Mayor of Kingston attends artwork celebrating carers
The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Diane White, attended a public artwork celebrating Kingston carers on the evening of 19th January. The 10 metre high artwork was projected onto the side of Ancient Market House, and was made up of a series of images accompanied by original music composed by Matthew Peters that blended with poems written by carers and recorded in their own voices. The artwork was a culmination of a two-year project working with UK carers, including from Kingston Carers’ Network, who are often excluded from cultural activities because of their responsibilities. After witnessing the artwork, the Mayor spoke to members of Kingston Carers’ Network and the charity who created the artwork, Rosetta Life.
Heart of Care aimed to shine a light on the invisible role that carers play in families and communities, and challenge the perceptions of care in an inclusive society. The images were inspired by the movement workshops and were developed into curated images, and express the compassion displayed in the role of carer. The artwork was also shown in North Shields, and will be shown in Bristol. Carers found the sessions invoked a mixture of feelings like joy, happiness, sadness, and a recognition that they often felt unappreciated but all told that they felt motivated to share their feelings with each other.
The Mayor, Councillor Diane White, said of the artwork, “I was delighted to be able to see the artwork Heart of Care and to celebrate the important role that carers play in our community. Carers perform a selfless, often thankless task with compassion, and I was privileged to speak with them about their loved ones and their stories.”
Creative Director of Rosetta Life Lucinda Jarrett said, “All our societies rely on families to care for people who cannot manage alone; however, carers often feel invisible and unrecognised. I hope those that saw the artwork were able to share in the resilience, strength, dignity and joy of caring.”
Participant Penni Cotton said, “Heart of Care has been cathartic for carers. The poetry sessions helped us to gain trust in each other, release our pent-up feelings and gain confidence in ourselves as poets. Further artistic input encouraged us to visually represent our words and, finally, feel brave enough to add movement to our experiences. This creativity has released us from responsibility and allowed us to be ourselves.”
Heart of Care was created with carers from Bristol Black Carers, Kingston Carers’ Network and carers referred to Helix Arts, North Tyneside.
Rosetta Life is an arts in health innovation charity, who have 25 years of evidence based practice working with leading artists. They pioneer meaningful performances that are transformative to participants, audiences and society. Each project is a social problem-solving incubator presenting scalable solutions. Their ongoing project Stroke Odysseys has included performances: Hospital Passion Play, an opera performed by seventy performers including professional singers and a choir of twenty stroke survivors at the Victoria and Albert Museum; I Look For The Think, an online opera released during the pandemic, and touring music and dance show Stroke Odysseys. In 2024 Rosetta Life will be presenting 360 immersive film Room2Dream, made with young people including refugees and those in children’s hospices, and conference event Let Silence Speak in collaboration with English National Ballet and Breathe and will be touring regionally.