‘I’ve attempted to depict this loss of identity’: Sheffield College painting becomes official poster for dementia exhibition

Nadheer Jasim, known to his friends as Nazeer, is an art and design student at Sheffield College. He’s worked as a barber at Anatolia on West Street for about five months, and he’s also just won a competition to have his painting feature in an international exhibition about dementia.

The South Yorkshire Dementia Creative Arts Exhibition has been run by the University of Sheffield for the past nine years. Students at Sheffield College were invited to submit artwork under the theme of ‘Places and Times’ and Nazeer’s winning work now features on the official poster.

“It is a project that the University of Sheffield set up. They wanted us to design a poster for dementia and they wanted it to be positive,” Nazeer said, adding that most of the previous work had pictured brains – so he wanted to do something different.

“I thought about the importance of love, some people take it for granted and these people, in the painting, they have problems but they have shared a lot of memories.”

“This painting shows the eternal love that two individuals have for each other.”

“Love is binding and unconditional in the sense that we have no control over it whatsoever. Unfortunately, one thing we definitely don’t have control over is dementia.”

“The partner of the affected individual feels more of a burden than the patient themselves. I’ve attempted to depict this loss of identity, yet carefree spirit in the victim, with their partner providing them with unconditional affection.”

Nazeer himself came to Sheffield from Kyrgyzstan around 11 years ago and he has loved to draw and design his whole life. He is going to study architecture at Sheffield Hallam next year and tells me he already has a client for a Kurdish style house that he has designed.

The other entrants to the competition are equally impressive:

The exhibition will take place place between May 26 and July 2 at Sheffield Cathedral.

It follows on from a successful 2016 exhibition in Barnsley and a sister exhibition in Detroit.

Anyone affected by dementia or memory loss is invited to contribute creative art – whether that be poetry, painting, or sculpture. Entry is free to the public.