Shadows of Perception

Writing to you from a cold, wet Wales. Unfortunately this is the typical weather we are blessed with here in Wales. (Sorry about the weather update) Any way today I have been thinking about how I can move forward with my project Nurtured in Concrete, to combine it with Science. I have been researching the Psychological aspect of Dementia ( I actually have a problem using this word – I find it a very undignified, it was often used to refer to my Nan’s illness. I find its to close to the word demented. My Nan was far from demented she was a warrior! in her own right. She still had her wicked sense of humour and love for her family and remind a beautiful women).

I prefer the word Alzheimer’s to dementia. And I still don’t really know the difference between the words? Maybe because it doesn’t sound like such an unusual word or hold negative connotations.

Swansea University recently held host to the Science festival, Unfortunately I was unable to attend but I visited a research exhibition that was held in The Grand Theatre, Swansea. Where I discovered the research completed by Amy Jenkins – College of Human and Health Sciences, Department of Psychology. Titled – Shadow Misperception  –

……..visuoperceptual difficulties in an individual with dementia could experience. Due to neurodegeneration, their brain can sometimes perceive information in accurately from the eye………….the misperception of depth in relation to shadows. A person with dementia can sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between a shadow being a shadow and a physical object. As a result they may for instance, try and step over their own shadow which increases the likelihood of them falling. Therefore, it is often advised that lighting levels are improved to minimise shadows, for instance, drawing the curtains when the outside light is low can reduce the risk of falls.

Amy Jenkins Swansea Psychology Researcher

This information is fascinating to me from a purely scientific view point, how powerful the brain is. I can completely see this with my Nan, the way she would walk with fear. This research is great for purely practical point of view for carers and sufferers to be reassured that these are symptoms of the disease and not Crazy hallucinations.  This is factual where are art is always subjective. Art and Science would be a perfect marriage because opposites attract.It was great reading about Amy’s research and the photographic image that went along with it. (Unfortunately I can’t find it online sorry that I can’t share it with you)


This photograph was captured by my Nan – the image is myself, re-telling my Nan’s truth. She would tell me that she would be woken by a ghost of a girl looking out of her bedroom window.

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