Artist focuses on ageing

MELBOURNE artist Brienna Macnish is curious about the impact Launceston’s reliance on cars has on its elderly population.

‘‘It doesn’t feel like a place that’s particularly easy to get around if you’re not in a car,’’ she said.

‘‘What does it mean when you put people out right on the edges and don’t provide them with transport and access back into the centre?’’

Macnish has been an artist-in-residence at Launceston retirement villages for the Junction Arts Festival.

She will use interviews collected during the week towards VILLAGE, an audio work that will explore what it means to grow older in contemporary Australia.

Macnish said it was her second piece about ageing.

She said she had learnt plenty along the way.

‘‘I’m interested in ageing as a topic because it’s about to become a big deal in Australia, and outside of the aged-care service sector there’s not a lot happening around it,’’ she said.

‘‘Until you start spending time with older people, young people don’t understand what it means for men to die earlier. It seems universal for heterosexual women to lose their partners at some point.

‘‘The key seems to be having things you’re passionate about. I spoke with one wonderful woman – she makes quilts, and her thing was, ‘I can’t die, I haven’t finished my quilt yet’.’’

JUNCTION ARTS FESTIVAL 

For a full festival program and to buy tickets, visit www.junctionartsfestival.com.au. Tickets can also be bought from the Junction ticket HQ, 63A Brisbane Street, open daily until September 5, from 9am until 6pm, and September 6, 9am to noon. Tickets will be available to buy (cash only) at show venues 45 minutes before start time unless sold out. 

Artist Brienna Macnish is exploring what it means to grow older in society. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

Artist Brienna Macnish is exploring what it means to grow older in society. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON