Associate Artist 2020 - 2021 Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea Researching accessibility, diversity & equality in the Arts
Age & Legacy 2018 Short 10:52 mins Collaboration with Rich Thair Arts Council of Wales - Research & Development Grant
Age and Legacy is a collaborative body of work exploring dementia through Sight and Sound.
My work as been inspired by my late grandmother Rita Hyde who in 2014 passed away from dementia. At the time I remember trying to come to terms and understand my Nan’s condition. It was a struggle as it seemed her identity was slowly fading away. My relationship with my Nan slowly changed from her being my protective Grandmother tucking me up in bed as a child to now me being the carer and making sure she was comfortable in her bed, when I’d visit her in the nursing home.
I remember when she first went into her nursing home seeing a booklet called ‘Getting to Know you’ sitting on her bedside table ready for us to fill out. I knew this was placed there with the best of intentions but I found this very upsetting as to condense who my Nan was into a few bits of paper was never going to convey the loving Grandmother, Mother, Wife, Sister, Aunty and Friend she was.
Age & Legacy – My intention for the project was about capturing legacy and the act of sharing personal stories and experiences. My starting point was William Shakespeare’s ‘All the world’s a stage’ .
The male character is played by my brother Ryan who represents my Great Grandfather, Charles who passed away from dementia in the 1970’s. The female character is actor Michelle McTernan whose profession is about the art of playing fictional and non fictional characters.
However the protagonists are open to interpretation allowing the viewer to connect and create their own narratives.
The photograph above was taken by my Nan and was the starting point of my unfolding research into arts in health. It also formed a collection of work I started in 2010 called Nurtured in Concrete Form.
The story behind the photograph is about Truth, I remember when my Nan was in the early stages of dementia, she would tell me that at night she would be woken by ghosts in her room. This was terrifying for my Nan and the only way I could comfort her was to listen and believe what she said. I remember at the time thinking if this is real or not its my Nan’s truth and that was all that mattered.