Blueprint for Living: An Agewell Art Project
Star Rating: 5/5
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital London
Until 17 August
A busy hospital entrance is transformed by the presence of seven images by Angela Easterling of older people enjoying a range of physical activities, including “aquacise” and yoga, writes Kathryn Stone.
These images appear larger than life and the intensity of the blue and white colours serve to enhance the feeling of energy and life that seem to jump out, despite the movements being frozen to paper.
These life prints were inspired by the Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Agewell Programme, set up to encourage older people to take part in physical activities. Easterling recruited local older people to be both models and photographic assistants.
She says: “The process involved placing the ‘model’ on photosensitive paper in the darkroom, pulling the supporting trolley into the sun for exposure and finally washing the prints. This is heavy work, so it was a physical exercise as well as an artistic one.”
In presenting Blueprint for Living, the charity Hospital Arts demonstrates the power of art to transform and celebrate life. Easterling’s work shows the exuberance and energy of the older people involved and is a fantastic example of local collaboration between artist, people, hospital and council.
This exhibition exudes positive, life-affirming images of older people enjoying life to the full.
Kathryn Stone is chief executive of Voice UK, a national charity.