Entelechy Arts is a participatory arts company based in the south east London for the last 30+ years. We collaborate with people from marginalised and excluded communities to place arts practice at the heart of a process striving to achieve more equal, connected and engaged communities.

Our ‘Ambient Jam’ and ‘Walking through Walls’ programmes in residential care homes in Lewisham and Southwark are usually based around music, movement and touch. During lockdown, this has transformed into creative letter writing and film-making.

Specific projects for care settings

Since care homes closed to visitors in March 2020, we have continued to connect and collaborate with residents and the well-being team. Our team of artists has sent letters, poems, drawings, created relaxation and exercise videos via WhatsApp and created and sent music and video pieces using simple animation. The Care Home’s Activities team has helped residents to write back or recorded video messages, and artists have received their poems and writing too.

“We’ve had a lovely afternoon. The residents really enjoyed themselves. Thank all the team for making many of my days!! With their wonderful letters, charming videos. Take care xxx”

WhatsApp message, Activities Co-ordinator

According to the Care Home staff the letters bring joy, tears and ‘hit the spot’ during ‘a heart-breaking’ time when residents are becoming withdrawn and well-being teams are doubling up as care staff. They have also provided something to talk about together. They regularly say they appreciate everything we are doing and look forward to seeing the new pieces on WhatsApp every week.

Sadly, residents we knew well have passed away from Covid-19. One resident received a letter from us shortly before he died. Where we can we have sent letters and little creative videos to the care home to remember them.

Our current project is based around the ‘Trocadero’, a former Music Hall at Elephant and Castle. All our correspondence keep the theme of Trocadero and everything it epitomised: Glamour, a good night out, stories of that local area, Trocadero play list, cinema icons, magic, music hall entertainment, circus and being transported, families and community.

Useful Resources

You can see an example of one these videos below, or by visiting the Entelechy website.

You can read more about the history of Entelechy Arts’ work in care homes in ‘Notions of Home’ (pdf), a series of writings compiled by our Creative Director, Rebecca Swift.

Entelechy Arts