Ages of Us
Words by Dylan Collard. At my current age of 46; a figure that when I was 10, seemed inconceivable, I don’t yet have a fear of ageing. I’m more amused by it.
"Beyond the lines and wrinkles of old age is an unseen life lived, a past filled with experience and learning, acquired knowledge and sometimes wisdom."
I remember a school exercise when I was in junior school that asked us to work out how old we’d be in the year 2000. Mine was easy, I would be 30. At an age when a week could be a lifetime, another 21 years seemed like it would never happen. Age is a social preoccupation taught to us from an early age. From our first birthday we are taught to celebrate our birthdays, to expect presents, to mark our DOB and the passing of another year. Birthdays rock, initially!
In youth we look forward to our birthdays, in later life we dread them. Many life events/decisions are set by age, 12 years to move up to High School, 16 to legally have sex, to expect a free education, to drive a moped, work full time, join the Army, have your own passport and fly a glider! When you are 17 you can drive, be charged, become a blood donor. 18 to drink, vote, stand for election, serve on a jury, smoke, gamble, get married.
"At my current age of 46; a figure that when I was 10, seemed inconceivable, I don’t yet have a fear of ageing. I’m more amused by it."
Our “risk” potential for car, work, life and health insurance and our eligibility to get a mortgage are all determined by our age. Our working lives start, finish and are defined by our age, 65 for men to retire 60 for women, 100 to get a card from the Queen!
Our age is a marker of our individual and all of humanities place in time. Physically, age has obvious visible effects and in the recent past I’ve done projects marking the beauty and elegance of old age. Beyond the lines and wrinkles of old age is an unseen life lived, a past filled with experience and learning, acquired knowledge and sometimes wisdom.
In getting there we go through changes in our perspective, ideals and opinions, hopes and aspirations, all influenced by our age. Therein lies my interest and the start of my idea for #AgesOfUs that led myself and Emma (via coffee and cake) to decide that the project should look at three broad stages of life, Youth, Middle and Old Age.
In doing so, #AgesOfUs asks who we were, who we are and who we’re going to be; all the time asking questions about our past, present and future.
You can see more of Dylan's work from the Festival here http://www.vue-us.com/blog/2016/09/showcase-dylan-collard-at-age-of-no-retirement, www.agesofus.com and www.dylancollard.com
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