In Yorkshire Sculpture Park, there are a series of exposed tree roots on the ground. They’re almost hidden by the fallen leaves where you walk. Fine, that’s expected. We’re outside after all. But on closer inspection, you notice the bark catches the light in a curious way. There’s something unusual here, but it is subtle. Speed Breakers, the roots of a fallen beech tree cast in bronze, is a piece of art by Hemali Bhuta. It’s a quiet intervention in the landscape, encouraging you to pause before moving ahead.
The idea of quiet intervention is at the heart of many of the best literature projects with older adults and about the experience of ageing.
I’m using the notion of an intervention that creates a shift in perspective for a new endeavour of my own. It’s a creative befriending scheme, linking writers to older adults living alone. In the pilot project, I’m undertaking one-to-one visits, offering an intimate space for shared creativity. We talk. We look through books. We read classic and contemporary published writing. We use our words, photographs and objects to create a story or a poem together. By combining creativity and befriending, this project offers participants a unique chance to meet new people, and explore their own imagination in the comfort of their own home.
Read the rest of this article on the British Council literature blog.