Lizzy Rose (1988-2022): Things I Have Learned The Hard Way
For full information about the project, including audio description and access guidance please visit: thingsihavelearnedthehardway.com
Things I Have Learned The Hard Way is a multi-site celebration of the life and work of Lizzy Rose (1988-2022) taking place from 31 March-23 April 2023: An exhibition takes place at four Margate venues: Crate, Limbo, Turner Contemporary and Well Projects. Alongside the exhibition, on Wednesday 12 April One Day I Will Feel My Power, a one-off event, will take place at the ICA in London. One Day I Will Feel My Power will show two of Lizzy’s video works alongside readings and responses from invited speakers from Leah Clements, R A Walden, Abi Palmer, Benedict Drew, Alice Hattrick, Carolyn Lazard, artists who have made chronic illness, neurodivergence or disability central to their work. The event will also be streamed live and hosted online by Wysing Arts Centre. (event duration 110 mins). Sick Artists Club, inspired by the work Lizzy made while in hospital and when housebound, invites people with a chronic illness or disability to celebrate their artwork via our website and through social media.
Lizzy’s death in January 2022, following a long struggle with chronic illness, cut short an exciting, innovative and wide-ranging career. Lizzy lived with a severe form of Crohn’s disease, a chronic autoimmune condition affecting the gut which, in Lizzy’s case, led to intestinal failure, alongside other health conditions. Her worldview was shaped by her experience and awareness of the precarity of life. Whilst Lizzy’s later work directly and politically addressed chronic illness, and how society deals with it, from the late 2000s onwards, Lizzy’s work turned a sharp eye on ‘hidden’ culture, asking the viewer to take notice and showing how by doing so we can affect the systems we are part of.
The exhibition at Well Projects looks at how Lizzy’s own increasing intimacy with and reliance upon medical technology shaped her view on ecology.
“I am very aware of myself as a creative and decaying form. My condition is creative, my condition is inflammatory; it creates tissue from inflammation which forms new cells. This in turn destroys the functionality of my body, reducing my body’s ability to perform vital functions. Technological (medical) intervention has taken over these vital functions I am losing, through this creative act of my body. I am fed artificially a mixture of nutrients and micronutrients, sugar and water which my body can no longer do for itself through my digestive system, much like a plant kept in a pot, slowly using up the nutrients in the soil and waiting to be fed. In this, I am dependent on mimicry of the human body by medical technology for life.”
As part of Things I Have Learned The Hard Way, the team behind the project are thrilled to launch an open call for the participatory online exhibition Sick Artists Club, inviting submissions of artwork or writing! This open call is for people who have any experience of chronic illness or disability, mental or physical. People are invited to submit artworks or written pieces that express something about the experience of living with chronic illness or disability.