The Happy Wanderers (source: www.elliegracerc.berta.me)
Ellie Robinson-Carter’s work sits somewhere between illustration and socially engaged practice. Her work focuses on using creative practice to empower individuals to identify and express their personal narratives. Often working with people living with dementia, Robinson-Carter devises and facilitates creative frameworks which individuals are encouraged to take ownership of in order to gain a deeper understanding of their own authorial voice.
Whilst studying BA English & Philosophy at University of York (2011-14) Robinson-Carter co-founded In-between Collective with artists Imogen Lacey, Alice Kewellhampton and Owen Walton and ran Harmony Cafe for people living with dementia in the local community. In 2013 the two projects came together – funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation – to produce Memory Project: an exhibition celebrating the people who attended Harmony Cafe. On completing her degree in 2014, Robinson-Carter embarked on MA Illustration: Authorial Practice at Falmouth University, graduating in 2016 with Distinction. Recognising the significance of intergenerational practice from her experience at Harmony Cafe, Robinson-Carter set up multi-award winning Penryn Memory Cafe in 2015. Here she applied her MA research into how design & environment can enhance the lives of people living with dementia, whilst providing a space for university students to befriend older members in their community. Also on the MA, Robinson-Carter created Observations by the Happy Wanderers with Sensory Trust’s dementia-friendly walking group, providing a platform for the individuals to document & reflect upon their shared experiences in nature through photography, drawing, book-making, film & audio. Furthermore, she collaborated with Barcelona-based illustrator Violeta Noy to produce Sophie’s Project: a body of work which revolves around a fictional character living with dementia in Falmouth. You can see more here: www.sophiesproject.com.
Memory Café Book (source: www.elliegracerc.berta.me)
This led her to secure employment with Sensory Trust as Project Officer on the Creative Spaces in the Community project, for people living with dementia: www.sensorytrust.com. Robinson-Carter has spoken at numerous conferences about these projects such as the International Illustration Symposium at ECA; ‘Beyond Words’ Conference at Plymouth University & ’Marking Domains’ by Kingston University at ICA. In 2017 she exhibited Observations by the Happy Wanderers at Embodied Cartographies at Walcot Chapel as part of Fringe Arts Bath & ‘Hope & Renewal’ at Exeter Cathedral, winning first prize for best photograph.
This thread of intergenerational practice has continued to drive Robinson-Carter’s work: In September 2017, she was selected as placement artist by FEAST for poet Sally Crabtree’s Arts Council funded project CreativiTEA where they discovered a mutual desire to empower and inspire individuals through creative practice. Their collaboration has led to the creation and delivery of ‘Passing the Parcel’ – funded by the Big Lottery, FEAST and Ernest Cook. The project is an intergenerational, creative correspondence project between Penryn Memory Cafe and Year 9 students at Penryn College. The project will culminate in a conference in Falmouth – funded by FEAST – in Spring 2019, where international speakers will come to Cornwall to inspire new ways of delivering and executing creative intergenerational practice in our local communities. Moreover, in September 2018 Ellie will be artist in residence at Humanitas – a world-leading care home in the Netherlands where students live for free to support older people living in their community – funded by the Arts Council’s International Development Fund.
June Moore (source: Eleanor Robinson-Carter www.elliegracerc.berta.me)
‘By Orchestral Waters’ is a book of poetry, prose and verse by June Moore. With a diagnosis of terminal cancer, June’s final wish has been to see her works published. Robinson-Carter has been collaboarting with June to select images to accompany her writings, including photographs taken by both June and Robinson-Carter, as well as photographs from June’s personal albums. Robinson-Carter has illustrated and designed the book so to allow a space for June’s reflections to resonate with the reader, inviting the reader to spend time and reflect upon her life experiences. Throughout the book, we see June in her everyday space without seeing her in full view, a bit like in a memory where faces become blurred and we remember the essence or a certain aspect of a person, better than we do them as a whole. Through her writings, June comes back to the sea again and again, which is reflected by the choice and order of images: the sense of place at June’s home along Gyllygnvase beach is evident throughout her writing.
By Orchestral Waters will be coming out next month on Atlantic Press, a launch event is taking place at Falmouth Hotel on the 10th June at 3pm, in the Terrace Room.