My mind is not my own
by Rebecca Wood

Tags: multimedia - film - bone_deep - stroke - cardiology -


Directly after his stroke, Mr Barnes suffered a degree of cognitive loss. His description of the experience was compelling. He articulated the sensation of being confused and separate from the real world, knowing that his mind was playing tricks on him, but being powerless to stop it. He vividly described how he found it difficult to orientate himself, slipping constantly between reality and dreams and emphasised that his brain did not feel like his own and that his emotions were heightened and uncontrolled. He would look at his walls and see calligraphic patterns that were not there, or turn to see a vision of a woman in a red dress by his side. He found that time did not move in a linear way but skipped or slowed.

I have tried to capture Mr Barnes' experience of cognitive disturbance after the stroke within a short animation, using his own words amongst the images. The layers of transparent paper and blurred, unfocused illustrations intimate the haze separating Mr Barns from the real world, preventing him recognising common things or connecting with his environment. The disjointed, skipping of the music and images references the way that time moved strangely within his mind. This film aims to give the audience a direct sense and understanding of the experience he shared - allowing an insight into the subjective experience of his stroke as opposed to the outward signs and symptoms.

Rebecca Wood, GP Attachment, Year One 2013