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Lockdown Showcase highlights those living with dementia amid pandemic

PUBLISHED: 08:48 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:48 01 October 2020

Photographer and filmmaker Julian Claxton. Picture: Julian Claxton Photography

Photographer and filmmaker Julian Claxton. Picture: Julian Claxton Photography

Julian Claxton Photography

A coastal theatre and Arts Council England have funded a series of short films from artists living in Waveney, called the Lockdown Showcase.

A screen shot of short film on the Seagull Theatre website. Picture; Seagull TheatreA screen shot of short film on the Seagull Theatre website. Picture; Seagull Theatre

Looking at living with dementia in Waveney during the coronavirus crisis, the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield and Arts Council England have funded local artists during Covid-19.

Lowestoft-based photographer and filmmaker, Julian Claxton – who has recently had work exhibited at the Samsung KX gallery in London – made a short film entitled: Living with Dementia in Waveney during Covid-19.

The film, which was premiered at the Seagull Theatre on September 25 – along with 10 other artists’ work, provides an insight into the lives of those living with dementia, their carers, and support workers.

In such unusual times, support groups had ceased to exist and many carers and those living with dementia have been held in isolation for months on end, with the only form of interaction via online resources.

With more than 855,000 people living with dementia in the UK, many of whom have pre-existing health conditions and therefore are particularly susceptible to illness.

Jonny Hawes, Dementia Navigator for Waveney, has witnessed at first-hand the impact Covid-19 has had on individuals and families.

He said: “The biggest change I’ve noticed is the isolation people have felt.

“Not being able to see family or friends has seen a significant negative impact on a lot of people.”

“The film which Julian has made demonstrates warmth and generosity of spirit and provides a valuable insight into the life of those living with dementia in these uncertain times”

The Living with Dementia short film is available to view on the Seagull Theatre website, along with the other films which were commissioned as part of the Lockdown showcase.

Speaking about the film, Mr Claxton said those he filmed showed great courage in allowing him to film from a distance in their gardens.

He added: “I hoped people would be happy to be filmed.

“It was a both a privilege and also incredibly interesting to film, learning about their lives, their struggles and how difficult this time has been for sectors of our society who have been largely forgotten.

“The Seagull Theatre continues to do good for the community and it’s thanks to their passion, drive and willingness to invest locally, that local creatives can survive and prosper and put something back into the community.”

Support and information relating to dementia is available across Waveney, specifically from Memories Café, the Seagull Theatre Remember Me Club, Lowestoft with practical information from Dementia Together on 08081 688 000.


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