Exhibition on now at Big Boom Gallery, Rutland St, Newtown, Victoria. Until June 16.

Reacquaintance: A Series of Portraits. Looking Beyond a Label.

Over the past 18 months I have had the privilege of being welcomed into the lives of eleven wonderful people and their families, through the Memory Support Unit at Baptcare in Wyndham. A group of people whose diagnosis can alter their value in our community.

Dementia is not the focus of my project though, the emphasis for me is entirely the on person:  their uniqueness, their contribution, their history.

Spending time with each individual during the initial drawing sessions was very special.  Sometimes a reacquaintance was necessary but often I felt a connection with that person that remained a constant.

I understand that the families have to also reacquaint with the individual in some form or another as the condition progresses, but the true spirit of that person always remains.

I hope that everyone who views these paintings and drawings can look beyond the diagnosis and let the works tell their own story.

To: Bob, Eric, James, Joan, Joyce, Kathleen, Keith, Libby, Lynne, Maria and Mary

Thank you for spending time with me, for sitting patiently (mostly!), for allowing me to ask a lot of questions about your lives, for the laughs, the companionable silences, sometimes some songs and for reminding me that everyone has a story worth telling.

 Virginia Hodgkinson