New exhibition celebrates photographers with Aphasia

A new exhibition of photographs, taken and edited on iPads, by people living with Aphasia will go on display at the University of Dundee this week.

The exhibition called ‘Tap & Talk & See’ celebrates the creativity of people living with the complex language and communication disorder resulting from damage to the language centres of the brain.

Aphasia can be caused by a stroke, head injury, brain tumour or another neurological illness, and currently affects over 367,000 in the UK every year.

‘Tap & Talk & See’ which goes on display on Thursday 22 November, was developed in partnership between the Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust’s ST/ART Project and the Tap and Talk Aphasia iPad group, based at the University of Dundee.

Rolf Black, researcher and Tap and Talk group co-ordinator, said, “There are more people living with Aphasia in the UK than those living with MS and Parkinson’s disease combined. So projects like this are vitally important to support the communication and confidence of those living with Aphasia.

“This exhibition has really moved the group forward in their interaction with their use of the iPad and their ability in creating those images is fantastic.”

David Scott, Photographer and Lead Artist, who worked with the group to develop a number of photographic opportunities, helped them create compositions from simple selfies, formal portraits, to landscapes as well as images of personal interest.  

He said that it was by using accessible editing apps that the group were able to transform their images to make them more effective in their communication.

 “The group were so enthusiastic about using the camera that we have had hundreds of images to choose to work from. By using tripods and shutter buttons we have been able to show them that they can take their time, have confidence in handling the equipment and achieve great results. 

“A field trip to the University Botanic Gardens was a particular success that inspired some great work that is on display today.”

The Tap and Talk Aphasia iPad group was set up in 2013 to support people with the condition to use iPads as part of their rehabilitation process. The group was set up with support from NHS Tayside’s Speech and Language Therapy service and the University of Dundee’s computing department.

As well as today’s photographic display the group will be sharing their work in an online gallery as part of the Tap and Talk web page.