A photographer’s powerful images of his father as he battled Alzheimer’s document the impact of the disease during the last five year’s of his life.
© Mark Seymour Photography
Photographer Mark Seymour is set to put 20 images of his father Ronnie on display in a fundraising exhibition called ‘Living with Alzheimer’s: A Harmonica for Ronnie’.
The non-profit show is designed to celebrate Ronnie’s life and relationship with his devoted wife Winnie and family, by raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The initial pictures show Ronnie at home before he becomes hospitalised and transferred to a care home for round-the-clock assistance.
Mark said: ‘Dad was my hero, my compass point, my biggest supporter, my role model.
‘Taking photographs of Dad was something I had always done and so it was totally natural to continue recording his life through the last year’s as dementia took hold.
‘It was only as I sat in front of the computer editing the images that I realised the significant change that was happening and that’s when I would shed my tears.’
The photos include Ronnie playing his beloved harmonica, which he continued to enjoy despite the hardships posed by his illness.
Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: ‘People often think that dementia can mean the end of doing things you enjoy. But Mark’s photographs beautifully capture his dad’s continued passion and enjoyment for life and his cherished harmonica.’
Mark added: ‘I knew that the photographs told the real story of dementia and I wanted to use these to raise awareness. It was important that I got Mum’s blessing first and I know Dad would have been very proud.’
Acoris Andipa, director of the Andipa Gallery, said: ‘I instantly felt the emotive and heartfelt power of these images when Mark first showed them to me in the gallery.
‘It was probably the fastest decision I’ve made to offer Andipa’s space to exhibit these thought-provoking works while also raising money and awareness of dementia.
Alzheimer’s: A Harmonica for Ronnie runs from 5 September-8 October at the Andipa Gallery, 162 Walton Street, London SW3 2JL (Tel: 0207 589 2371).
[All images: © Mark Seymour Photography]