Assignment 5 – Making it up – artistic intention

For this assignment I want to create images that look at the idea of memory and more specifically my memory of my mother. After suffering from Alzheimer’s for over ten years my mother recently died. During the period of her illness I witnessed her memory loss and the impact it had on her ability to engage with the world and look after herself, until shortly before her death she could not remember how to swallow and so was unable to eat or drink. However, it is not my mother’s memory loss that I want to explore but rather mine.

Since her death I’ve been trying to remember things about my mother and find that my memory is unclear. I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation which was not impacted by her Alzheimer’s or the last time she wrote me a birthday card or when I could give her a hug and she would not be totally shocked and bewildered by it: because of the everydayness of these acts I paid no attention to them. Looking back I can remember my mother when I was a child and I can remember her as someone suffering with dementia but I realise that there is a significant gap between those two periods where my memories are unclear.

My aim is to photograph objects that remind me of her using different lighting and focus to explore the idea of memory and loss of identity. My aim is to produce two or three images that represent how I remember things about her in stages identified above and at the same time, I would like to try and experiment with exposure to represent loss of identity/personality. At this stage I envisage the photographs as being colour images, however, I am may consider black & white once I have progressed further with the assignment.

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