Icon is based on my familial experience of Alzheimer's Disease and the institutions of memory. It explores the breakdown of identity and questions the purpose of belief; examining what is revered, and why. Displaced throughout life, my father, in his struggle with dementia, was exiled within himself, affected by the identities he lost, recreated and lost again.
Icon is an assessment of the role of faith in end of life processes, and an encounter with the medicine of memory. It represents personal and broader cultural ideas about images, role models and styles of worship, examining how in daily life we reflect our sense of self in the possession of minutiae and the ceremony of repetitive processes.
As our population ages and the number of dementia sufferers increases, I believe it is too easy to lose our grasp on the personal histories that are integral to who we are as individuals, families and communities.
Ultimately Icon is a journey in real time with a person who cannot comprehend it. My father had taken a number of unwilling voyages in his life, and his struggle through dementia was no different. He had always been a survivor. But eventually, we can only survive ourselves for so long.