Rosy Martin in collaboration with Verity Welstead

Embracing Ageing and its Discontents

Examining ageing and ageism is a tough subject. Yet it is vital that as a society we challenge the sense that older people are invisible, ignored and even treated with disrespect.
The rhetoric of the older woman’s body is of decline and disgust inciting shame.

By turning the camera unflinchingly on our own ‘real and lived-in’ bodies, we made these strange and unfamiliar through extreme close-up, cropping, and active performances. By enlarging these images they became like aerial views of landscapes.
We then played with pink shot-silk fabric, draping it so we became monumental statues demanding respect, yet showing our vulnerabilities.
These images are not about courage but rather acceptance through the therapeutic gaze of our collaborative practice. By taking risks in a safe context, we move away from the constant self-appraisal that can limit women’s lives. The ambivalence of ageing, which happens to everyone, is made visible and celebrated.

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