“We want to change the way elder people are viewed in society”
 Wisdom is undervalued in our society, age is often seen as a form of disability, something to disguise or hide from, and is rarely celebrated.  Indeed, as one grows older, one becomes increasingly invisible to youthful elements – and to society as a whole. Increasingly, elders are becoming some of the most marginalised  members of our society , and all this when our population is ageing – A Word from the Wise seeks to disrupt this societal oversight by celebrating and profiling the work of our elders, and disseminating their experience and wisdom to the wider world.  Elder artists are a particularly vulnerable group, often without a pension, living in precarious circumstances and unlikely to engage with traditional support systems.

A Word From the Wise seeks to also create a network to support elder artists as they adjust to the circumstances of their later years.
Elders are seen as consumers, and their continued contribution is often overlooked. In order for society to change, attitudes need to change and this is what we want to address with this project. Everyone benefits – information is cheap but wisdom is at a premium.

In order to mitigate against this tragic loss of resources we will build a programme of arts activity that will:

  • profile the work of elder artists by commissioning them to make new work, whilst disseminating their wisdom to others
  • film, record, document and share the work of extraordinary elders from across disciplines
  • share these ‘words of wisdom’ with the world


We will begin the programme with a series of recordings, charting the life and times of veteran artist, poet, storyteller, teacher, prison worker, etc, etc, John Row.  Over three days we interviewed John about his life and times, managing in 72 hours to get as far as his early twenties, this merely being part one of his long history. Selected extracts are being reproduced below for your edification and education. Keep checking back as Lee gets the mammoth bit of editing done.


word from the wise

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