In 2011, visual artist Marie Brett and musician Kevin O’ Shanahan collaborated with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Bandon day care centre on a project entitled Converging Lives. The project resulted in a series of audio –visual portraits of participants attending the Bandon day care centre and was short listed and received commendation at an International Dementia Excellence Awards ceremony in Sydney, Australia on 28 June 2012.
With support from Create’s Artist in the Community scheme/research phase Kevin and Marie collaborated with filmmaker, Chris Cullen of Epic productions, Cork to complete an edited version of Converging Lives that can be viewed here.
Speaking about the project Marie Brett commented, ‘The process of the project was integral to the work and the portraits could not have been produced without the artists and the participants having had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time working together. This was an innovative and experimental project for all involved. It is work that presents very distinctive challenges, as the ways of thinking communicating and remembering people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia can be very different to that of other people. Nothing can be taken for granted and great care and attention has to be given to ensuring that people are properly honoured and recognized throughout the process.’
The project would not have been possible without the support of HSE South Cork Arts + Health Programme.