‘The Old and the Lonely’
The old and the lonely are not necessarily two distinct groups of people, quite clearly being a person of one group does not preclude them from being a member of the other, and many who are not members of either group consider that the lonely are made up in the main of the old. This is far from the truth, loneliness knows no boundaries of age, social demographic, race or religion, nor does age – it gets us all in the end and all of us suffer from loneliness at some time or other during our lifetime Here it’s the long-term sufferers that form part of the focus and the crossover and similarities I see between the two groups.
My personal situation and experiences have led me into the worlds of both groups and I have attempted to use this first hand knowledge to portray them and provide an aspect not seen before.
The critical context of the work is to take a peek into the world of the disadvantaged older people and those who suffer from long-term loneliness, trying to provide some insight into how they view the world and the consequences their situation has for them. It’s been impossible to find any relevant bodies of artistic work carried out on either of these two subjects, but having said that there are a couple of instances where an artist has taken his or her own family and/or friends and put them under the spotlight with regards to long-term study of their social condition, such as Nan Goldin, but apart from the various artistic styles they use their work does not really reference these two topics.
The work will be undertaken locally using family and friends as the subjects, although I will make extensive use of borrowed work from the internet to provide the images I would find difficult to obtain myself or because there is a time constraint on the production and end up with 10 final images for presentation purposes. As a student I have to produce the images on a suitable media that will enable handling without damaging the printed surface, therefore each one will be on A3 semi-gloss paper and will have a generous margin to enable the handling.
I think that in the modern world of artistic development there are no subjects which are definitely off-limits and my review of these areas of social study are just one area that hasn’t been fully explored before. The work therefore fits on the cutting edge of an already very well established oeuvre of social documentary.
This work is in its infancy and will take a great deal more work than there is here to explore it sufficiently to say that a contextual understanding has been arrived at. For the time invested so far I think it’s a promising beginning, but no more.