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Creative colouring book mixes art and nostalgia

Sydney-based artist Annette Innis has drawn 30 scenes inspired by real-life stories for a new colouring book

Not-for-profit aged care provider HammondCare has worked with Sydney artist Annette Innis to produce a new adult colouring book specifically designed for older people.

Colours of yesterday features drawings that are more accessible for older hands and eyes, and captures stories as told by older Australians.

The 30 original drawings depict the Australian outdoors, the iconic clothes line the Hills Hoist, as well as historical events such as the televised moon landing.

The book arose out of the success of HammondCare’s Arts in Prescription program, which involves experienced artists working with small groups to help older people explore their own creativity and learn new skills.

Ms Innis has been involved in HammondCare’s Arts on Prescription Program since 2015.

She specialises in portrait painting and was a semi-finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2015.

“The drawings in this book are not only designed to be relevant for older people, but also physically accessible, taking into account common challenges of ageing,” she said.

As part of Arts on Prescription, many older people have discovered the “joy that art can bring, often gaining a new sense of purpose and identity while having fun along the way,” she said.

Arts on Prescription was led by Professor Chris Poulos of HammondCare’s Centre for Positive Ageing in south west Sydney. He said there is a growing body of evidence showing that involvement in the creative arts can have a positive impact on wellbeing.

He said accompanying each drawing are prompts for further reflection and discussion.

A book launch will be held in western Sydney on 12 December. Colours of yesterday: A creative colouring book for older people is published by HammondCare Media.

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