Supported by the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing, the JOY project came out of a growing exasperation with popular culture and especially advertising’s messages that ageing for women is a process we should try to halt or at least mask. And that the only future for the older woman is a dystopian one of bodily failure and intellectual loss.
In summer 2019, the JOY team invited local women in Newcastle to share with us the things that bring them joy through story-telling workshops which centred on both the tangible as well as the more fleeting moments of joyfulness.
What bring us joy is many and varied, from the feel of sun on a cheek, to holding new life in our arms, from swinging in hammocks to making music with others, from taking photos of nature to playing fetch with our dog, from family get-togethers to the glorious solitude of a mountain top.
This exhibition was co-created with some brilliant women who gave up their time to tell us about their moments, days, weeks and lifetimes of joy. The exhibition comprises collages, word cloud and film which feature all the participants, and a set of portraits which feature some of them. This is what JOY looks like to us: we hope it brings a moment of joy to you as well.
Thanks to a great group of women for making this a wonderful project to work on.
Karen, Juliet & Alex