Fish & The Yesterday Song Residency

A collaboration with older participants from Beech Street Residential Care Home and Father James Walsh Day Care Centre in South Tyneside. This is a collection of imaginary and memory tales about the ocean as explored by the participants. All the elements of filmmaking ie. the sound track, camera, editing, sound mixing, scripting, narration, acting etc are performed by the participants themselves.


This represents Skimstone’s collaborative approach to participation that reflects all participants’ equal involvement in the creative process and decision-making. The film was successfully screened at Customs House Art Centre in South Shields, South Shields Central Library as well as their own homes.


 “I just wanted to thank you for your interest and dedication shown to my mother who is a resident at Beech Street House, Jarrow. Through the creation of Fish and The Yesterday Song, my mother’s fond memories of growing up at Marsden Bay were brought to life again. Having been diagnosed with Dementia in 2004, I have seen a slow devastating deterioration in my once vibrant and hardworking mum. She appeared to be ‘dead behind the eyes’ prior to your work at the care home, and yet now, there is a spark.


Whilst watching the film, she said ‘She is lovely, she comes and talks about Marsden Beach.’ This was one of the few times my Mum has instigated conversation with me the last two years. My favourite parts of the film are the piece’s with Enid’s voice, and the beautiful and catchy song ‘Ebb and Flow’. The whole piece brought tears to my eyes. This group of residents in Beech Street have so much untapped potential, and once again I thank you for bringing this to light.”
Family member


“I was a bit sceptical at first; it was outside the box… I was convinced by the interest, excitement and feedback. They all wanted to know when Claire was coming… It has opened by their horizons and lives to new and different things. They relate to each other about the subjects… They maintain their involvement for 2 hours, and these are people with short attention spans… One individual remembers the artist but not other people.


They can remember what they did in the group, but not what they did yesterday. It has all gone absolutely great… They’ve set the pace… They had not realised they could produce their own things, they’ve shocked themselves… It should be integral, all should be able to have opportunities like this…  I’m totally converted after doing 30 years of work with age related dementia.”
Care Home Manager


“All I end up doing is dominoes. I don’t want to do dominoes. I want to use my brain. This project has made me use my brain.”


First performance
Customs House
Commission / Funders
Helix Arts