I was delighted to be awarded Small Experiment Funding by Ideas Test, running a project entitled Watts The Story with the residents of the Richard Watts Almshouses in Rochester.
It was an experiment to see how reflective the residents were about their lives and how creative and innovative they could be in telling their stories.
Working with artist Sheilagh Dyson and photographer Nikki Price, I used a variety of methods, including film, audio, text and craft to create a Memory Box for the residents to house everything produced.
Many people have a collection of photos and keepsakes; for some it’s the only tie left with their family and friends from years ago. However, some people have only what’s in their head. I aimed to bring their favourite memories together for them in one place, in a way they could add to easily.
The Richard Watts Almshouses are home to around 70 residents across five locations in Rochester. More information about the charity can be found on the Watts Almshouses Charity website.
I’d been thinking along these lines for a project with the RWC for some time now, having built a relationship between them and the Rochester Literature Festival (RLF). The idea was further inspired by recent conversations with residents of Upnor in the Wandering Words project, and my parents, who have an old, fancy chocolate box holding their old photos and whose own story I’m in the process of documenting.
The project was produced under the banner of the RLF during October 2015. You can visit the dedicated blog here to see and hear the work produced.
With thanks to HobbyCraft for their in kind support