Inspirations – Maureen Murphy

© Maureen Murphy

The topic chosen by my photography group Dante Was Here for a show was “New Realities ” and my new reality was a fear of getting Alzheimer’s. Here is the artist statement:

The subject “New Realities” has a very significant meaning for me.  My reality involves the aging process and how my parents’ history will affect my life.  My mother died of Alzheimer’s and my father (93) has dementia.  My course seems to be pre-ordained – or is it?  These photographs explore the parallels between me and my parents and how they relate to my fears for the future. What can I do to postpone or avoid dementia?  How can I live with the probability that I will experience a loss of my cognitive functioning?  These are questions underlying my everyday life as I move towards my mid sixties – the age my mother was first officially diagnosed. The intention was to display part of my parents’ history and the stage my father was experiencing at the time – living with memories.  The words are a mix of possible thoughts he was thinking and questions I had. Once I wrote the words, I did not edit them.

I took the photo of my father in front of a window camera (D300 1/200 @ 4.8 55mm ISO 1000). I scanned a photo of my mother in her wedding dress and in Photoshop,  combined the two photographs. Then I wrote the text in MSWord and pasted it in as a layer. ~ Maureen Murphy


6 Responses to “Inspirations – Maureen Murphy”

  1. I think it requires a kind of courage when a person is facing her / himself and trying to express inside of the artist in art forms. Great photo and was impressed by her creativity. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Martin Rogers Says:

    Thank you for sharing this.
    Alzheimer’s has made its presence known within my family also. And as someone who has a terrible memory to start with, it terrifies me that I might some day take the same path.
    The photograph is a wonderful work of art and a stark reminder to all, that we too can become afflicted.


  3. Krysia Kurylowicz Says:

    What a poignant image! My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s at the age of 90. My mother always talks about her fear of acquiring the condition and in turn I sometimes worry about it myself. Another reason why living the moment is so important. This image expresses to me an entire lifetime where so much can happen, but at some point it all comes to a complete stop. Beautiful, haunting, memorable… very well done Maureen. Once again your talent and creativity shows through and inspires. The hope of the wedding dress lives on for all of us. .x.o

  4. Thanks for the comments. The process of making the photos was an emotional one but well worth the angst.

  5. What a moving image, Maureen! I really admire your vision here. It’s not easy to convey both the sadness for the parent suffering and the fear the disease brings to us. This image really draws me in, even though those are feelings I’m good at avoiding. Masterful.

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