January 31, 2020

Can we see and understand another’s world when they themselves may feel lost?

Katie Pennycook, 25

Representations of dementia patients depict them as partially lost and fading, like the living-dead. What connotations does dementia bring, a demon stealing someone’s soul? From Latin dementia means ‘out of one’s mind’. Perhaps the derogatory umbrella term is best left in the annals of old medical journals. We decipher strength of character, from how she holds herself and the presence of Gladiolus flowers symbolising courage, remembrance and sincerity. We see struggle in the dirty windows and mirrors of separation, and the fragile butterfly. Her granddaughter, her younger self and her late husband, appear in the mirrors. Hope presides in candlelight glimmer whose warmth swirls around the room. Determination is epitomised in the presence of a broken china-doll head, transformed into its own art, so being ‘broken’ doesn’t mean it isn’t fixable or beautiful. We see a lady who has lived a full life, a great life, and still has more to give and enjoy. Even though sometimes they may have bad days, we can still sit with them in the dark and simply show them we care. The mission I give you is: look past the superficial and see the person as themselves, see their personality and individuality shine through.

The Lady, 2020Digital Drawing