This work responds to ideas about empathy, interaction, and fragmentation of memory, and is motivated by experience with the progression of dementia and the changing nature of dialogue it imposes.
My art and poetry come out of and respond to my emotions. The most intense emotions of the last few years were generated by my father's Lewy Body Dementia, and by my experiences as I watched it take away his sense of place, as we answered increasingly anxious phone calls from him lost in his own living room, and as I sat next to him on visits to the care home we had to move him into.
The poem and the series of paintings that I call 'A Wonder World for Enid' emerged when these multiple, complicated emotions were brought into the studio. Enid was a frail old lady who lived across the corridor in the care home.
Using acrylics on watercolour paper, I create layers of intense colour through arbitrary juxtapositions. Fluorescent pinks and orange heighten affect/effects on their neighbouring hues. Tones and textures of greys on top of the colour layer work as a kind of ‘inverse sculpting’ by excluding and veiling. The bright shapes underneath and among the grey suggest the rich lives of people with dementia that are gradually obliterated, but remain accessible longer than we think. They reflect the moments that brightened my visits when we managed to connect across fading memories and anxiety.