Friday, 20 April 2012

I've made it this far

It was quite an emotional day for me yesterday, the workshop in the Buddy Cafe in Salford for people diagnosed with dementia and their carers felt a bit close to home. Sadly my father-in-law passed away earlier this week, he had Parkinson's & dementia. Having witnessed the effect of the disease on Gordon and our family, it makes me even more passionate to share the accounts of the people living with illhealth, reflecting lives that might otherwise be unheard.

Up the Scale I will Fail and Steady Fresh Air

I took with me a collection of temporary tattoos designed using participants 'mottos for health' collected during the previous session and playing card iconography. The imagery refers to luck and chance, particularly in reference to health or lack of it. Mottos range from humorous and cheeky statements such as 'Women they stimulate you' and 'I've no chance with my wife' to poignant lines such as 'I've made it this far' and 'my tomorrows are quite limited'.

'Women they stimulate you' and 'I'm alright'
The idea of tattoos came from a conversation I had had with a carer, she was explaining how she has been banned from a number of supermarkets- dementia makes her husband at times erratic in his behaviour, he will shout or be verbally abusive to her. Shoppers, staff and the carer herself find this difficult, there is a lack of understanding and knowledge about his condition as she said 'it's not tattooed on his forehead'.

While I took photos of the group modelling the tattoos, Phil led conversations about how the outside world perceived people with dementia. There are more photos from the day at

'I've made it this far'

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