Coastal photos put Alzheimer’s in spotlight

capturing THE past: Sunderand University student Laura Hardy with her Last Memories installation on Roker Pier.

capturing THE past: Sunderand University student Laura Hardy with her Last Memories installation on Roker Pier.

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A PHOTOGRAPHER has captured the lives of Alzheimer’s suffers through a Wearside coastal exhibition.

Laura Hardy’s work brings together portraits and glass bottles to depict the ebb and flow of memories among those with dementia.

I have been getting to know the residents and have been fascinated with their memories from events in their lives many years ago.

Laura Hardy, photographer

The 30-year-old, who is on the second year of a photography degree at the University of Sunderland, said she wanted to visually show what it was like suffering from the cruel condition.

Laura took photographic portraits of seven residents in a care home near her home town of Alnwick, and tied them to Roker Pier.

Next to each portrait is a bottle with one of the person’s memories written down inside.

The bottles float in and out with the tide to represent the memories of people with Alzhiemer’s coming and going.

She said: “The string represents the families and the tension the illness can cause.

“The pier itself, in an arm shape, is representative of the care home where the residents are safe and looked after.”

Laura’s exhibition, Lasting Memories, is part of her coursework and the brief was to a sight-specific intervention, designed so it complements and is complemented by the environment it is in.

The artist, whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s, said she spent three months visiting the care home to talk with residents.

She said: “I have been getting to know the residents and have been fascinated with their memories from events in their lives many years ago.

“I didn’t want to just go in, take some photos, and leave.

“I wanted to find out what their personalities were like and hopefully capture that in the photographs.”

Lasting Memories will be in place at Roker Pier until Saturday, May 4.