A new exhibition of images by photographer Ann Henrick, with words by the late Maeve Binchy, aims to challenge the public’s perception of what it is like to grow older in Ireland.
The Age Action exhibition “A Time To Dance”, which opens tomorrow (May 1) highlights the positive aspects of growing older. “We aim to take the fear out of ageing to bring the fun back to growing older,” Ann told this evening's launch reception. “We are challenging people of all ages to come down and see if they learn anything new.”
Ann and Maeve worked together on the project in 2006, culminating in the publication of their book “A Time To Dance”. The book and the exhibition take their inspiration from Maeve’s positive attitude towards ageing. She wrote: “Age is not a problem, a worrying situation or a loss of glorious youth. It is just another stage of life, a time to laugh, a time to sing, a time to dance.”
Maeve’s husband, author Gordon Snell, said that as they grew older they began to realise that no matter what age they actually were, they never really felt old. “That is exactly what this exhibition shows – a group of people who happen to be old, getting together, having a laugh, enjoying life to the full,” he said. “That’s exactly what Maeve herself did and that’s why she would enjoy this exhibition.”
“A Time To Dance” is an uplifting celebration of life and living among Ireland’s older population. Ann’s black and white photos capture the energy, beauty and creativity that life can hold for older people. Maeve’s words express her positive attitude to ageing, bringing even greater meaning to the images.
Age Action chief executive Robin Webster said the older people’s charity was honoured that Ann had donated her photographs to them. The charity was delighted to stage this exhibition in Maeve’s memory.
“Maeve was always a generous support of Age Action, donating both her time and her talent,” Mr Webster said. “This exhibition captures her hugely positive attitude towards ageing and towards life. We hope that her words, and Ann’s photographs, can inspire and challenge many more people to examine their attitude towards older people and ageing.”
He thanked Maeve’s family for their generous support of the exhibition, and the European Union for use of the venue.
The exhibition was formally launched by actor and playwright Rose Henderson, who performed a specially written sketch for the occasion.
* “A Time To Dance” runs at European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin, from May 1st to 30th (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Admission is free.
To view a video preview of the exhibition below: