Gwen - "Did I Want To Be Here"
Ian’s portrait of Gwen (his mother-in-law) is an intimate study on the effects of dementia on a once strong, sharp woman, where softening memories have started to disintegrate, often hidden in layers within layers, where time is becoming increasingly meaningless and fragmented.
Faded, fragmented memories and mixed up ragged timelines are typical of someone with dementia.
“Did I Want To Be Here?” were the last coherent words that Gwen uttered to Ian as he helped her from the car to his house. “Where am I?” asked Gwen. “You’re at Gail and Ian’s for lunch Gwen” he replied. “Did I want to be here” asked Gwen.
“I chose to print the cyanotype’s (blue images) of Gwen on Japanese paper for its unique qualities. When you look at and touch this paper you immediately notice it’s fine, soft, wrinkled, aged skin like quality, it is strong to touch and feel and looks as if it is engrained with worries past and present, when it is hung up to dry the paper becomes fragile, translucent, ragged and disintegrates under its own weight, like Gwen is crumbling under the pressure and fragmentation of her own identity”.
Fine art prints
Most of the images on this website can be purchased as a fine art prints. Email me for details, if you can’t find your image in the shop.
Technical information for the 16 panel full colour image above;
Gwen’s portrait was originally taken on a digital camera then interpolated in photoshop from 18” to 5’6” (45.5cm to 167.5cm) and cropped into 16 individual A3 segments; each segment was then converted to Cyan, Magenta and Yellow separation negatives and printed onto OHP Transparency sheets in preparation for the final gum prints. Three negatives were needed to print each of the 16 A3 segments. Overall a total of 48 negatives were used to print this large 5’6” tri-colour gum print of Gwen.
The print was a true labour of love and took seven months to make, with only one two week break during the whole of the seven months.