Elizabeth Rose obituary

·2 min read

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.

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.

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