Elizabeth Rose obituary

Other lives: Artist and disability activist who shared her experience of living with Crohn’s disease on social media

My daughter, Elizabeth Rose, who has died aged 33 from the effects of Crohn’s disease, was a talented artist and curator and disability advocate who documented her illness on social media.

Elizabeth developed Crohn’s in her teenage years and thereafter led an extraordinary artistic life, despite the steady progression of the disease, which led to the complete loss of a functioning digestive system.

She was born Elizabeth Rose Cockram in Brisbane, Australia, to Christine (nee Flowers), a florist, and me, an engineer by trade. At the time when Lizzy, our third child, was born we were running a hydroponic rose farm. When Christine and I separated in 1992, when Lizzy was four, she moved to the UK with her mother and was subsequently renamed Elizabeth Rose.

Elizabeth Rose with her audiovisual installation, Arrangement, inspired by Japanese floristry, in 2018
Elizabeth Rose with her audiovisual installation, Arrangement, inspired by Japanese floristry, in 2018 Photograph: Instagram

Lizzy attended Simon Langton girls’ grammar school at Canterbury, Kent, and studied fine art at Central Saint Martins, London. She had an interest in film from a young age, supported and encouraged by her stepfather, Billy Luck. While studying she further developed that interest, using film and photography as artistic media. She graduated with a first in 2010.

After university she worked as a gallery assistant at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent. From 2012 to 2015 she worked with Limbo arts in Margate as assistant curator. In 2016 she toured Japan to study trends in Japanese art, and became part of the programming team at the Crate gallery, Margate, where her audiovisual installation, Arrangement, inspired by Japanese floristry, was exhibited in 2018. The same year she became an associate at Open School East art school in London.

A significant event in Lizzy’s life was her high court challenge in 2014 to secure egg-harvesting facilities before a bone-marrow procedure that would render her sterile. Although the case was denied, it resulted in recommendations by the judge on funding that would improve outcomes for patients in a similar position, and to that extent was a leap forward.

Lizzy was highly intelligent and resourceful, and communicated widely through social media. Her posts during the final years of her life were touching and inspiring. She endured the suffering of her disease with great strength, posting on Instagram as @lizzyrosequartz with humour and humanity. When she died she was waiting for a small bowel transplant.

She is survived by her mother and me, and by her brothers, Richard and John. Her stepfather, Bill, died in January.

David Cockram

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Anni Rainbow obituary
Other lives: Peace campaigner and activist whose Quaker beliefs encouraged her to live adventurously

Melanie Ndzinga

22, Aug, 2022 @6:54 PM

Article image
Andrew Crooks obituary
Other lives: Fierce campaigner and advocate for disability equality

Helen Honour

20, Feb, 2023 @5:52 PM

Article image
Michele Coele obituary
Other lives: Co-founder of the Disabled Parents Network whose work helped shape government policy

Patricia Wells

30, Sep, 2022 @5:12 PM

Article image
Elizabeth Richie obituary
Other lives: Arts and theatre administrator who became an acupuncturist

Robert Owen

17, Jun, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
Elizabeth Varughese obituary
Other lives: Fine art and English teacher whose love of painting and drawing pervaded all parts of her life

Rohini Pahl

02, Feb, 2022 @11:33 AM

Article image
Conrad Atkinson obituary
Other lives: Artist who highlighted contentious sociopolitical issues in his work

Helen Gørrill

18, Dec, 2022 @5:23 PM

Article image
Brian Barnes obituary
Other lives: Muralist and community artists whose bold work lit up parts of south London

Steve Lobb

28, Dec, 2021 @5:01 PM

Article image
Máiréad Robinson obituary
Other lives: Scholar and activist who campaigned for low-rent, non-profit housing

Anna Bowman

24, Apr, 2020 @11:08 AM

Article image
Rose Raschid obituary
Other lives: Burmese artist who devoted herself full-time to painting after retiring in the UK

Jamil Sherif

29, Mar, 2021 @9:52 AM

Article image
Sally Reid obituary
Other lives: Artist who explored ceramics, needlework and multimedia embroidery

Gordon McGregor Reid

24, Oct, 2021 @6:16 PM