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Lecturer’s collaboration with dementia group shortlisted for Epic Award

A local photography project exploring what it really means for a person to live with dementia has been shortlisted for a national award celebrating the achievements of voluntary art groups.

The Culture Shifts project is a partnership between photographer and lecturer at the Hugh Baird University Centre, Tadgh Devlin and members of the SURF Dementia network group. As well as having a chance of being chosen as England’s Epic Award Winner 2017, it has also been shortlisted for the 2017 People’s Choice Award, giving the public a chance to choose their favourite.

With the support of Merseyside NHS Trust and Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery, the project sought to champion how people with early onset dementia can live more independent lives and contribute to a better informed society. The series of photographs created in collaboration with members of SURF convey their experiences – often extremely difficult to describe in words – through powerful images. The participants reported feeling a strong sense of purpose by raising awareness through the project. The work, which was shown as part of the Tate Exchange programme, was also compiled into a newspaper format for wider distribution around Merseyside.

Mr Devlin said:

“Working on the project with SURF, Open Eye and Merseycare was an incredible experience. The participants were really keen to raise awareness about different aspects of living with dementia and also to try to remove some of the stigma associated with it. Being nominated for the People’s Choice Award is testament to the group’s commitment to highlighting their real life experiences of the condition in order to help others.”

The Epic Awards are for creative projects that involve people who participate on an amateur basis and just for the love of it. They cover all of the voluntary cultural sector, encompassing any kind of art form or craft across any age group and aim to shine a spotlight on their work and inspire others to get involved.

The People’s Choice Award gives the public a chance to vote for their favourite entry and voting closes on Sunday, 5th March. So, to find out more about the Culture Shifts project, view all of the shortlisted entries and vote for your favourite, visit

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