Dr Megan Wyatt
Artist and Research Associate
Place of work / study:
Wrexham Glyndwr University
Area of Research:
Painting and Dementia
How is your work funded?
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a practicing artist and researcher and I am passionate about how Art can improve the lives of people living with dementia. I have recently completed a PhD at Wrexham Glyndwr University which investigated how people living with dementia engage with and experience painting whilst working alongside an artist-researcher. Whilst studying towards this, I also worked as an Arts in Health Project Officer on a lottery funded project called ADOR (based at Wrexham Glyndwr University). As part of this role, I developed and managed numerous Arts in Health projects with a range of partners across North Wales.
After completing my PhD, I secured a role as a Research Associate within the Salford Institute for Dementia (University of Salford) where I work on numerous research projects that explored how people living with dementia could live well within the community. I am passionate about how art can positively impact the lives of people living with dementia and I am excited to work within this area and push research forward. Furthermore, I want to focus on how the knowledge of an artist can be promoted within Arts in Health research to create new collaborative understandings about how people engage in different creative processes.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I have a cat called Nigel
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My interest in Dementia began when I lived with my paternal Grandmother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. My grandmother was a keen painter and often spoke about how she expressed her memories and emotions through painting and loved the feel of the paint. Her dementia progressed very quickly and her verbal communication declined and this was something that frustrated her. However, I noticed that she would often appear immersed and happy when she was engaged in the creative process, even when her dementia was at an advanced stage. I became passionate about how creativity could provide new experiences and non-verbal lines of communication for people living with dementia and I wanted to research this further. I decided to focus on this within my PhD and I investigated how people living with dementia engage with and experience painting whilst working alongside an artist-researcher. Upon completing this research, I secured a role as a Research Associate at the Salford Institute for Dementia (University of Salford) where I had the opportunity to explore my interests further.