It’s a packed evening in central London for the second outing of graphic designer Robert John’s re:imagined show, part of the wider artistic project ‘what I see when I look at‘.
That project has it’s roots in a very personal period of John’s own history as he had to understand the changing dynamics of his own relationship with his father who, for many years, was living with Parkinson’s, a form of dementia, before he passed away.
That condition is a neurological one which causes problems in the brain and is one that gets worse over time. One of the side effects of Parkinson’s dementia is visual hallucinations where the person living with the condition lives a reality that will not be identifiable to the people around them.
These hallucinations can seem real, they can see things, smell things and even behave as if those things have a physical presence in terms of touch and feel. It was this experience that made Robert think about the concepts of what reality really is and what we choose to see. An experience that resulted in his art project ‘What I see when I look at”.
Although inspired by the experiences of his own father with Parkinson’s this is about letting the imagination run free and as such encouraging emerging artists to create a series of artworks where the imagination can do its thing and which the art would be visual representations of the way that those artists see the world.
Sponsored by the famous pen and stationery company, BIC, they provided the funding to put on the show with the proceeds from the sales of the work going towards Parkinson’s UK the leading charity at the forefront of research into Parkinson’s disease. It’s a condition for which currently there is no cure.
We always like covering these sorts of shows here on Inspiring City. This is just another example of the art world pulling together to do what they can to raise awareness of an issue and a condition that affects 1 in 500 people across the UK. It’s just one form of dementia which doesn’t just affect the person living with the disease, it affects everyone around them and so the social impact is huge.
This show though is not just about raising awareness of Parkinson’s. It’s also about celebrating young, emerging talent by letting their skills take centre stage in a prime London gallery and knowing that their work will not only be going someway to raising awareness of the condition but also that their art can take centre stage.
‘Re:imagined’ a show from ‘What I see when I look at‘ is showing at the Store Street Gallery near Goodge Street station until 7pm on 1 July 2017. It is sponsored by BIC with all the proceeds going towards Parkinsons UK. We visited on the opening night, Monday 27 June 2017. For more information on Parkinsons you can read this handy guide from Family Assets.