Artworks on Dementia
“the world is not respectable; it is mortal; tormented; confused; deluded; but it is shot through
with beauty; with love; with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms…” George Santayana
As an artist, it has been important to express and share my experience with my mom’s dementia. It has helped me identify and showcase positives outcomes from my journey with the disease. Over the past decade, I have developed three distinct collections in response.
Within the hardship that was my mom’s dementia, my children developed strength. Their confidence and empathy grew while she declined as they gave to her. They were transforming in the face of the disease and this helped heal my heart. I have created art in response – Four Acrylic Paintings under the group of work titled “Caregivers”: Assistance, Adjustments, Acceptance, Touch. Each displays the trans-formative power of children bearing witness to disease.
My children were my heroes during this time. But they were not the only ones. Together with caring nurses, PSWs, counsellors and friends, these individuals made my world so much brighter. For the first time in my life, I truly learned about the full power of the human heart. In honour of these individuals, I created Photo Collages titled “Unexpected Hero 1,2,3.” They are tributes to caregivers that grow in the face of adversity.
My latest endeavor is a just published illustrated children’s book about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, “Weeds in Nana’s Garden”. As I witnessed the positive affects children can bring to the dementia journey, I set out to make a picture book that would help bring more kids into the experience.
Following the bond between a grand-daughter and her Nana within a magical garden, this is a heartfelt story of love that helps explain dementia diseases. It is candid but approachable, using a garden metaphor to describe brain disease while drawing in the reader with engaging images.
The young girl, determined to love her Nana despite the illness, finds ways to still be with her and treat her with respect. What’s more, the girl accepts the changes with love and grows stronger from the situation, finally taking over as the garden’s caregiver.