Elders is a light and sound installation based upon the notion of wisdom as perceived by 18 residents of the Black Country in the West Midlands. The installation comprises of 18 speakers that stand in a semi-circle. Attached to the rear of each speaker is blue halogen light that directly responds to the sounds that pass through that particular speaker by means of a sound-to-light unit. The audio element of the installation is an 18-channel system.
The 18 participants, all over the age of 60 years old, shared their personal perspectives on life and what they felt that they had learnt as they moved into their later years. Motivated by an interest in the mixed and often negative perceptions of older people in western culture, Elders shares some some of the wisdom and experiences of the participants in a dramatic and engaging way.
The participants also collaborated in the making of a series of portraits of key aspects of their lives and the surrounding area in which they live. These have been shown along the project as an audio-visual slide show.
Produced while artist in residence at Jubilee Arts, West Bromwich, England in 2002-03.
Supported by artists Bobby Bird and Catherine Tarbuck.