Janet and Barry

BOLD – Selfies by Oldies

BOLD – Selfies by Oldies is a photographic project that paired ten people aged over 60 from Coolamon Shire with an artistic team to create an exhibition of creative self-portraits. The exhibition shows us the personalities, interests and self-perceptions of ten of Coolamon Shire’s seniors, subverting the genre of the selfie and so many stereotypes about what it means to be old.

BOLD’s ten ‘selfies’ also show that aging in a quiet country town can be anything but staid. Each participant’s creativity jumps from the photographs, showcasing a range of pursuits – music, photography, wood and metal fabrication, dancing – that have been taken up in retirement. BOLD is a testament to the risktaking and adventurous creativity that can enhance the aging process. Don’t be fooled by their humility, these oldies are boldies!

A series of digital photography workshops were held for seniors in Coolamon Shire in the early months of 2015, led by photographer Shona Pratt. As well as providing a unique learning opportunity for local seniors, these workshops allowed Shona to develop a rapport with the community and to recruit the project’s ten participants. Over February, the intensity increased as the participants began to plan their ‘selfie’ with Shona. The Eastern Riverina Arts team sourced props and costumes, and shoot dates were locked in.

Though they didn’t shoot the photos themselves, each participant played a significant role in the creation of these ‘selfies,’ and this shines though the projects wide variety of styles and moods that appear in the portraits.

The project culminates in an exhibition of the ten self portraits, running Saturday 14th – Sunday 22nd March 2015, 10am – 4pm daily (except Mondays) at the Up-To-Date Store, Mirool St Coolamon. Bold will be officially opened by Katrina Hodgkinson MP on Tuesday 17th March at 11am.  All are welcome.

As well as receiving copies of their portraits, the project’s participants will see how their work compares with the best and brightest in the art world when they undertake a special tour of the National Portrait Gallery.


Watch this space – hopefully these won’t be the last #selfiesbyoldies you encounter!