My final major project, ‘Communicating Alzheimer’s – Uncle Eddy’ delves into the disease of Alzheimer’s and documents my neighbours ongoing journey with the illness. I decided to make my final piece personalised to him as the erosion of his past identity was something that I found the most gripping through my research, and my own pieced-together memories of him. This sense of alienation from self as well as towards others spoke to me and I began to understand how lonely and frustrating it must be to feel lost in a familiar space with voices you can remember but can’t place. I learnt so much from countless interviews and especially how the symptoms present themselves differently in different people. I wanted to depict these complex feelings and angst within textiles and aimed to tackle functional problems through my outcome. Therefore, I designed it to create a balance and reunite the parallels of his former life and trade as a farmer and avid gardener in comparison to the house-bound liminalities he currently faces. Capturing these two environments was a key element alongside the sensory needs of the garment as it meant that I could create tactile samples and a range of textures that he could interact with and discover whilst ensuring that with his Alzheimer’s I continue to provide a safe, comforting space within the garment that he is familiar with.
The reversible apron I created shows these two contrasting atmospheres and how we can entwine our personal stories and memories within the materials around us.
My final major project, ‘Communicating Alzheimer’s – Uncle Eddy’ delves into the disease of Alzheimer’s and documents my neighbours ongoing journey with the illness and its erosion of his identity.