Exhibition celebrating living a long life opens at the Crescent Arts Centre Belfast
An exhibition entitled, ‘Something of Who I Am: a Lively Project Exhibition’, has opened at the Crescent Arts Centre in South Belfast. The exhibition presents a range of objects which offer deep insight into the long lives led by the six older people who took part whilst working alongside visual artist, Gemma Hodge.
Something of who I am uses objects to take the viewer on the Journey of Life. The viewer will see a selection of objects which six participants (aged 61 to 80) have provided in order to offer insight into a significant moment or memory on their individual ‘vapour trail of life’. Accompanying these objects is a number of artistic works by artist, Gemma Hodge, which illuminate the significance of the objects.
The exhibition, which is presented by the Ark Ageing programme at Queen’s University, is a project supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts & Older People’s Programme. This programme was established to tackle the issues of loneliness, poverty and isolation often experienced by older people.
Lorraine Calderwood, Community Development Officer at the Arts Council, explained how the Arts and Older People’s Programme is making a difference to people’s lives: "We know that the arts can raise self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well as helping to relieve stress, worries and pain. The Arts and Older People’s Programme creates opportunities for our older people to take part in the arts by funding a range of projects across the region. The arts have a vital role to play in helping older people to find a voice and express the issues which affect them on a day-to-day basis, adding to their sense of well-being as-well as promoting positive physical and mental health.”
The exhibition is the outcome of The Lively Project, which is anchored in the work of Booker Prize winning novelist Penelope Lively’s 2014 memoir Ammonites and Leaping Fish: a life in time. In the final chapter, Lively chooses six objects which ‘articulate something of who I am’. By adapting Lively’s approach, the exhibition communicates the rich perspective that is provided by living a long life.
To date the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts & Older People Programme has supported 119 projects across the region with a total value of £1,337,963.40.
The exhibition is free to view and continues until 18th December, visit www.crescentarts.org