Elizabeth Medling

Photography BA(Hons)


Dementia affects 520,000 people in the United Kingdom a year, it’s a disease that effects memories.My nana was diagnosed with dementia approximately 5 years ago. It started with little things like misplacing objects, now she speaks gibberish and remembers very little. I started to document her journey to understand dementia. ”I talked to a lady” reflects on a family’s relationship whilst coping with the absence of the matriarch. The use of the family archive demonstrates the tension of what a photo can do and not to do. As discovered through our desires to live with the ambiguity. Just like dementia, the research and the process are non-stop to find the specific moment the disease was present within my nana, suggesting a quixotic approach. Photography is an exterior manifestation that interweaves our memories however, the work uses this to explore the impact of a loved one’s failed memory. “I talked to a lady” is an attempt to reconcile my own feelings and experiences, taking intuitive images that start a conversation about loss and dementia as a shared experience, highlighting the disease (making society more aware in the process), in the process preparing myself for the inevitable.