The Unfurlings: Banners for Hope & Change
Created by people living with dementia
This exhibition is the first unfurling of a banner created by people in Preston living with dementia.
Groups from across the UK have worked with artist Ian Beesley and poet Ian McMillan to create banners campaigning for a better understanding of this condition.
Based on traditional trade union and guild designs, there are 9 banners in total, covering subjects such as the need for better signage in public places, and the importance of active living and creativity for our wellbeing. Each banner is accompanied by a poem by McMillan.
The Preston banner has been designed by Preston’s Focus on Dementia Action group. This group help make sure people living with dementia are at the heart of the Alzheimer’s Society’s work. They have also worked with the Harris to co-curate this exhibition.
Their hope is that better understanding leads to action in making life better for everyone affected by dementia, whether personally or in our families and friendships.
This exhibition is a digital version of the one now temporarily closed at the Harris. You’ll find a virtual tour, plus lots of activities. This exhibition is part of ‘A Life More Ordinary’ project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Take a virtual tour
Click the play button to begin your tour. Click on the floor to move around the exhibition and on each orange circle to read more information about the banners and the group who designed it. Click on the blue circle to listen to an audio recording of the poem which accompanies each banner – read by poet Ian Macmillan.
Press ‘Listen in Browser’ to hear the audio. You’ll see this text appear when you click the circles.
When We Talk Will You Listen Understanding Leads to Actions The Right to a Grand Day Out Positive The Right to a Grand Day Out Negative Banner Marching Forward Involve Inform Improve Digging for Memory, Growing our Stories Copy of Navigating the System_ Dementia Support for All Art for One Art for All››
Click the buttons below to hear an audio description of three of the works chosen by our curator.
A Grand Day Out - Black Banner
A Grand Day Out - Red Banner
When we talk will you listen?
A closer look
Based on traditional trade union and guild designs, the banners featured in the exhibition cover subjects such as the need for better signage in public places, and the importance of active living and creativity for our wellbeing. Click through these images for a closer look.
Here you can listen to members of Preston’s Focus on Dementia Action Group and the Alzheimer’s Society talking about their experiences, telling jokes, reading poems and more.
Where is this leading Poem read by Elizabeth
Poem written by Ian McMillan
John speaking about his diagnosis
Kathleen from Alzheimer's Society
Hear Kathleen from the Alzheimer’s Society speak about the Unfurlings exhibition.
Hear Margaret speaking about her diagnosis
The importance of getting involved
Hear Margaret speak about the importance of getting involved with the community.
The importance of communication
Listen to Pam speaking about the importance of communication, from the perspective of someone with dementia.
Being a carer
Hear Paul speaking about being a carer.
By Degrees poem
Listen to the poem ‘By Degrees’ read by Phil.
Figures of speech poem
Listen to ‘Figures of Speech’ poem read by Phil.
The gift of a pair of overalls poem
Hear Phil reading ‘The gift of a pair of overalls’ poem.
Or the Wise Men poem
Listen to Phil read ‘Or the Wise Men’ poem.
The Christmas Post poem
Listen to Phil read ‘The Christmas Post’ poem.
Phil's joke about a dementia diagnosis
The Unfurlings: Singing for the Brain 🎶
On Friday 6 March we held a party at the Harris to celebrate The Unfurlings exhibition and the book which accompanies it.
Skylarks Community Choir from Preston joined us to demonstrate the amazing benefits of singing for the brain. We were delighted to welcome over 60 members of this choir – who filled the Harris with their voices.
Click on the links below to hear some of their performances from the day. Including a solo by John from Preston’s Focus on Dementia Action Group.
Amarillo / Somewhere over the rainbow
Bring me sunshine / Sailing
Three Little Birds / One Love / Que Sera Sera
I only wanna be with you / Oh What a Beautiful Morning
John Holt’s Song
Let it Be / Fly Me to the Moon
Morningtown Ride / Can’t help falling in love
Those Were the Days / You Raise Me Up
Click the links to find forums for chatting, blogs to read, as well as advice on active living when at home.
- Become a Dementia Friend
- Activities for Older Adults during COVID-19
- Alzheimer’s Society – www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus-covid-19
- Museums of Liverpool – houseofmemories.co.uk
- Lancashire Memories – www.lancashirememories.com