Auguste Deter was 55 years old when she died in 1906 in an institute for mentally ill in Frankfurt. Alois Alzheimer, who had been her doctor there, examined her brain after her death, discovering the typical fibrils, plaques and tangles as well as brain atrophy, that have become to be regarded as the clearest diagnostic sign of Alzheimer's disease. These findings were not new, but for a coincidence of events, the already well-described disease became to be known with the name of Auguste's doctor, and her name will be forever remembered as the first person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, although this is actually not true: she was merely the youngest.
I find the idea of loosing one's identity and memory the most terrible nightmare that could occur in a person's life. Auguste had found the perfect description for that: "I have lost myself" she said repeatedly. These words and the haunting photograph of her in the year of her death have triggered an image in my head and I had to get it out. I had just got to know the work of the artist Dragan Bibin, so maybe the moths came from that corner of my memory.
It's a study in charcoal on standard charcoal paper (a bit too rough for my taste, but I have 25 sheet of it, so I should use it somehow). Maybe one day I will make a painting of it.