The Photobook Project – Crowdfunder

The Photobook Project is a creative framework which invites people living with dementia and their wider communities to document their shared experiences.

It provides an accessible method of documentation, a space for individuals to curate their creative activity around their interests, it provides a form of cognitive stimulation, a body of memory and a professional platform on which to empower them as artists in their own right.

Ellie Robinson-Carter designed this project as part of her MA Illustration: Authorial Practice at Falmouth University 2014-16 & has delivered this project to various groups of people living with dementia, as well as groups with an intergenerational focus. This project invites the participants to be the illustrators of their own narratives, providing them with self-evidence that they are living well with their dementia, enhancing their self-confidence, feelings of connectivity & artistic skillset

How does it work?

The group are provided with single-use cameras which represent each theme & participants are invited to document their experiences. This task creates a shared topic of conversation, a form of cognitive stimulation & a way of them becoming the illustrators of their own experiences. I then put these images into a book template, in the order they were taken, so to preserve the narrative of their experiences. I also provide art workshops which are led by the interests & skills of the people living with dementia themselves, empowering them to revisit & invest time in what they would like to. For example, one participant had a particular interest in science so we co-delivered a cyanotype workshops, using the sun to create images. The work created from these workshops is put into smaller, A6 sized books at the centre of the photobooks, providing different perspectives on the themes.

Since The Photobook Project is shaped by the participants, it can be the first spark of hope & memory that leads them to build on their interests further. It also provides them with a collection of books which can be revisited at any time & provide individuals with self-evidence of living well with their dementia. I strongly believe that if this is put in place early on in their diagnosis, it can provide an essential evidence to them that things ARE still possible; that they can still communicate about their experiences in a format that suits them & that they can still form new connections (feelings that can be hard to come-by on receiving a diagnosis of dementia).

This funding will allow Ellie to:

Host an exhibition of all books created as part of The Photobook Project, involving participants from previous projects in the curation & execution, building their self-confidence & skill set. This will include commissioning artist Emily Juniper to create bespoke boxes for all collections.

Document the books by paying for a professional photographer & website designer to display this online archive in an accessible, creative format, empowering the participants as artists who’s work is worth celebrating & framing professionally.
Impact of your support

The exhibition and online book archive will significantly increase the number of people who are able to view & access these books. It will enable me to exhibit the books as a collection, inviting people from far & wide to delve in & see life through the lens of a person with dementia, showing that it is possible to live well with a diagnosis. By creating an online shop, this will allow for an income stream which will be used to fund future groups to take part in The Photobook Project.

How Much Does Ellie Need To Raise?

Ellie needs to raise £1000 by 12th December 2019.

Here is a link to the Crowdfunder page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thephotobookproject.

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