Intergenerational Art Project Connects Old And Young
The latest community artwork in Avondale has a story of the generations behind it. The artwork on the side of the Age Concern Auckland office on Rosebank Road, is the final stage of an 18-month intergenerational community art project coordinated by West Auckland artist Ekarasa Doblanovic in partnership with Age Concern Auckland and involving students from Avondale Intermediate School and residents from Cosmopolitan and Rosedale retirement villages.
The artwork is comprised of individual clay tiles that were handmade and painted by the Avondale Intermediate students and retirement village residents during 10 workshops in mid-2019. The paint used on the tiles is mixed from local clays and soils from the Whau area, connecting the participants to their local area.
The project was designed as a meaningful way to bring together young and old members of the community using the medium of art. Ekarasa Doblanovic outlines, “The idea behind the project was to draw out the diversity, experience, perspective and ways of life of people of different ages where all contributions are equally valued. Art serves as an ideal platform to explore stereotypes, taboos and the politics of age. This kind of collaborative experience is energising, liberating and extremely inspiring with positive ramifications for everyone involved.”
The art project is just one of the ways that Age Concern Auckland provides community connectedness for isolated and lonely older people through their Social Connections Service.
Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb says, “Twenty percent of older people in the community experience loneliness and isolation. Many also have no interaction with younger community members, and younger community members frequently don’t notice older people. Providing an opportunity for old and young to work together, through the workshops, meant that the older people involved could talk to the students while creating the tiles, they could share their stories and wealth of experience, and these younger people could see the senior as a person, who has a whole history behind them. Age Concern loves to be a part of facilitating these intergenerational connections.”
The project was funded by Whau Arts, Whau Local Board and Whau Arts Festival, and is part of the Whau Arts Festival 2020.