Following in the Footsteps of Joseph Hardman

 

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This project was created to engage people living with dementia and their carers with the photographer Joseph Hardman and the incredible record he made of Cumbrian Life from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. The aim was to bring him and his photographs to life by focusing on the journeys he made around his beloved Cumbria, and travel like him by taxi to take contemporary photographs in some of his favourite places. In the spirit of constantly developing new skills, we would also be taking OUR photographs using ipad technology, rather than the cameras of old. The aim was to create a project that would have a sustained note over a period of time. Throughout the duration of the project, experiences would be constantly replayed and layered, with our photographs creating a tangible sense of shared moments together. The project spanned four afternoons over a four week period. We took photographs in 3 different locations, each one providing a range of vistas and stimulus, with every day having a social focus around afternoon tea as one of Joseph Hardman’s great pleasures was always to head for a favourite café or pub at particular sites. We then spent a final day making a map of memories to give form to the photographs we had taken. We were wonderfully supported on every day by volunteers, Chris, Jack and Mary who gave their time generously and gave so much care to Ruth and Vic, Joyce, Annette, Charlotte, Julie and Pamela. On Day Four, we were joined by Sylvia and Justina who had been unable to join us before then due to ill health. Harriet from the Wordsworth Trust brought our day in Rydal to life with words from Wordsworth. And one of the highlights was to meet Delia Shaw, one of Joseph Hardman’s models who shared her memories of the times she spent with Mr and Mrs Hardman during the late 1940’s.

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