After a very quiet summer on this project, I had my first constructive meeting with a group of over 50’s in the Dublin 15 area that will be my first models in my new project. The summer is a quiet time for schools and senior groups, so it all kicked off in September. I had enough to be getting on with however, as in September we screened my debut film The Hidden Garden as part of ABSOLUT Fringe, which was an amazing and beautiful thing. For more information on this, see here.
Today, eleven people called into me at Draíocht. I had met some before briefly when I went to pitch the project to them. Most of them had heard about me and the project from the local newspapers, or through an very proactive and helpful lady called Lillian Harris who has taken a great interest in the project. We started with tea and biscuits which consisted of jam rings – a new unhealthy favorite of mine. I rabbited on about what the project is about and why I was doing it. I also let them know what they would expect to be getting up to if they decided to take it further. The project’s concept is fairly strong at this stage. The actual details of it are still a bit vague. However, by the time we had a very informative and open discussion about getting old and about being invisible (or not), I took them into the studio to introduce them to the concept of studio lighting, and the studio itself.
I was always going to involve the participants in the project, so today seemed like a good day to start. Each took a turn at the camera and photographed one person with the camera hooked up to a studio light. To my surprise, there was very little resistance at either being the photographer or to being photographed.
The project is essentially based on one social grey area, which is about older people and their visibility in society. I say grey area, as the area I choose to investigate is older person’s fashion. It could be just a personal taste issue: if you were fashionable in your 30’s then it’s probably not something you’ve lost. If you didn’t care about fashion in your 30’s chances are you don’t care much about it when you are in your 70’s. Maybe there is fashion for everyone, regardless of age. I have a feeling that it’s not as simple as that, although one person today told me that buying clothes is not a problem at all. I would say that most wouldn’t agree with that, but I’ll let my survey decide.
We will all meet on a monthly basis as a group, which will be important in an overall discussion of how the project is going for them. Between now and December 1st, I will meet with each one individually (or as a smaller subgroup) and decide on that basis, how each person would like to be represented.
I still haven’t decided about film or digital.