Drawing Dad’s Dementia

In this post, Tony Pickering shares his art reflecting on his father’s dementia.  

I met Tony at the Curating Health: Graphic Medicine and Visual Representations of Illness conference in Stockholm last December, hosted by the Nordic Network Gender, Body and Health, where he presented on his collection of graphic poems Diabetes: Year One. Speaking to Tony at the event, I knew I wanted his art to be part of the series of pieces that we have been publishing on graphic medicine. Rather than sharing excerpts from Diabetes: Year One, which is available here, I wanted to showcase Tony’s work that reflects on different dimensions of his father’s dementia. Below is a portrait of Tony’s Father compiled of words from his self-published autobiography, Me. I love the texture and depth of the piece, particularly the way the words come in and out of focus, getting lost in the layering of the portrait. Underneath the portrait is a graphic short story from a later stage in his father’s dementia, at the point at which Tony’s family decided he needed to make the transition from independent living to a care home. Beyond this brief introduction, I want to let the work speak for itself.


Dementia’s breaking sky



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Tony Pickering is an artist, illustrator and graphic novelist. He has recently completed a MFA in Illustration at Manchester School of Art and is the author of Diabetes: Year One, a collection of graphic poems about his experiences after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. More of his work can be found http://pick-art.co.uk/about/ and he is on Twitter @mrpickers

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