About the Age of Love
Age of Love addresses the prejudice and discrimination that older adults can often experience around love and intimate relationships. Art is used to present a visualisation that will make us think about the intimate and loveual relationships of people in older adulthood. This is a very important topic.
It is known through statistics and Sharron’s research that older adults still enjoy love and intimacy and that it is felt by this group, as important to their quality of life.
However, many experience barriers to talking about his with partners, friends or health professionals, the topic is sensitive an almost always private. Stereotypes about ageing can interfere with loveual expression and enjoyment, even preventing older adults from receiving appropriate help for a loveual concern.
Society considers conversations around these topics, taboo. Age of Love has been developed to tackle this. To allow people to discuss this without judgement, without prejudice, in an environment which is convivial, confidential and where members of the public can share each other’s experiences in a safe space.
Relationships are central to human life and one of the most important that we have is with our intimate other.
In 2018, Dr Sharron Hinchliff worked with Sheffield Artist, Pete McKee to produce 12 original works of art to be exhibited as part of Sheffield’s ‘Festival of the Mind’.
Sharron, a University of Sheffield academic, has been researching the area of relationships and intimacy in older adulthood for over 17 years. Our founder, Dr Sharron Hinchliff, has been working in the area of relationships and intimacy in older adulthood since 2001' with organisations such as Age UK and the Terrance Higgins Trust using Sharron’s research in their work.
Pete McKee is Sheffield born and bred. His work explores various themes including working class culture and humour. Pete grew up on a council estate during the '60s and '70s in Sheffield, a city rooted in the steel industry. Pete has collaborated with various creative individuals and companies including Paul Smith, the Arctic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, Oasis and BBC 6 Music.
Following the success of the ‘Festival of the Mind’ exhibition and the conversations that took place in the gallery, where the artworks were shown, Sharron worked with the University to come up with a social enterprise model could reach far and wide – both within and outside of the UK. Age of Love will also periodically commission, through open competition, artists to respond to Sharron’s research just as Pete McKee did.