This creative essay is a retrospective look at a body of work created by the author in 2018. The work, Thread Bare[ing]: a confessional response to witnessing dementia, was a personal exploration of the emotional impact of bearing witness to a parent’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease. This essay describes the process and thinking around the creation of four artworks that embodied the emotional context of bearing witness: guilt, frustration, sorrow and fear. The aim of this autobiographical and deeply personal project was to generate discussion about the emotional fallout for carers as a result of dealing with a loved one’s dementia. With the hindsight of three years and the death of the author’s mother, additional insights into the reparative nature of the work became possible. A re-examination of the project, through this paper, reveals how the act of making can facilitate a longer term healing influence on relationships, even retrospectively.


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