Faded: how to document Alzheimer and Parkinson.

FADED is a project by English Documentary Photographer Thomas Maxwell that started in 2014 after his Grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The aim of the project was to document the disease’s progression and the daily tasks that his Grandparents had to confront every day up until their deaths. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as of now have no known cures.

faded

For over 100 years’ humanity has known of these diseases and have yet to find any cure for stopping these progressive diseases. The project FADED focuses on this progression. The viewer is taken into a project that shows a progression in both the development of the diseases as well as the photographer’s own development in his work.

This balance is constantly conflicting with one developing positively and one developing negatively. This results in a project that displays an emotional bond between the photographer and his Grandparents. The range of images taken compliments the bond, ranging from portraits of the family to still life, both in the house and outside as well as shots symbolising this relationship. For many photographers, the camera is a way of escaping reality, where you can be in control and have the creative freedom to do what you want to do.

The photographer Thomas Maxwell in this project uses his camera as a way of dealing with the sadness and the pain of losing a family member. The camera becomes more than just an object, but a bridge between the photographer and the subjects through the pictures that are captured. FADED is more than a photography project. It is a tale of love, romance and heartbreak combining images over a 3-year period (from diagnosis to death), heirlooms as well as personal family memories to demonstrate the emotional relationship between the photographer and his Grandparents and the path they both took.

About the author:

Thomas Maxwell is an English Documentary Photographer. Born in 1995, Tom grew up in a village called Stokenchurch. In 2017 Thomas graduated from Southampton Solent University with a Bachelor Degree (with honours) in Photojournalism. Tom’s work has been supported by large charities in the UK such as Alzheimer’s Society and Parkinson’s UK, as well as being part of an upcoming Exhibition with Revolv Collective in London.

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