After the last formative assessment in which I did a series of lino prints of my nan fading away, I decided that I wanted to continue in trying to portray the slow loss of her identity with her development into Alzheimer’s disease. It has been a struggle for me throughout the year to represent the internal breakdown in a physical format; so by creating these two jumbled portraits, I’ve tried to be both reflective of this internal breakdown of identity as well as the breakdown into a person physically unrecognisable.
I drew two images of my Nan from frames of videos taken of her, and drew them photo-accurately. I decided to use accuracy as I wanted the progression of my final pieces to also be a reflection of my Nan pre-Alzheimer’s, in which she had a clear identity, into an unrecognisable arrangement of facial features in which her identity is lost.
Learning from my first ripped up portrait, although I liked its concept, I didn’t like how the pieces didn’t fit into each other. Consequently I decided to use triangles that fit into a rhombus shape, contained within the portrait. Keeping the jumbling of the face within the portrait deeper connected to the concept of outside/inside and how Alzheimer’s in contained within the mind. I also found, and people commented, that keeping within the outer edges of the drawing messed with the viewer’s own mind as you don’t know where to look. I thought this was an interesting idea that could be further developed if I were to continue looking into portraying Alzheimer’s.
I chose to augment my drawings and project videos over the top using the Aurasma app that I learned how to use in the pinhole photography workshop. I linked the drawings to the videos of my nan that the frames for drawing were taken from. Connecting my drawings to the videos of my Nan talking strengthens the loss of identity and to some level, sanity, highlighting the effects of Alzheimer’s. It puts my drawings into context, as without, I think it would be unclear as to their purpose.
I would like to carry on my exploration into Alzheimer’s and my portrayal of it but would consider digitalising my pieces, and having the cut up sections of my Nan’s face move around to create ever-changing arrangements. I think this would potentially work better at portraying the internal breakdown of identity as there is never a secure image.