2018 SYDCAE to be held at Sheffield Cathedral again

We’re delighted to announce that the 2018 SYDCAE will be held at Sheffield Cathedral again.

The key dates for the 2018 SYDCAE, our 10th annual event, are:

  • All work to be dropped off Friday 29th June
  • Exhibition open, Monday 2nd July-Sunday 8th July (normal Cathedral opening hours)
  • All work to be picked up: Monday 9th July

The theme for the 2018 event will be announced in August 2017 and the registration process will then be open.

SYDCAE 2018 Registration

In 2018, to improve the way we accept, curate and return items of creative artwork, we are operating a more formal registration process. This includes:

  • requirement that a SYDCAE submission form is completed for all creative art entered into the exhibition
  • requirement that no creative art will be accepted unless a completed submission form has been completed and returned in advance of the drop off day (Friday 29th June 2018)
  • requirement that ALL creative art is labelled clearly on the reverse with individual’s/organisation’s name and contact phone number
  • we will no longer accept framed work which contains glass. Framed work without glass is acceptable.

If you would like to register your interest in being part of the biggest and best SYDCAE yet please use the Contact link on this website.

See the BBC Look North film on the 2017 SYDCAE


SYDCAE 2017 Day 5 Report ‘Astrocytes and urban planning’

And so on Friday Dementia Futures, rescheduled from Monday, took place today at just after 10 o’clock. PhD students from the University of Sheffield presented their PhD research in plain English. It was a fascinating session covering topics as diverse as the links between brain cholesterol and dementia and the three ‘c’s of Extra Care housing. My thanks to Katey Twyford, Hemant Mistry, Anjana Ajikumar and Daniel Williams for their stimulating and accessible presentations. Who knew that the blood-brain barrier was so bloomin’ interesting or that astrocytes were so busy? The event was video recorded for the presenters’ development and, with their permission, shall be available to watch again in the weeks to come on this website.

Jeff Hutchinson was in today looking for his work. He had been in yesterday but because of the ‘Moments in Time’ event had found no one to direct him to the area where his pictures were on display. Fortunately, Jasmine was in today, the volunteer who had made sure Jeff’s work was on view when we opened on Monday. Jazz directed Jeff to the second area within the Cathedral where our artwork is on show and he was gratified to find it. As organisers of an art exhibition it is really important to remember that when folks come in to see their work it is really easy for them to locate it. We have been lucky enough to have hundreds of pieces submitted for SYDCAE 2017 but for each person their work is precious.

A different group from South Yorkshire Housing Association were in today. Our volunteer and artist Maria Nightingale commented that she had never seen such a happy group of people. These people were directly responsible for the feltwork on display, including the masks which individuals had designed to represent themselves. The photo included here shows just how well people engaged with the project as it is pretty easy to match the mask with the person.

Mr and Mrs Crookes visited again today to see the rest of the exhibition they missed on Monday. Mrs Crookes wondered if she could take part next time and mentioned her knitting. She has agreed to knit a Tottenham Hotspur scarf for 2018! Actually, she wasn’t so keen on that idea but  said she would take part. Michael is on the case, too.

Just by being next to the artwork when members of the public stopped by meant that we learned about the impact that dementia was having or had had on people’s lives. Given the opportunity, people will talk about dementia and about their expertise. There seemed to be a consensus, certainly among the people I spoke with, that on a day to day level the diagnostic label was troublesome. Anselm Strauss once said that a name is a container into which meaning is poured and ‘dementia’ can be a toxic label in terms of the negative reactions it evokes in others in social life. I suppose the SYDCAE, at its best, is about generating new positive meaning to neutralise this common reaction.

A Masters student approached me during the day to pick my brains about ‘dementia friendly’ urban environments. Xi is doing an Urban Design and Planning programme and is seeking to understand what kind of adjustments should be made to built environment to make everyday life easier for people with dementia. If you have any ideas please contact Xi Chen at xchen96@sheffield.ac.uk.

And so at the end of the week I have to say, on behalf of all the volunteers who have supported me with the exhibition – Maria Nightingale, Kathryn Hutchinson, Jasmine Moran Douglas, Natasha Wilson, Adam Wilson and Albert Attom, it has been the best exhibition yet. Each person who has contributed will have their own story of the exhibition, what it meant to them To me, as I falteringly said on Thursday, the exhibition is not only about hearing the voices of people affected by dementia, it is listening and learning, about realising that they have much to teach us (without dementia). Not least, people affected by dementia by can teach us valuable lessons about what it means to be human.

Next: Saturday and Sunday: The exhibition is open on Saturday 1st and closes on Sunday 2nd July.


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