Martha: The Alzheimer's Machine II

Matthew Pickering

This exhibition brings together video, photography and sculptural work that explores the effect of Alzheimer’s disease on the way we see, interpret and understand the world around us through the eyes of Martha, a fictional character living with Alzheimer’s disease.

As Martha moves into a care home, she re-experiences moments of her life unfolding within her family house. From moments of personal significance to seemingly incidental memories, the exhibition presents a series of fragmented portraits of Martha’s life with Alzheimer’s, which slowly reveal the disconnect between her perception and reality. Four female figures play out these moments across stark stages that resonate with both domestic environments and care homes, constructed from scaffold, concrete and fabric mesh. These disorienting spaces are at the same time hauntingly familiar: environments in a constant state of flux inhabited by ambiguous figures whose identities are never fully revealed.

About the Artist


Matthew Pickering is an artist based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Working across video, installation and photography, his recent work explores the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on memory, perception and cognitive mapping.

Unfolding in surreal environments, the narratives within his video installations examine the complex intersections of autobiographical memory, account, fact and fiction that underpin conscious recollection.

Graduating from Newcastle University in 2015 with a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the North East and across the UK, including ICA, London, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle and HOME, Manchester. Recent work includes Martha [Alzheimer’s Machine III] for Arts Council England, Between States for the NewBridge Project and In a State of [Movement against Resistance] for the Channel 4 Random Acts programme.

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