“Textiles, being ubiquitous, from the well worn dish cloth to the carefully cleaned and stored wedding dress—spanning the depths of meaning from the everyday to the special, unique and challenging—are my platform.” —Ann Clarke

Featured on DementiaSpring

Ann Clarke’s life was filled with big feelings when her mother, who was living and struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, moved near her home in New York so Ann could take on a bigger role as her caregiver.

“OK, this feels big,” Ann says, “so I’m going to make big work.”   

Ann quickly learned she needed to surrender to her mother’s reality, and not correct her all the time. “I had to learn to accept my mother’s reality,” she says. “To receive it without judgment, and not correct her, and have a conversation as best I could within the space as she defined it.”

Ann worked through those feelings by creating art. A textile artist, Ann created several rugs over the course of eight years made of luxurious materials that beckon the viewer to touch and feel, or even use at home. One piece, Love and Loathe, measures nearly 13 feet long!

—Excerpt from “Lessons of Empathy: Tales of dementia and caregiving woven for us by fiber artist Ann Clarke”

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