Mariana’s Song is a multi-sensory installation, designed for people living with advanced dementia living in residential care homes.
Focussed on autonomy, choice, and creativity, the piece was developed in partnership with Woven Nest, a workshop-led theatre company who work with neurodivergent audiences and older people living in care homes.
Mariana's Song is delivered one-to-one, with a focus on non-verbal communication, Mariana’s Song is a bespoke experience guided by each resident, and so is different upon every viewing.
Residents interact with curious physical-material props which tie in to the 'chapters' of the film, lasting for any amount of time. Lighting, set design, music, soundscapes, and close facilitation by expert art practitioners reinforce the world of Mariana’s Song as people explore at their own pace.
Having led the design of Mariana's Song's hardware and software, I conduced over 100 participant observations in 5 care settings to evaluate the design and facilitation of this unique experience.
The short film below demonstrates some of the experiences and impact Mariana's Song has brought about.
With thanks to all of our participants, residents, care staff, and activities coordinators, participating artists and Woven Nest Theare.
Woven Nest Theatre: Poppy Crawshaw, Liv Hunt
Design Research Team: Henry Collingham, Jayne Wallace
Northumbria University Senior Technician: Johnny Hayes
Mariana's Song Filmmaker: Danielle Giddins
Location Filming: Turps Films & Laura Degnan
Location Photography: Phyllis Christopher
Textiles Artist: Alice Guthrie
Digital and Physical Design: Henry Collingham
Participating Care Settings: The Laurels Care Home, Sand Banks, The Gables, Hazelgrove Court, and Longlands
Research funded by EPSRC, part of Centre for Digital Citizens project code EP/T022582/1. Find out more at The Ageless Citizen website.
Supported by: Middlesborough Council, Redcar & Cleaveland Council, and Sunderland Culture