Dementia Project {Dementia Australia Portraits}

My Dad died in July.

He died from complications from Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia.

For a little while before he died he attended the Alchemy Choir with my Mum, which meets every Thursday at the Hughes Community Centre. The choir is for people who have dementia and the partners/carers.

The very first time I attended the choir I was overwhelmed. There was/is a a wonderful sense of community within the choir members.

I was saddened by the sheer volume of people in the room, the fact that dementia is a growing concern.

I also felt that when observing the couples participating, I couldn’t actually tell who had dementia and who didn’t. This to me is important because even though people may behave differently when they have dementia, they are still the same people that they have always been!

This project is ongoing and hopes to illustrate the love and dedication that families have the faced with this insidious disease.

The portraits are simple; one light, a reflector and a grey backdrop. I wish to concentrate on the relationship and expression. I want the viewer to look at each portrait and question which person is living with dementia and which person is caring for that person. Most of the portraits when you view them, you would never know, so it is with this in mind that we as friends make certain that we treat that person in the sae way as we have always done, with possibly a little more understanding and consideration.

I hope to exhibit the portraits and make a book. I am recording the stories of some of the couples, and collecting written stories from others.

Here are some of the portraits made so far:

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