Spotlight on Care is an emotive contemporary art project inspired by a collaboration between Exeter-based illustrator-animator Leo Jamelli and University of Exeter academics, Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer and Dr Catriona McKenzie.
The two-storey-high animation will be projected onto the Peckham Library in London after dark, aiming to give recognition to the growing army of unpaid carers whose work saves the government £132 billion a year. The imposing installations will quite literally shine a light on those who provide ongoing care for family members and friends with long-term illnesses and disabilities.
This animation is inspired by Pauline who grew up in Peckham after her family came from Jamaica in the 1970s. Three of her siblings experienced mental illness and she’s cared for them throughout her adult life. Unfortunately, two recently passed away. Pauline’s story is a powerful reminder that many carers are caring for more than one family member. The artwork will show Pauline supporting one person, but the face will change to reflect the different people she’s cared for.
Pauline says, 'I've been caring for my siblings for years and lost one of them to Covid-19 last year. The heartbreak is indescribable. Carers silently go through the challenges of caring for loved ones and, at times, you’re at breaking point. I want to be part of this because I hope the art will capture my family’s story and bring hope and comfort to carers all over England.'
Alongside this projection in London, a second separate artwork will be shown in Exeter, projected onto the side of the Exeter Phoenix from 21-22 October. Find out more here.
This is the second time Siobhan and Catriona have collaborated with Leo, the first being as part of a 2019 Arts and Culture Creative Fellowship called The Invisible Carer, find out more here.
The project has been funded by an Arts Council England grant, with support from the University of Exeter College of Medicine & Health and Arts and Culture, University of Exeter.