‘Heads’ shows six stroke survivors – Alisha, Max, Luna, Baz, Erin and Paul – talking proudly to camera, while the traumatic experiences they recount are represented by dynamic works of art, each one tailored to the individual survivor unique experience of a stroke. Director Sodderland was able to tap into how important it is to be able to use art and visual storytelling to convey the intensity of the trauma.
“Though it is exhilarating to have survived a life-threatening condition, the recovery period is very slow and learning to live with your new brain can be devastating. Reaching the period of acceptance takes a long time and so finding new ways to communicate and express ourselves is absolutely key.”
“We wanted to work with a wide range of artists in diverse mediums to reflect the profoundly personal nature of neural recovery. We worked closely with each survivor to assign the right artist to her or his experience. Each survivor has a unique story, and we really wanted to embody that diversity in the campaign – because in my experience this is one of the challenges for the medical world to tackle; how to help stroke survivors regain their selfhood when they don’t know who the person was before, or who they might turn out to be, especially when she or he may have lost the ability to communicate? So it was very important to me to get a broad, rich range of creative expressions that would convey the subjective nature of human consciousness.”
Artist Rhea Thierstein & 'Alisha' Photography by Hannah Smiles