Cambridgeshire Moments

A few years ago I was commissioned to make work for a Dementia Ward in Cambridge.  It was the first time I had worked with people with Dementia and I had a lot to learn from the Art Therapist.  Obviously the work could not be surreal or too confusing, the imagery needed to refer to time and also the idea of home.  Whilst taking pictures of the work, I accidentally found myself trespassing on a local farmers land.  My concerns that I would get a good shouting at turned to surprise as he told me he was a keen photographer and offered to let me use some of his rather lovely photographs in the work.  Whilst I didn’t use his photos in my work, many of his images were framed and put in the patients rooms.

This is what I wrote to accompany the work.

In 2012 Emily Campbell was commissioned by Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust to create artwork for the Denbigh Ward. The brief asked for art that would contribute to a healing and uplifting environment for Staff and Patients.

After a period of consultation with specialist staff on the ward Emily created a series of images called ‘Cambridgeshire Moments’. The images are made from a composite of many different photographs taken around the local area. Staff made suggestions as to what kinds of things are comforting for patients with Dementia, which Emily has used to create the final artworks. For example images that may be familiar and reference the idea of ‘home’ obviously an image of a house is not going to be everyone’s home. Instead the largest image has the view of Ely Cathedral but as if you are looking at it from an allotment or back garden. The images contain details to find and also baby animals to suggest nurture. Another comment suggested that patients enjoy repetition; therefore some elements are repeated in the images.

The images were fabricated as light boxes making it look like the sun is shining and to create an uplifting yet calming environment. Emily took most of the photographs in the imagery; however we would like to thank Mr John Parish a local farmer and very talented photographer and also Esther Perkins Student Art Therapist and talented artist for their contributions.

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