Graphic design project documents father’s epilepsy in effort to change perceptions of long-term conditions

Date posted

24 May 2017


Last updated

19 March 2020

An Edinburgh Napier graphic design student has documented her father’s experiences with epilepsy in an effort to change perceptions and to get people talking about long-term conditions.

Jenny Taylor has devised ‘STIGMATA’ – a travelling exhibition – as part of her final year project that is currently on display within the More Than A Degree Show at Merchiston campus.

The display features the story of Jenny’s father David who was diagnosed with epilepsy in his mid-20s and explains – through the medium of film, a book and a medical cabinet that represents certain parts of his life – how he has learned to live with the condition.

Epilepsy is one of the oldest conditions in the world with one in 10 people affected by it throughout the country. Despite this, Jenny has found through her work that there is still little known about the condition, with many viewing it with a sense of fear or worry, something that she is keen to quash.
Jenny and David at STIGMATA

She said: “I’ve obviously grown up seeing my Dad adapt to living with epilepsy so I know how well he copes with it. It isn’t a burden, it doesn’t stop him from living life it to the full – it’s just something that he has had to adapt to.

“There is still a view surrounding epilepsy that it’s a debilitating condition that can be a major burden on an individual’s day-to-day life. This is really where the idea for STIGMATA came from. I wanted to try turn these perceptions around, using my dad’s story as an example of how you can lead a normal life, despite being affected by a long-term condition.

“My book highlights the different stages in diagnosis and the film itself features dad speaking about the condition – if it can help others talk more about their own experiences with a long-term condition as well as helping me achieve me degree in graphic design, than it’s been more than worth it.”

Jenny’s exhibition will tour various industry award shows this summer before she takes up an internship with leading agency GBH (Gregor Bonner Hale) in London. She is one of hundreds of students showcasing their creative talent as part of Edinburgh Napier’s More Than A Degree Show which runs within Merchiston campus between 19-28 May. She was awarded the prestigious Studio LR graduate prize at this year's show.

Learn more about Jenny's project here