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Celebrating millions of unpaid carers with a beautiful hand-drawn animation

A huge hand-drawn animation will be projected onto Peckham Library on Friday and Saturday this week to celebrate millions of unpaid carers.

In a collaboration between artist Leo Jamelli and University of Exeter academics, Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer and Dr Catriona McKenzie, Spotlight on Care will take place in both London and Exeter.

The huge number of unpaid carers in the UK save the government £132 billion a year, and their role became even more difficult during lockdown as support services closed across the country.

The animation will be projected from 6:15 pm until 10:15 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Dr O’Dwyer said: “Unpaid carers are the invisible scaffolding holding up the NHS and social care in the UK.

“Despite this, they have been largely ignored in discussions about, and responses to, the pandemic.”

Leo Jamelli explained that his artwork inspired by a Peckham-based unpaid carer.

“The London animation is inspired by Pauline, who grew up in Peckham after her family came from Jamaica in the 1970s. Three of her siblings experienced mental illness and she’s cared for them throughout her adult life.

Artist Leo Jamelli working on the animations

“Unfortunately, two recently passed away. Pauline’s story is a powerful reminder that many carers are caring for more than one family member.

“The artwork will show Pauline supporting one person, but the face will change to reflect the different people she’s cared for.”

Pauline added: “I’ve been caring for my siblings for years and lost one of them to Covid-19 last year. The heartbreak is indescribable.

“Carers silently go through the challenges of caring for loved ones and, at times, you’re at breaking point. I want to be part of this because I hope the art will capture my family’s story and bring hope and comfort to carers all over England.”

Leo Jamelli’s drawing of Pauline

The installations will also be filmed, allowing anyone to view them online, check out the website

The project has been funded by an Arts Council England grant, with support from the University of Exeter College of Medicine & Health and the University of Exeter Arts & Culture.


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