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“Dementia: You could see it as a gift or a curse. To me it’s a gift. It’s opened up a wonderful world to me.”
After Edward McLaughlin received a diagnosis of Dementia in 2002, he retreated for a long time into inactivity and depression. When he eventually took up Art again he discovered to his amazement that he now saw the world and in particular colours quite differently. A series of vibrant portraits gave expression to his new visual sensibility and contrasted markedly with the meticulous pencil drawings typical of his work before diagnosis.
Since then he has used this enriched sense of colour to create a body of work which illuminates his own extraordinary personal voyage of discovery. His art has been lauded as a vivid insight into the inner life of someone with dementia, but it is even more than that. With its exploration of the complexity and shifting nature of individual identity it is suffused with universal messages and questions. Essentially it asks us what it means to be human.
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