When we speak of dementia we often speak of loss: the loss of memory, the decline in physical functioning, and the progressive loss of self. This view can lead to a further and more problematic loss, the loss of voice, as the stories of people living with dementia are too often ignored.
The exhibition Beyond Dementia challenges this view by bringing together the words and stories of a group people living with dementia along with artworks they have produced and a display they have curated from the Whitworth’s art collection.
The Alzheimer’s Society describes dementia as a set of different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. No two people’s experience of dementia is the same but symptoms often include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers predicted to rise to over 1 million by 2025, which is why it is imperative that we seek to find new ways, not only of treating dementia, but improving the quality of life of those living with a diagnosis.
Co-curated by the Fabulous Forgetful Friends, a group of people living with a diagnosis of dementia based in the Manchester area, Beyond Dementia seeks to tackle some of the misunderstandings and stigma surrounding the condition. It explores how the act of both viewing and making art can be a powerful way of connecting with self, forging meaningful connections with others, and improving the general well-being of those living with the condition and their carers.
‘I hope that our display will play a part in changing our communities’ views of dementia and let us live for the moments we’re in. Please remember even within the illness we remain very much individuals ’ Ronnie Lomax, Fabulous Forgetful Friend
There is a public programme of related films, talks, art workshops and Dementia Friend training sessions, which you can book onto via the link below:
28 July – now extended to January 2018
To book events, please visit our Beyond Dementia events page