Recent MA Fine Art graduate Jordi Robert wins Moving Image category with his film Eladia at the 21st National Open Art Exhibition 2017.
The National Open Art (NOA) is the UK’s leading independent art competition, open to amateur and professional artists, photographers and filmmakers living in the UK and Ireland. The competition offers both shortlisted and winning artists opportunities through exhibitions and online art sales platform, as well as a variety of prizes and awards worth over £50,000.
Jordi Robert, a recent MA Fine Art graduate, won the Moving Image award with his short film Eladia. He told us how the project started:
“Last year, my mother had to move to a nursing home as she was suffering from dementia. I travelled to Spain and spent some time with her. At first, it was difficult to communicate verbally, but I realised that she responded very well to other ways of communication, a smile, a caress, a kiss. My film aims to capture this nonverbal communication with a dementia sufferer”.
Alba Ribas, a psychologist at the nursing home, explained:
“The director, Jordi Robert, was able to capture with great success the evolution of dementia. With much love and great delicacy, Jordi explains, through the experience with his mother, the different phases through which a patient of a neurodegenerative disease goes. The document reflects how in advanced stages of dementia, physical contact becomes very important. The showing of affection has much more weight than words, for them empty, because their illness does not allow them to find the meaning”.
The film presented employs a tryptic format using a combination of images from super 8 family footage, still pictures from family albums and material filmed at the nursing home. We see a phone with huge buttons, elderly hands holding a teddy and a family portrait from the 1960’s. Each one of these frames tells us the story of the past and the present of a woman that cannot remember any more.
The National Open Art Exhibition ran until 26 November 2017. The film was also screened at Outpost Gallery earlier this year as part of Dementia Awareness Week.