The Art of Aging

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is revealing a deeply held prejudice towards older adults, it is a delight to bring you a project that provides a very different perspective.

The Art of Aging by photographer Arianne Clément is a joy to behold. Described as a “photo story on the themes of beauty and sensuality after 70” it was inspired by Arianne’s encounter with 102 year-old Marie-Berthe (pictured below).

I always feel so inspired when I discover an artist who celebrates the beauty of ageing. Sensuality and older bodies are rarely considered in the same context. Indeed, the words themselves tend to be mutually exclusive in many parts of the world. I love the way Arianne describes her work:

“The elders whose intimacy is revealed and celebrated here share with me a notion of beauty and sensuality that inspires a state of grace. Lightness and depth are here side by side in a provocative but thoroughly pleasurable display”

The Art of Aging is a powerful exploration of ageing, sexuality, and intimacy. Adding to its uniqueness, is that the models responded to an invitation to be part of the project, and by doing so Arianne feels they helped to “redefine the way we view beauty, sensuality and old age” in their own way.

Like many other artists who take on the subject of ageing beauty, Arianne was driven by a frustration with the narrow way in which beauty is defined:

“These pictures also aim to illustrate my irritation with the very conformist way we view beauty and with the pervasive presence of certain imagery that subdue many people into body shaming and a fear of getting old. Camera in hand, I hope to offer different images here – pictures that celebrate a diversity of bodies as well as a different way of feeling beautiful and sensuous”

The photographs are accompanied by short narratives from each of the models, and you can see the multi-award winning project here.

Let’s keep-up the conversation about the beauty of ageing. For more art projects that celebrate ageing bodies, click ‘art’ in the tag cloud at the bottom of each page on this website, or follow this link.

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