Working with a wonderful video artist……

I’m not sure how long I’ve been working with Suki Chan, feels like I’ve know her forever. She’s visited my home a few times, each occasion recording inspiring footage for the her work and my words to go with the images…I must have written a blog about each of her visits. I so enjoy working with her because of the uniqueness of the completed work as you will see from the video….but it is only viewable for 1 week starting today…

We had some wonderful news the other day, as this particular piece, entitled Hallucinations, will be viewable for one week only starting today – and then it will be exhibited physically in the gallery at Bluecoat (Liverpool) next year – with the full project CONSCIOUS  (including the new film we are making now, Fog in My Head).The music chosen by Suki had me mesmerised and felt perfect for the piece. We’ve been working on another one that will be released next year too….here’s one photo she took of me looking out of my front window towards the old paddock…hidden by the leaves this time of year…..

There’s also an elderly lady, Pegeen O’Sullivan, the daughter of Irish novelist, Liam O’Flaherty, also on the film and is adorable. She also no longer as fear, so I instantly  felt an affinity with her…

It’s 15 minutes long and I love it….you can watch and listen here…..

You can either read about it via clicking the link

or for those who don’t like clicking links, here’s the words…

HALLUCINATIONS is an immersive journey into the personal experiences of two people who are living with dementia, juxtaposed with the perspective of two carers.

The film reveals intimate details that convey how dementia changes perceptions – resulting in hallucinations, altered experiences of time and sense of identity.

The 2 channel video installation invites us to enter into the reality of Pegeen O’Sullivan, the daughter of Irish novelist, Liam O’Flaherty, who currently lives in a care village in North West of England and Wendy Mitchell, who wrote her first book, after being diagnosed with young-onset dementia at the age of 58.

The film transports us to their interior worlds, their personal journeys and perceptions of reality. We are offered an insight into Wendy’s daily coping mechanisms in her home – photos adhered to the door of cupboards so that they can be identified as cupboards rather than protrusions from the wall.

Old memories when recalled appear as present reality, dead relatives reappear in their homes; what would be unsettling for people without dementia, may in fact bring comfort and security for those with it. The intimate perspectives, dilemmas and hopes for the future, revealed in HALLUCINATIONS, offer a fresh and startlingly honest investigation of what it feels like to have dementia.

The Islington tunnel, a grand piece of Victorian architecture, becomes a visual metaphor for the dementia journey.

How do mind-altering diseases such as dementia de-stabilise our understanding of reality? And conversely what does this tell us about our own understanding and perception of reality?

HALLUCINATIONS was filmed in Belong care village in North West England, Wendy’s home and the canals in London.

The textured soundtrack is composed by Dominik Scherrer, winner of the 2014 Ivor Novello Award.

HALLUCINATIONS was commissioned by Science Gallery Rotterdam and Bluecoat, funded by Arts Council England. Research and development supported by Where the Arts Belong, a partnership between Bluecoat and care provider Belong, funded by Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation.

HALLUCINATIONS is the second film from CONSCIOUS, Suki Chan’s multi-platform project bringing together the diverse, subjective perspectives of scientists and ordinary people, whose stories unwrap layers of thinking and preconceptions about individual and collective consciousness.

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

10 thoughts on “Working with a wonderful video artist……

  1. Wow! We have just watched this together, It’s an amazing piece of art, music and words, beautifully recorded. We both found it very moving, thought provoking and peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just watched the video. wow. Evocative.

    Wendy, facing getting older and particularly with a high probability for dementia, I too look at that “edge,” and wonder how to identify/decide/act. Do keep one thing in mind while you contemplate Dignitas: it is the natural course of things for our children to learn to live without us. Someday, however it happens, your daughters will go home without you. If they are comfortable, as you say, then that should not be your deciding factor. But yes, I too feel the conundrum: the balance between facility and senility, and how/whether to take charge.

    With warmest thoughts-


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marvelous video. Suki Chan is quite remarkable in what she has created here. It becomes inseparable – the images, the sound and the thoughts expressed.

    Your comment to about what you see is dementia but what you photograph is real, illustrates the difference between the two worlds we live in. You know my world but insights like this help me better grasp yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too am moved by the experience of watching this video and how thought provoking your words are Wendy. I have no children so my future is uncertain. I
    am married to a very caring loving man
    so I expect one or more of our nieces will look after our future needs. We are all going to leave this world one way or another whether we have close relatives beside us and my hope Is that we all die with dignity. Thank you Wendy 😊💐

    Liked by 1 person

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