My self-designed, socially-engaged art project, called ‘Age in the Frame’, is  steadily gaining momentum and the first phase of the project is nearly done. It grew out of work I’d been doing on age and ageing in the studio, and has now been running for a fascinating 12 months.  

Diary postings on the site will be running throughout the project, so please see my Posts to hear the views of some of the participants, and see some of the early experimental work – an initial visual response. These early experiments, are a part of the process my work  goes through as it develops. Now, at the end of 12 months, some of the developed images are beginning to emerge.


Rationale for the project

Ageing populations are one of the most pressing social concerns of the 21st century. Policy makers and researchers are engaged in addressing the social, political, medical and economic implications of our ageing society. However young people are currently not included in debates on longevity, and older people are increasingly told how to age well, but are not asked their uniquely personal views and experiences of ageing.

In an extended project  – called ‘Age in the Frame’ – my aim is to explore ageing from the ground-up, seeking unmediated voices from a diverse range of older and younger people whose voices are increasingly faint behind longevity policy agendas. I’m interested in hearing and recording their views and experiences, and in the processes underpinning socially-engaged artistic practice.

Artists are not part of the debates on ageing and yet they hold some of the most powerful and collaborative tools for contributing to awareness, and generating different perceptions and conversations.

The method

In an initial small scale study, a diverse range of men and women of 60+ years are asked their views on ageing and their experiences of becoming older. These views are audio-recorded and anonymised. The modus operandi of the ‘interview’/conversation is for me to come to it without any preconceived ideas or agenda and to hold a human-centred conversation with participants, so that they are comfortable expressing their views.

Similarly young people – 15-18 years initially – are asked their views of old people and ageing.  Their views too are audio-recorded.

My contribution

My contribution as an artist is to access the recordings, the other documentary material from all participants, and the many processes of the enquiry, to develop an artistic response in the form of image making.

If you’re interested in hosting a talk on the project, please do get in touch.

Old News
Thanks to all who came to view the Cambrian Open Studio Exhibition last month.