Let’s remember together

Maggie O'Brien
Hugh Diver
Grace Gallagher
Denis Gallagher
Let’s remember together
19th May - 29 June

Maria Gasol Boncompte began volunteering in the Aras Gaoth Dobhair 3 years go and focused in on some residents with Alzheimer’s disease. She noticed that they spend a lot of time sitting and as she liked to draw she decided to begin sketching them.
“I wanted to focus on the glimpses I got, sometimes a spark: their smiles, the odd joke, how they cheered up with music, the way their faces lit up when a young child was around”.
This was Maria’s first foray in to community art engagement and so she began to develop this art project. She set about contacting the patient’s families to explain her idea and get their permissions. She also wanted to learn about their lives and so began gathering information on their loved ones: what they were like, their family history, what they did and what made them tick before their illness – etc. Maria was able to avail of family photographs and memories that she complied in to a short video piece. The reactions and feedback from the participating families has been wonderful and your contribution has made this exhibition possible.
This project highlights that there are two types of participants: specifically the people portrayed in the portraits and secondly the families that support their relatives. The relative’s primary focus is the day-to-day care of their loved one and attending to their emotional, physical and mental needs and this is truly a heroic endeavor and sacrifice. We have learnt through this project that families would genuinely benefit with improved respite and support.
The patients portrayed here in An Gailearaí are individual, diverse and wholly unique members of our community. Whilst they may have been robbed of their memories, this project reminds us of their personalities, their interests, their wider family’s and their earlier lives. Each family group represented here has worked to keep these wonderful memories alive.
Let’s remember together ……….