September 2017 marks the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma. Currently at The Civic we have an ongoing exhibition called ARTzheimer’s which is an Irish social enterprise set up by Eimear Farrell. It uses art to provoke bold and brave conversations about Alzheimer’s.
The idea evolved from a very special friendship between Eimear Farrell (curator of the project), who was working as a case worker for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and a gentleman named Leo Casey. Despite only knowing Leo initially from a professional capacity, their friendship grew and strengthened over their mutual love and appreciation for art. Leo, a talented artist in his own right, began a journey through Alzheimer’s disease that would not only impact Eimear Farrell, but also open her eyes and heart to the person behind the disease.
One surprising connection that remained intact however was Leo’s ability to connect to art and all that it had to offer to a mind struggling through Alzheimer’s. “I found this fascinating and began to delve further into the connection between Art & Alzheimer’s. The results of this research were truly eye-opening.” says Eimear.
Established in 2014, ARTzheimer’s uses the medium of visual art and touching human stories to connect people. For their most recent exhibition “Light & Shade”, twenty artists were commissioned, each interpreting a specific brief – for ARTzheimer’s is not art for arts sake; this illness has and will touch the lives of many of us. This unique free exhibition will provoke as well as inspire and we invite our patrons to visit the theatre and help play a role in bringing about positive change in the Alzheimer’s care system.
This exhibition is currently FREE to the general public and on long-term display at the theatre. The exhibition has been designed and curated to evoke responses from the public. The hope is that the personal feedback received from the public will help us start honest and brave conversations about Alzheimer’s disease.