Dreamscaping in End of Life Care

A new creative practice, Dreamscaping, is addressing the needs of End-of-Life families at home and in vigil by offering the patient and family members “a picture of a memory you have, or wish you had.”  In the Interview/Brainstorming Phase, a memory artist teases out long-forgotten joys and regrets. In the Creation Phase, magical thinking – by all present and willing – produces a storytelling narrative that is jotted down, and then later, visualized by the memory artist (in Photoshop as a digital photomontage). This involves re-contextualizing family photos into a physical dreamscape – which pre- or post-loss can be shared in campaigns (virtually in Facebook/email, or literally, say, imprinted on a T-shirt).  Designed to re-energize the patient and the bereaved, dreamscapes fill us with newfound purpose, hope and a call to action. The case studies shown here each reflect the original photos (provided by the family or patient) and the Dreamscape made for siblings, parents, children, partners, or in the last two, for the patients themselves.

DREAMSCAPE: Melissa is very specific about how the Fiji landscape should look. When asked a year later how she felt once her mom's fantasy was realized, at least on paper, 13 year old Hosanna replies, "I felt grateful ...knowing [Ma] sorta lived out her dream living it out in this picture. It seemed less crazy."