MARK EPSTEIN wants to help end the stereotyping of older people.
The photographer is staging an exhibition to accompany a conference on gerontology (the study of ageing).
“The exhibition is broadly around the subject of older people, but I do not want to recreate the usual visual representation of wrinkly hands or older people being active,” said Mark, a senior language tutor at the University of Manchester.
“Rather, I am looking for one or two people who I can chat with and take some photographs and then, by combining the images and quotes from the conversations we have, just give a flavour of that person.
“I want my subjects to guide the stories and images that I take.
“I am hoping to also find older people who have life and irreverence as I don’t want the exhibition to just speak of the difficulties of older age, although it may well touch on that.”
The exhibition, which is provisionally titled ‘No More Wrinkly Hands’, will take place from July 4-6 inclusive at the outdoor area next to University Place, on Oxford Road, where the gerontology conference will take place.
Brighton-raised Mark, who lives in Denton, is being funded by the university, Manchester City Council and the British Society of Gerontology, which is hosting the conference.
He explained: “I love the idea of multicultural Manchester, with all its religions and ethnicities.
“I would like some Jewish participants for the exhibition, but mostly I want interesting participants, whatever their background.
“When I photograph a subject, I discover more about the individual and see what stories arise.
“The subject of ageing is such a prevalent topic — Manchester City Council has even set up a department called the Manchester Ageing Hub.
“One of the conference’s aims is to change people’s attitudes to the idea of ageing, as well as older people working into older age and how companies can facilitate that.”
The 53-year-old, who gained a Masters in documentary photography from the University of South Wales, has lived in Manchester for 15 years.
He has previously held two exhibitions, ‘Future Past’, in Cardiff, and ‘A Random Walk’, at Manchester’s National Graphene Institute.
While growing up on the South Coast, he was a member of the Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue and taught in its cheder.
Anybody, 70 or over, who is interested in being photographed, should email firstname.lastname@example.org