Tesseract paired at-risk children with elderly people for an intergenerational story-sharing project. In face-to-face interviews, elderly participants shared stories related to key moments in their lives. Our team of artists then chose two stories from each interview to use in a series of creative workshops with the children, helping them to reflect on the stories, how they relate to their own lives, and to devise new fictional stories, inspired by the two true stories from the elderly participants. By designing fluid relationships between truth and fiction as well as that of personal story and memory, the set of stories reflect a sense of shared ownership among participants.
Each Tesseract project culminated in a celebratory event where each participant received a magazine featuring the original stories alongside the new stories the children created. The children compiled the magazine (and baked cakes for the event) where all the participants, old and young, come together to celebrate.
Tesseract began with a request from Georgia Neurological Institute to find innovative ways of enhancing memory function through the arts. Rachel designed the project to connect two groups of people from different, sometimes segregated parts of a community, and who often experience isolation and voicelessness as major obstacles to their well-being: cognitively impaired elderly people and children with vulnerabilities.
Macon, GA, USA; 2011
North Yorkshire, UK; 2012