Fragile objects: A visual essay

  • Michael ChapmanEmail author
  • Jennifer Philip
  • Sally Gardner
  • Paul Komesaroff
Symposium: Dementia


Recognizing the potential hidden artistic contributions of persons with dementia opens new opportunities for interpretation and potential communication. This visual essay explores the authors’ responses to the fragile objects of art produced by a person with severe dementia and examines what may be learned from them.


Dementia Alzheimer’s disease Art Visual essay Ethics Aesthetics 



  1. Munn, N. 1973. Walbiri iconography: Graphic representation and cultural symbolism in a central Australian society. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical School, College of Health and MedicineAustralian National UniversityGarranAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Palliative CareThe Canberra HospitalGarranAustralia
  3. 3.Melbourne University Department of MedicineParkvilleAustralia
  4. 4.St Vincent’s Hospital Department of Palliative CareFitzroyAustralia
  5. 5.Victorian Comprehensive Cancer CentreParkvilleAustralia
  6. 6.Deakin University Faculty of Arts and EducationMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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