The Garden of Remember 2017

Image by Joe Magee.

The recollections of people living with dementia, mapped onto the physical locations that trigger those memories.

An interactive, locative app for the permanent collection of the Netpark project surrounding Metal’s premises at Chalkwell Hall in Southend on Sea, Essex, UK* and intended to provide an insight into living with dementia. Made in collaboration with a very large team including artist Elsa James, illustrator Joe Magee (who I first worked with over fifteen years ago!), mental health wellbeing coordinator Emma Mills at Metal, people with dementia and their carers, local schoolchildren, actors, a musician, and programmers, with funding from Southend Borough Council. I worked from transcripts of lengthy conversations with the participants who were living with dementia, and turned this material and their stories into scripts for the app.

The official launch of the app was in March 2017 at Metal’s Chalkwell Hall premises in Southend, and it is available on Apple’s app store. For technical reasons it currently only runs on an iPad 2 or higher, and not on Apple or Android phones. Full credits and app information here. The Garden of Remember was a Highly Commended finalist in The Guardian Innovation Award for Mental Health.

Read a review of the app in the British Medical Journal.

* In their own words: “Metal is an artistic laboratory championing the need for investment in artistic innovation in the UK, and providing practical support to practising artists.”

Image by Joe Magee.
Image by Joe Magee.