Hereford Cathedral will be hosting Jenni Dutton’s Dementia Darnings exhibition this Dementia Action Week.

Jenni’s mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 and, as her role as a carer increased, their shared situation became the subject of her work. As they explored the past together, looking at old photo albums, Jenni began to use stitching to create likenesses of family members which her mother recognised and engaged with. From this point she created her first large portrait using stitching, Mum with a Spotty Bow, and the series began.

The darnings can take up to four or five months to complete and Jenni’s fine art background is evidenced in the detailed way in which the images develop in a similar style to a cross hatched drawing. The resulting collection is a tender and intimate portrayal of her mother, the passing of time and the development of dementia which has moved many viewers to tears.

'Mum with White T-shirt and Black Cardigan'

Jenni Dutton, said: “I am delighted and honoured to be showing a selection of the Dementia Darnings in the beautiful space of Hereford Cathedral especially over Dementia Awareness Week. I can’t wait to see what they will look like. My mum would have been amazed.”

The Revd Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor at Hereford Cathedral, said: “We’re thrilled to have this moving exhibition here, and to be able to share it with our many visitors. The cathedral takes dementia very seriously, and quite a number of staff and volunteers are trained Dementia Friends. Jenni’s portraits capture the dignity as well as the vulnerability of her mother, and invite a response of both compassion and respect. I hope that those who visit the exhibition will have their understanding of dementia increased simply by looking at these powerful portraits.”

Jenni is a multimedia artist who has exhibited her works extensively across the country, and internationally, and lives and works in Somerset. Four pieces from the Dementia Darning collection will be on display in the North Transept of the cathedral from 17 May – 6 June 2021 and will be available to view during normal opening hours.