Perception of Digital and Physical Sculpture by People with Dementia: An Investigation into Creative Potential

By Sumita Chauhan, Ania Bobrowicz and Chee Siang Ang.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The perception of three dimensional sculptural forms is quite different from two dimensional art works such as painting or drawing. Though both are regarded as visual arts, the distinction lies in the tactual and kinaesthetic sensations of three dimensional sculptural forms. The understanding of perception of sculptural forms adds another dimension to cognitive and emotive qualities. Emotions evoked while observing, knowing, touching and feeling a sculpture as well as the experiences of working, creating and producing it, affect an individual’s perception. People with dementia who develop visual and perceptual difficulties may gradually have a different experience of sculpture. Materiality of a sculpture and its tactile engagement has the capacity to influence their perception. With spatial errors, changes in colour and misperceptions experienced by people with dementia, it is possible that they can see, appreciate and experience in different ways, both physical sculptural forms and those mediated through digital technology. This research study helps in establishing the level of understanding of sculpture – digital and physical - by people with dementia as well as their comprehension of creative ideas. It also investigates the effect of interacting with the displays of sculpture on their emotions and gathers evidence of its importance and benefits.

Keywords: Three Dimensional Forms, Digital Sculpture, Dementia, Perception

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.11-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 931.355KB).

Sumita Chauhan

Ph.D. Student, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK

Sumita Chauhan is a PhD student in Digital Arts at School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. She has an MPhil degree in Digital Arts from the same university. She is also an artist and engages in creating sculpture using traditional as well as digital techniques. She explores and experiments with new approaches to conception of sculpture resulting from use of various technological processes. These are expressed through her works in many international exhibitions and workshops. Bringing forward a novel concept, which not many people are familiar with, is very challenging to her. Her interest lies in highlighting the need for expressive potential of Digital Sculpture which she wants to explore further working with people with dementia.

Ania Bobrowicz

Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Ania Bobrowicz is a senior lecturer in digital arts at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Her research interests include art history, computer-mediated communication and emerging societal issues brought about by digital technologies. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and holds MSc in Multimedia Systems (London Guildhall University) and MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Warsaw).

Chee Siang Ang

Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Chee Siang Ang is Senior Lecturer in Multimedia and Digital Systems in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent. Before joining Kent, he was a research fellow at the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design, City University London, where he completed his PhD in the area of social gaming. His main research area is in Human Computer Interaction, with an emphasis on Social Computing. He is particularly interested in virtual worlds, computer games, computer mediated communication and Internet of things technology.