Are you emboldened by art?

Older artists jump at the chance to take part in Embolden2019 festival

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Artist in residence Janet Bromley.

Artist in residence Janet Bromley.

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Festival's post for older artists showed age is certainly no barrier to producing amazing art.

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AGE certainly does not weary art - or artists - if a recent call-out is anything to go by.

Organisers of Embolden2019 - a three-day festival challenging ageism and building respect for older people - were inundated when they asked for expressions of interest on Facebook for artists aged 65-plus to take part in an artists-in-residence program.

Close to 1000 responses were received.

"Our original idea was to support one older artist to come forward to the festival and produce an art-based response; but all the artists who applied were so talented," said festival co-ordinator Dr Catherine Barrett.

"We now have eight artists participating and we will host an art school where older artists share their secrets of art as a tool for ageing well.

"Our oldest applicant is 85."

Artist-in-residence Janet Bromley, a 65-year-old Yorta Yorta woman, weaves with recycled clothing, plastic, found objects and natural elements from the bush.

She is a Master's candidate in Visual Art.

"When I was working I didn't have time for art; art was just my mental health saver," Janet said.

"As I got older I realised I needed art back in my life; I realised I wanted to be creative.

"I noticed I have more skills now."

Janet says she has lived a full and interesting life, and her art gives her a way to express that.

"My voice and understanding of where I am coming from is much stronger," she said.

"It's a healthy thing to make art."

Fellow artist-in-residence Lizzie Connor, 65, is passionate about marine and maritime art, living by the ocean, surfing and the environment.

She says her attitude to her art has changed as she has aged.

"I'm not so focused on the approval of others or sales; I do this because it brings me joy.

"The focus is on my feelings about my art - the ocean is a powerful force for me.

"My art has done so much for me; it has saved me financially and emotionally and it has been a lynch pin holding things together in difficult times."

Embolden2019 will be staged at St Kilda Town Hall, Victoria, from September 1-3.

The festival is an initiative of the Celebrate Ageing program, a social enterprise challenging ageism and building respect for older people.

For more information click HERE

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