Reflections Of Their Younger Selves
Photographer Tom Hussey used sets of two people aged 50 years apart to create a collection of haunting photos offering an eye-opening perspective through the eyes of the aged who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease shows their extraordinary lives like never before.
A long-retired firefighter catches sight of himself in a living room mirror but instead of seeing greyed hair and softer skin, the striking reflection of a strapping young man stares back. The image may be nothing new to the older man, but the sight isn’t one his wife seen seated behind him appears to see as well.
The photographs ran as an ad for an Alzheimer’s pharmaceutical patch – seen on many of the model’s arms – aiming to help those suffering from dementia, a disease that gradually strips its victims of its more recent memories. For some people, they eventually only remember the memories of their youth. Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning. The progressive nature of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, means that the symptoms will gradually get worse.
It was a WWII vet who inspired Mr Hussey’s collection that later won him a gold Addy and ran in the 2010 Communication Arts Photography Annual.
‘He commented that he didn’t understand how he could be 80-years-old as he felt he was still a young man. He just didn’t feel it was possible he could be 80-years-old,’ Mr Hussey told the ASMP of the war veteran.
He later built a bathroom set and photographed the man gazing at himself in the mirror, as a 25-year-old version of himself smiled back.
We worked through the casting and location aspects of the ads helping to determine what profession the patient had been in their youth so we could portray that in the reflected image,’ he said of the photos’ creation. ‘This profession drove what room setting and propping needed to be created to complete the image.’
In result, a seamstress sees herself seated before a sewing machine. In another photo a welder holds his old mask while turning to see himself in his much younger years, the mask clipped securely around his head.
In some of the staged photos actual pictures of the models are seen tucked into the setting, showing them how they used to look, Mr Hussey said.
‘The images are all about history — remembering yourself in historical context. I think the history and memory aspects are very important to me and my interest in this helped make the campaign a success,’ Mr Hussey said.
Source: Daily Mail