Lost for Words
Because of its nature and its stripping away of language, dementia blocks attempts to describe its internal experience. My work is an attempt to enter the silent darkness and convey the effects of dementia.
In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia, a neurodegenerative disease. The parts of her frontal and temporal lobes that controlled her speech and word recognition were most affected.
From diagnosis, the dementia, like a rubber, gradually erased her interests, empathy, personality, reasoning and decision-making. Communication disappeared. Until, eventually, her mind, her language and her identity slipped away.
The finished pieces are five vitrines, each embodying the person, and containing representations of dementia, focusing on speech loss. Their title is 'Lost for Words'.
This work was exhibited at Alzheimer's Research UK's National Research Conference at Harrogate Convention Centre in March 2019 and at the associated public talks.
In 2018 this work was exhibited at 'Mapping the Human Brain', curated by Art.Number23 at the Old Biscuit Factory, London and at the Heads and Tails exhibition 'Art & Liberation', at the Holy Biscuit, Newcastle.
Created using a range of mixed media: memory tubing, extruded plastic, wires from inside communication cabling, wool and acrylic.
All work is my own. ©️Kate Buckley 2019