VILLAGE at Junction

NEW LIFESTYLE: Tom and Jenni Rush stand on their decking and enjoy the view of Launceston from their cottage at Cosgrove. Picture: Phillip Biggs
NEW LIFESTYLE: Tom and Jenni Rush stand on their decking and enjoy the view of Launceston from their cottage at Cosgrove. Picture: Phillip Biggs

A body of work will delve into the truth behind aging and life post-retirement in Launceston. 

VILLAGE stars residents of Launceston’s retirement villages, aiming to break down social barriers embedded in the concept of aging. 

Created by a team of Melbourne-based artists, Brienna Macnish, Clare McCracken and Robert D Jordan, who for 12 months spoke with the Launceston ‘Over Bloody Eighties’ group to develop their project for Junction 2016. 

Stories of tragedy, humour and a surprising amount of song was shared, opening the door into the world of life in a retirement village. 

Macnish said by 2065 one quarter of the Australian population will be over 65, thus the nation is facing a transformation of its population. 

“Whether this change is for better or worse is a highly contested topic,” Macnish said. 

“The voices often absent from the debate are those of older people themselves.”

Tasmania has the oldest population in Australia, and it is ageing the fastest. 

At it’s heart, VILLAGE seeks to foster intergenerational empathy and connection through an audio-documentary which shares the stories of older Tasmanians. 

“The best retirement villages are those where the economic, social and cultural participation of older people is encouraged and facilitated,” Macnish said.

Cosgrove residents Tom and Jenni Rush said being involved in the VILLAGE project allowed them to share their story of transition from their homes to the cottages.

“It was great talking to different people about our experience coming in here,” Mrs Rush said. 

Moving to Cosgrove released the burden of an expensive mortgage and costly maintenance bills, allowing Mr and Mrs Rush to enjoy life. 

“You can actually leave that environment (the family home) and make this your own home,” Mrs Rush said.

The couple regularly invited their neighbours and friends over for barbeques and happy hour drinks on their decking. 

VILLAGE will run at Junction Arts Festival from September 8 to 11 at the Polish Hall. For more information or tickets go to www.junctionartsfestival.com.au/program/village