Image still from the film UNDONE © Hayley Morris
Image still from the film UNDONE © Hayley Morris

Exhibition on Alzheimer's co-organised by TORCH to open at O3 Gallery

Matt Pickles

An exhibition about the effects of Alzheimer's co-organised by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the O3 Gallery opens in Oxford on Saturday.

'That Other Place' will be shown at the O3 Gallery in Oxford Castle Quarter from 4 to 24 April. The exhibition explores Alzheimer's disease from the perspectives of both sufferer and carer.

The collaboration is part of TORCH’s Humanities and Science series. It follows a TORCH seminar earlier this year, when an interdisciplinary panel of scholars explored the potential opportunities, and challenges, of engagement between the humanities and mental health.

The discussion was led by Professor John Geddes, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford. Professor Geddes said: 'Deep engagement between humanities and mental health may lead to better treatments. It may also enhance people’s experience of health services and lead to greater public engagement with the challenge of mental illness.'

Highlights of the exhibition include Fausto Podovini’s photographic series MIRELLA, which won the World Press Photo contest in 2013. These images chart the decline of the Mirella’s husband, Luigi, who began to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s aged 65.  Mirella cared for Luigi for six years, including during the final year of his life when Luigi no longer recognised his wife.

Hayley Morris's stop-motion film UNDONE, winner of the Slamdance Award 2009, evokes the progressive loss of memory and identity in an Alzheimer’s sufferer.

Stephen Tuck, Director of TORCH, said: 'The Humanities and Science series builds on a longstanding tradition of interdisciplinary work at Oxford, by bringing unexpected disciplines together to address new research questions. One focus of the series has been mental health, which is a growing concern, and one which Oxford is particularly well placed to address.'

'Collaboration with museums and galleries is an integral part of TORCH’s mission,’ says Victoria McGuinness, Business Manager at TORCH. ‘Over the past year we have worked with the Ashmolean, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the History of Science and Compton Verney to organise research activity and events that enable exchange between researchers and the public. We are delighted to be staging our first exhibition with the O3 Gallery.'

Helen Statham, Director of the O3 Gallery, said: 'We are delighted to use this opportunity to bring together the artistic and academic life of the city to explore one of the most pressing issues of our time.'