Spaghetti Maze (2012 – 13)


Dear Lois and Philip, I contacted you some years ago to say thank you for spending time with my mum Paula on the Spaghetti Maze project. I can assure you that whilst mum could remember very little of her waking hours and days, on the occasions when you came to run a session, she would chatter on in detail and with great enthusiasm about the things she’d done and the stories she’d shared. I’m writing now to thank you for making all this so visible on line. Periodically I seek out your site, seek out my mum, it’s so wonderful to be able to do that. I thought you’d like to know that what you do continues to affect others long after you’ve moved onto another project.  Heather Parnell, June 2017


Paula Parnell, 2013

Older people living with dementia spent 6 months re-capturing their memories through art and poetry during a unique reminiscence project designed to preserve favourite moments from their lives in poems and images. Each person’s life story is kept in a box containing poems, pictures, short conversations and recordings of interviews, plus prompt questions and ideas for carers. When memory fails, the box is there to help stimulate remembering. It is also an heirloom for family members.


Spaghetti Maze Lead Artist Lois Blackburn explains: “We all rely on memory to know who we are, so losing memories can be extremely scary – like losing yourself. This project focussed on some of the most memorable and happiest moments of people’s lives, which they then put down on paper as creative pieces. Poems and art are very intense ways to express ourselves, good for stimulating a deep, emotional response. As people’s dementia increases, we hope that these little prompts will help to bring back happy, reassuring associations.”

Blog about project: spaghettimaze

On-line portfolio arthur-and-martha

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