Art in Residence is a programme of explorative research underpinning all Ben Uri Arts and Health Institute programming. It focuses on two key models of arts engagement; art discussion and art making, both directly inspired by works from the Ben Uri collection. Working across a diverse range of partners, the programme seeks to establish best practice for collection focused creative engagements, built on a breadth of experience, backed by evaluation and research.





Originating as 'ProVACAT' (Practising or Viewing Art Cognitive Ability Trial), the programme was established in 2014 under the guidance of Professor Michael Baum, aiming to compare the respective benefits of art discussion and art making for people living with dementia in residential care. Even at this early stage, using replica artworks for art discussions became a particularly significant model. Those who had lost memory and verbal communication abilities found their critical voice, talking as a group and disproving commonly held assumptions that people with dementia could not learn new things, remember the artwork or retain information.


In 2018, with the support of the Pauline and Harold Berman charitable Trust and under the guidance of Professor Victoria Tischler, Head of Dementia Care at the University of West London, Ben Uri partnered with leading care home Nightingale House in South London. Groups were observed and researched, resulting in two comprehensive reports and two project overview films. By 2019, a replicable model had been established which was then trialled with two new partners; the Michael Flanders Resource Centre in Acton and Holborn Community Association — both long-established day centres supporting a diverse community of older people and those living with dementia.



Art in Residence, Nightingale House
Year 1 
Art in Residence, Nightingale House
Year 2


As Art in Residence expands again, feeding into a broader research programme overseen by Professor Michael Baum, and Professor Norman Williams of UCL, the discussion sessions and impact of the Ben Uri collection have become the major focus. Ideas for the third and final year at Nightingale House are resuming post Covid-19. We will continue to deepen and evidence our understanding around the impact of artworks in providing high-quality art interventions as we seek to provide best practice resources for running arts sessions in care settings nationally, improving the culture of care across the UK. 







ProVACAT report: 2015-16

UWL Report: Year One - 2017/18

UWL Report: Year Two - 2019