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“I’ve been an artist my whole life, but I’ve never really needed it like I do at this point,” says artist Tori Tinsley, whose mother was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2009. Tinsley’s experience of taking care of her mother under such strained circumstances have profoundly affected her own creative practices and work.

Tinsley’s paintings and sculptures are a direct reflection of her constantly altering relationship with her mother. Her characters, pink bodies with eerily protruding eyes, continually attempt to embrace and reach one another, but are incapable of doing so. Though initially comical in appearance, their haunting humor and expressions exude an array of vulnerable emotions, including grief, longing, despair and the occasional glimpse of optimism. “This focus on myself is not meant to lessen the importance of my mother’s experience with this disease,” Tinsley says on her website, “but to add to the discussion and awareness of what happens to those left behind to pick up the pieces.”

ArtsATL videographer Ethan Payne caught up with Tinsley in her studio to talk about her work and creative process. – Laura Relyea


Support for this series is provided in part by funding from the Forward Arts Foundation.

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