You’ll notice when you walk into Glasgow Memory Clinic’s reception, there is a very large and colourful painting. In 2015 Albert Enz, a former leading Alzheimer’s researcher turned artist, was commissioned to produce this piece. The artist was given the title, ‘Memories’, but no other brief. What was produced is simply a feast for the eyes.
Here is an extract from Albert Enz about his thoughts behind painting ‘Memories’:
‘We all want as long as possible to stay physically and probably also mentally powerful and look admiringly at people who succeed, are balanced and mentally fit and whose memory still works fine. Whether it is then also so happens, depends on many factors. Some fall under the heading lucky. Memory is a diffuse construct. In the brain, through the senses incoming information come together, be filtered, sorted and may be stored for longer. In order that our selective remembrance pool is not overloaded, the data will be parked or stored to our different store plates: in the sensory memory (or ultra short-term memory), in the short-term memory or long-term memory.
The brain is so often referred to as a sponge that absorbs everything. And this is true it actually quite good. Because in fact this organ is a boundless storage centre for sensations of any kind, every day, every minute, every second. It is not only our brain, it takes a large switchboard and the charms of the senses, processes them and then forwards them appropriately.
I hope that the painting will stimulate discussions between different people. Hopefully patients with their relatives enjoy the painting, as well as nursing staff of the hospital and all visitors to the clinic’. Read the full narrative here
Albert Enz was born in Goldach, Switzerland in 1943. Having studied chemistry and biochemisty, he became a Biochemist in pharmaceutical research. He took up a passion for painting using acrylic and oil paints in 1968. Once retired and following successful exhibitions in Switzerland and France, he took up painting once again. Many of Albert’s paintings are inspired by his trips to the south of France and Tuscany.
Art Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease
Art therapy has proven to be a powerful tool for treating Alzheimer’s disease. This applies whether you create art or enjoy art. It stimulates the brain, stirs emotions and can allow someone who struggles to speak to communicate in a different way.
As language is affected fairly early in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, it can be particularly frustrating for a loved one to watch the person they care for really struggle to get the right words out. Expressing yourself through art is a very liberating way for suffers to convey thoughts and emotions. Equally, some museums now conduct tours specifically for people who have dementia because viewing paintings and pieces of art has proven so successful at boosting mood, self-esteem and most importantly re-opening the lines of communication.Posted 8th June 2017