Alexa Eger is a document-narrative based artist from Berwyn, PA. She has graduatedfrom the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, receiving her BFA in Photographywith a concentration in Art Therapy. Alexa is planning on continuing her educationin Art Therapy.
A statement about the work from the artist —
Alzheimer’s, though still not fully investigated, is a disease where plaques and tangles begin to develop in the brain, which infest every region and cause brain matter to break down over time. In other words, the brain shrinks in size and will no longer work in the same capacity as it once had. These symptoms can include, no longer being able to clothes ones self or able to speak complete sentences. My grandfather, David Alan Crafts, will never access his memories again and, as his granddaughter, my name is now non-existent. He continuously sits in the silence of his mind that no longer fully functions.
I hope to document and reveal my grandfather in his current state through this narrative of photographs that we have taken together. It is important to show that not all days are good or bad, yet this disease has taken hold of him and it is apparent by looking into this world through his own eyes. My work reflects an ongoing exploration into the life of a man who became lost in his own mind as a result of this debilitating disease and the emotional fight to keep him above water.
My grandfather now physically documents these new, yet fleeting, memories; which have brought him back into the socialization of our family. By bringing forth this disposable camera, which has proven to be the simplest way for my grandfather to take a photograph with lacking motor and cognitive skills, this object has caused even the youngest members to be able to engage more with our grandfather. The process of simplified engagement and encouragement has allowed my grandfather to feel more connected to a world that no one believed could have been achievable for him again.
"What I Would Give"
The things I would give to have the old you back.
To the days when I was young and naive.
Oh how I wish I could hear you say my name one last time;
Or watch you read your morning news.
You see, I remember many things from my time spent with you.
Most of it was fear and curiosity.
We’d place bets on who woke up first
And I’d color with gel pens in the back of your truck.
Hear me on this, I am the eldest.
I remember the most.
I hurt the most.
I’m disregarded the most.
But you will always be my person.
On days you are so frustrated
On days when you are sad
On days when everyone wants to give up,
I will be there to make you laugh.
I remember all those times you cared for the both of us.
Those times when you could still drive.
I remember those weekly phone calls to mom when things were just too tough.
I remember when your garage was always making noise.
Oh god, what I would give to travel back in time.
Not to relive
But to watch.
To see how you’d recognize me.
To see you love me.