Focusing on the now: An art tour for people with dementia


ABC RN Producer Wendy Love takes us on a Gallery tour that is about more than just the art. QAGOMA’s Art and Dementia tours offer people living with dementia a chance to socialise, learn, and create their own artworks. The goal is to create a safe and respectful space for people with dementia to visit the Gallery with their carers or loved ones and talk about art. But more than that, being able to spend a good amount of time with an artwork can act as a springboard, triggering memories or feelings we hadn’t felt for a while, or make us feel connected to something we remember from the past.

Listen to Wendy Love talk us through the PROGRAM

QAGOMA’s Art and Dementia program was developed in 2014 and is tailored specifically for people living with dementia. The power of art unlocks the imagination, is able to elicit memories and feelings, sparks new ideas and discussions, and for people living with dementia and their care partners offers a new space to connect with the artwork and each other.

QAGOMA’s free discussion-based tours aim to support reminiscence, validation and socialisation and focuses on specially selected artworks. Two of the works selected to trigger conversations on this tour was The Blue Alice by Charles Blackman and Morning ride by Kenneth Macqueen.

Read more on our art and Dementia tours

Taking in the bursts of colour in Charles Blackman’s The Blue Alice 1956-57 / Tempera, oil and household enamel on composition board / 122 x 122cm / Purchased 2000. The Queensland Government’s special Centenary Fund / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Charles Blackman. Licensed by Viscopy
Kenneth Macqueen 1897-1960 / Morning ride c.1946 / Watercolour over pencil on paper / 40.9 x 50cm / Purchased 2006. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Kenneth Macqueen Estate
Using inspiration from the paintings participants create their own artworks


Bookings in advance are required and are subject to availability and tour capacity. Tours are suitable for people living at home, for community and day respite groups or residential aged care homes. Contact the Group Bookings Office at or telephone (07) 3840 7255 to arrange a booking for the next tour.

ABC RN Producer Wendy Love spoke on The Art Show in 2018 (formerly The Hub on Art) presented by Ed Ayres

Feature image: QAGOMA’s Art and Dementia program