Cambridge School of Art

Degree Show Website

Kelsey Evans
(click image to enlarge)

“Have you come to take me home?”

‘Frightening and sad events have the strongest grip on our memory. We fear loss more than we desire gain.’
Renee Garfinkel, 2012. Psychology Today: The Power of Absence

On a day-to-day basis, we rely on our memory without consciously knowing it. The people we see and the relationships we have are all based on remembering the time spent with them. So what happens when memory is lost?

Alzheimer’s brings an overpowering element of vulnerability both to the sufferer and the surrounding relations. The sufferer firstly forgets their short-term memories yet can remember details from decades before – but then slowly those fade too. Faces that they once knew and loved unconditionally become unrecognisable.

For the closest to them this is possibly the hardest part – no longer being known by someone you have always looked up to and aspired to be like, yet continuing to love and care for them regardless.

This project presents photographs from my family album; it studies the idea of how memories fade and age with Alzheimer’s. This body of work represents how the progress of Alzheimer’s affects personal recollection, identities becoming no longer recognisable and photographs failing to trigger memories as they once did. Faces disappear along with the comprehension of identities once held so close to the heart. The sense of home is lost.

A white gallery wall felt too sterile for this body of work due to the personal content and emotions triggered – it felt more suited in an installation that would accentuate the idea of personal memory. The sense of time became a very important element throughout this project, and so it felt appropriate to acknowledge this within the installation. Two clocks have been stopped on different times, to signify the different rates that memories ebb away, and the sound of ticking helps to heighten the viewers senses, allowing a deeper connection. The brown case, walking stick, gloves and veil indicate how Alzheimer’s makes a sufferer feel lost, as though they no longer feel at home.

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