unveiled by Colchester mayor Gerard Oxford.

Dorothy Perry, 86, said making the artwork reminded her of the days when she went dancing.

“They were happy times,” she said.

Ms Leaney added: “It’s about reaching everybody in the home, regardless of ability, so we’ve used our £1,000 to invest in a wonderful mobile unit that houses a TV, a music keyboard, headphones and a tablet.

“We can take this anywhere in the home and stimulate some of our less cognitive residents.”