Katie Benson was born in Provo, Utah and has spent her life in the surrounding areas of Utah County. Katie works predominantly in oil paint but often branches out into mixed media and new genres, including photography. She pays particular attention to issues that we don’t talk about openly enough, such as illness and marginalization. Katie graduated from Brigham Young University in April 2019 with her BFA in Studio Art. Prior to graduating, she had several solo and group shows on campus. Katie has also exhibited with The Art of Infertility, Art Access, and Bountiful Davis Art Center.
As a caregiver to my 90-year-old grandmother who has severe dementia, I am creating a photo documentary of our experiences. Watching this disease destroy the person she once was isn’t easy, nor is it pleasant for her to live in a state of constant confusion and distress. My mother and I, as her caregivers, also face challenges of patience, readjusting expectations, and prioritizing our own self-care. My grandma cannot remember who her family members are, doesn’t recognize her possessions, and needs step-by-step instructions for everyday tasks – challenges typical across the dementia experience. My photos create awareness of and address these common aspects of the disease in a way that is respectful of her dignity, focusing on objects or scenes rather than her person. The viewer’s connection with the images is facilitated by the titles of each photo, such as, “These Clothes Are Not Mine,” and, “For Her Safety (and Ours).”
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