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Liverpool based photographer Tadhg Devlin is working in collaboration with the Dementia SURF (Service User Reference Forum) group, the first collaborative project for the Liverpool gallery’s new project Culture Shift.

SURF has a track record as ambassadors for those living with early on set dementia, and is supported by NHS Merseycare. A number of the group have worked closely with Devlin to create Photo Stories.

The project aims “to break the stigma associated with dementia, and reflect their lives as individuals, not as a condition,” Photo Stories said in a statement.

Tate Exchange is described as an ‘open experiment’ which allows other organisations and members of the public to participate in Tate’s creative process, running events and projects on site.

At Tate Exchange Liverpool, Culture Shifts will showcase a series of photographic works, as well as a “creative” newspaper, which acts as an alternative piece of interpretation about living with dementia, involving the individual stories of the SURF group members.

Photo Stories is only the beginning. Open Eye Gallery is working in partnership with eight Merseyside wide partners, local communities and ten photographers on a new socially engaged photographic programme Culture Shifts.

Culture Shifts will host a series of events led by the SURF group as well as various guest speakers from the Arts, Health and Care sector.

“We aim to open up dialogue around Arts and Health and raise awareness around dementia in a creative and engaging way,” they say.

More information can be found here.

Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is a Correspondent for The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper*, BBC, The Telegraph, CNN, Independent, Foam, New Statesman, Wired, Vice and The Royal Photographic Society Journal, for whom he won Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards 2020.

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