April 16, 2014

Exhibition - What an age to be alive

The words of the Age UK video are raw, provocative and inspiring. They are the words of British poet Roger McGough:
"There is no cure for ageing because ageing isn’t an illness, but a way of life. And some are better at it than others. The secret: think yourself younger than you really are. Design a website, invent an app, take up Zoomba, forget to nap. Time flies they say but it’s hours that fly. Time sits on its hands as we rush by. In the blink of an eye, the brush of a year, you are old - but valued still. Welcome to the fold."
They are also the words of the Age UK TV advert which is helping to launch an Age UK campaign - 'Love Later Life'. A vision to promote more positivity about ageing. The campaign follows from research that found that 77% of adults are looking forward to living longer, yet 91% of adults say something needs to be done to help us all lead a better later life. And 83% of adults believe negative perceptions of later life must change. The research found that 53% of adults have a generally positive attitude towards ageing and that positive attitudes increase the older we get. 50% of those aged 85 years and above believe that having a positive attitude to ageing is the key to living longer. From their wisdom and experience, this is a message for us all.

Above is a picture of me with Cyril Botanic. A well known homeless man from Belfast. Cyril is remarkable for his older age but unusual zest for life. Dick Kingston (below) is another remarkable Belfast character. Considerably older than Cyril, Dick is well known for cycling all around Belfast, in spite of his great age. Unfortunately in November 2013 he had a serious hip problem and has not taken to his bike since. He now walks with a zimmer frame. An almost harrowing sight. Seeing a man of age reduced from cycling freely to shuffling under the weight of pain and infirmity.

Dr Bill Frankland, a still practising physician from England, aged 102, is another incredibly remarkable man.

By these characters, the Age UK campaign and other events (such as my blog here where I explain that this is potentially the great time ever to be a young person) I have been inspired to produce an exhibition on the changing age we live in and the ageing of man and women. 

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