A SPECIAL art exhibition and event is being held on Portland for World Alzheimer’s Day.

Beginning today (26), see the work of three artists whose work is helping us to understand the experience of the condition.

Embracing Change, Embracing Dementia will be at Outpost, Fortuneswell, Portland, from today until September 28.

Dementia Darnings by Jenni Dutton are a series of breathtakingly beautiful and tender stitched portraits developed whilst caring for her mother. The portraits reflect the ageing process as well as the erosive effect of the illness on the individual.

Jenni said: “The series developed as my mum went into a nursing home, I continued to make the work which had become now about ageing as well about loss of memory and the development of dementia.

"I think it's important that we do not shy away from some of the more difficult images of ageing. I was with her when she died and I have to say it was one of the most beautiful profound experiences of my life. This series of work is about love.”

Forget Me Not is a choral composition by composer Marc Yeats following his year long residency at Dorset and Yeovil Hospitals with their dementia teams. This immersive choral work is in six parts, sung by Choir By The Sea, collecting fragments of speech into a poignant and beautiful contemplation on the relationship between memory and music.

‘Memory Palace’ is a short documentary made by film maker Jordi Robert capturing the everyday routine of a dementia patient in a nursing home. It is a portrait of a fading memory. The installation is not only an invitation to submerge in a journey to the past and nostalgia, but more importantly, to reflect about the cruel reality of dementia and its social and personal repercussions.

Jordi said: “As I was looking at her hands, I reflected on all the things that my mother has been through in her life, things that made my mother who she was, a strong, positive and caring woman. When a few years ago she started losing her memory, she became fragile, insecure and sad. I thought “This is a different person; my mother is gone”. But is she gone? This is how my project started."

On Thursday (28), b-side will be hosting a discussion event for artists, healthcare professionals and anyone who has an interest or personal experience of dementia.

There will be a chance to see the exhibition and listen to Marc Yeats' choral composition and hear about how artists are helping to inform the experience of the condition. Tickets are £5 and bookable via the website.

*Embracing Change, Embracing Dementia exhibition, Outpost, Fortuneswell High Street, Portland, September 26 to 28, free, open 12pm to 5pm. Embracing Change, Embracing Dementia discussion event, Thursday September 28, 1pm to 5pm See b-side.org.uk


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