The artists on age and aging
Jane Storr, who explores unexpected change and uncertainty through her work, says: “I am convinced that it is never too late to develop a new way of being in the world.” Jane took up painting in retirement and sees it as “an essential part of living life to the full.”
For Kevin Lycett, it is less about other people’s preconceptions, and more about how he feels. On being an older artist, he says: “No-one has questioned it. But having started again at 58 I feel no ground beneath my feet. Running out into the air legs spinning, like Wile E Coyote, I’m waiting to plummet and end up 1” thick on the tarmac far below. But for now those tom toms are still rattling their manic beat.”
Garry Barker, through his story-driven practice, assessed different ‘types of conversations’ around age, and concluded: “Aches and pains are inevitable and conversations about them help to diffuse and share the burden of inevitable decline. But we can also confront these things, lessen their impact and get on with other stuff.”
For others, art is in response to their personal circumstance. Sarah Rogers Whitton says: “Years of service to the demands of duty, to children and mothers, to making enough money, leaves an unexpressed tangle of a life lived which can no longer wait, quietly, for expression. I find I am expressing it now. Late, but not too late.” Meanwhile, for Sumi Cannon, art simply “opens up different ways of saying ‘this is who I am’.”
With an ageing population, the subject of wellbeing and mental health in older people has never been more relevant. Research from Age UK and NHS England shows that nearly half of adults aged over 55 say they have experienced depression, with around the same number experiencing anxiety. The findings indicate that feelings of loneliness and isolation play a major role in this. Our role at Inkwell is to build creative connections and alleviate the loneliness experienced by older people.
The exhibition preview is scheduled for 20 February 2020 6-9pm, there will be a bar serving drinks and snacks. The exhibition will then be available to view during our gallery opening times (Tuesday – Friday 10am – 3pm, and Saturday 10am – 4pm) until early April.