Local artists, art students, schools and members of the public are invited to submit original artworks on the theme ‘Remembering You’ for an online art exhibition being launched on World Alzheimer’s Day.

“World Alzheimer’s Day is commemorated on 21 September, and to mark this important day and in an effort to sustain awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on individuals, families and society, Livewell Villages is launching an online art exhibition,” says Ivan Oosthuizen, chief executive officer of dementia care facility, Livewell Villages.

“The ephemeral nature of memory is highlighted daily in our work with people living with dementia, the umbrella term for a group of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, which are characterised by symptoms such as progressive cognitive decline and memory loss.”

“We have therefore decided to set up an online art exhibition that seeks to inspire people to reflect on the essence of memory and trying to capture thoughts and emotions around this abstract concept through artistic expression.”

The theme ‘Remembering You’ is open to many different interpretations and also invites artists, be they amateur or professional, to evoke memories of a loved one who may be affected by dementia and find a way of preserving the memory of the person that is distinct from the progressive effects of their condition.

The exhibition is open to a wide variety of mediums, from paintings and drawings to poetry and prose, and may include sketches, pottery, collage, photographs, film, music and any other form of expression the artist chooses.

The very first collection to be uploaded to the online exhibition is made up of photographs of pottery creations made by residents from Livewell Villages. Pottery is one of a multitude of enjoyable activities on offer at the dementia care facility, to aid cognitive and sensory stimulation.

To submit an artwork or to view the online exhibition, please visit http://www.rememberingyou.co.za. Submitting pictures of an artwork is free of charge, however you will need to abide by the terms and conditions. There is no financial incentive for submitting work to the exhibition, as the intention is to create awareness and foster understanding of the impact of dementia.

“This is an opportunity for anyone to get creative and harness their chosen art form to express something about the essence of memory, nostalgia, the value of preserving remembrance or capturing an aspect of a loved one’s individuality for posterity. Above all, this initiative is about appreciating the value of memory and creating awareness of dementia and the importance of compassion for people living with its effects,” Oosthuizen concluded