Lady Frederick Windsor, the wife of Lord Frederick Windsor and daughter-in-law of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has opened the London Art Biennale. The actress, who goes by Sophie Winkleman, opened the installation on Wednesday evening at the Chelsea Old Town Hall on The Kings Road.
As part of Dementia Awareness Week, the event was in aid of Age UK Kensington and Chelsea and the new virtual reality digital art installation (and world’s first), designed by Marcel Schreur, allows people to experience what it is like to have dementia.
According to the press release sent out for the event, the installation dubbed ‘Life is Beautiful. Always’ is a “virtual reality digital art installation which gives viewers a unique insight into the mind of an artist who suffers daily with the aftereffects of oral cancer and vascular dementia has been unveiled for the first time at one of London’s most prestigious art exhibitions.”
The designer, who has had his works displayed at the Vatican and various art exhibits across the world, remarked on the installation, “Those with dementia and mental health issues have so much to offer and teach us with regards to their experiences. I believe this VR piece is a valuable tool in helping medical professionals, family, carers and audiences gain some understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia and other major mental and health conditions. I hope it goes some way to inspiring dementia care and shaping our response to it. The motto of this piece is ultimately that; Life is beautiful. Always.”
“Age UK Kensington and Chelsea has been nominated as [an] official charity partner by The Gagliardi Gallery, organisers of the event, due to the unique focus this year’s exhibition which aims to increase understanding of the mental and physical impact of vascular dementia,” they added.
The Chief Executive of Age UK Kensington and Chelsea, Jess Millwood, also commented on the exhibit, “We are delighted to partner with an enterprise as prestigious as the London Art Biennale. This week is Dementia Action week, and we hope this partnership not only raises awareness of dementia but also helps to break down some of the stigma, which sadly still surrounds this diagnosis.
“The numbers of people living with dementia are steadily increasing with an ageing population, and it is vitally important that the right support is in place for people at a time when they need it most.”
This exhibit will raise money for support in delivering dementia support work in the community. If you would like to donate, you do so here.
The London Art Biennale, which is sponsored each year by the Gagliardi Gallery, runs until 26 May.