KLS Age Well art exhibition at Pump House Gallery

‘Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art’
Andy Warhol

During lockdown the Age Well Project at Katherine Low Settlement, set up a regular online programme of physical and creative activities for people aged 50 plus. The interactive groups aimed to inspire and connect at a time when isolation meant we all needed to find new ways to grow and develop or keep our spirits up. Kerry Hagger, formal KLS Age Well Worker, had a vision for the elders to have the opportunity to display their creativity to the public and in so doing fulfil their wishes to feel ‘seen and heard’.

‘I can’t do that!’, ‘I’m too old’, ‘I can’t use a computer’, ‘that’s not for the likes of me’, ‘I can’t draw’, who would be interested in my stories’, were some of the initial responses. Over those many difficult months, the Battersea Zoomers persevered and gradually people began to learn how to communicate online, to trust each other with stories, to put pen or brush to paper. ‘If you can turn on a television, I can teach you online video conferencing’, became almost a catchphrase. In time, in person creative outlets were set up and a programme of walks.

Kerry gathered some of the results of our collective creativity into a booklet and curated an accompanying exhibition titled “Enjoy they journey – how did you di that?” with workshops at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park in October 2022. The walls of the four floors filled with our creativity. 35 creatives displayed their work and for most members this experience was a journey of discovering their creative ability, finding their creative confidence and the start of their digital journey. The public were inspired by their collective creativity and their journey. Mission accomplished!

In September 2023 Kerry was invited to curate a second exhibition of biographical stories, artwork and photographs at The Omnibus Theatre in Clapham. There continue to be many creative opportunities for elders offered at Katherine Low Settlement including some hybrid sessions to include those online and we hope you may be inspired to join us wherever you may be on your creative journey!

Photography by Neil Brown

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