Life with Dementia can be a disorienting experience, both for the person living with it and those connected to them. The pendulum swings between the confusion in the here and now and the comfort and safety of the past.

Images selected from the TB Macaulay Collection are used as conversation starters and prompts to encourage memories, sights, sounds, smells and emotions.

My first discussion was close to home. A relative of TB Macaulay and someone who knows his archive intimately. Due to sight loss, it was necessary to describe the images we discussed, it sometimes took only 3 or 4 words to bring the image to mind.

The images selected are from a folder that was shared publicly in the local library. The story goes that some of the the images were used without photographer acknowledgement so the folder was withdrawn. I acknowledge there is an element of pre-selection at work here, the images contained in the folder have already been through a selection process. I have the opportunity to explore the collection for lesser seen images to balance this out and include images that will be less known. In total I plan to work with a body of 20 images.

The interview illuminated experiences, sounds, smells, and stories of family and growing up in Stornoway so close to the harbour and fisherman’s catch.

TB Macaulay lived on North Beach, opposite Stornoway’s Inner Harbour. The booming fishing industry features in many of his images. The audio clip is of his daughter talking about what it was like living so close to the day’s catch.

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