Wullie Elliott Positive Images of Ageing
Bellshill resident Wullie Elliot took up photography at the age of 67. Five years on, he’s developed a considerable mastery of the craft, pursuing his interest in documentary photography.
For Art Is Everywhere, Wullie has created a stunning series of portraits showing older people in a positive light. From ‘Margaret’ at her sowing machine to ‘Raymond’ with his French horn, Wullie’s work depicts older people doing the things that they love, which provide them with purposeful living in later years.
Margaret 70, worked as a seamstress all her working life. Since retiring Margaret maintained her skills by continuing to do clothes alterations but also uses the skill base creatively making her own styled handbags, Harris Tweed masks and other things such as tea cosies. Margaret feels that her sewing provides her life with purpose, and it is her ‘happy place’.
David is 68 and is keen gardener. He worked for years as a teacher until he retired a few years ago. Although David spends a lot of time in his garden, he finds himself taking more and more pictures with his mobile phone. The picture hanging on the wall was a turning point for David, as he liked it so much that he printed it and got a frame to mount on a wall in his home. He now takes images of family and friends and gets them framed. David finds a great amount of pleasure giving family and friends the pictures which he has created, and his hobby is helpful in keeping him and his family in touch with everyone.
Raymond, 72, was a much in-demand horn player when younger. He gave up playing in the early 1980s to concentrate on his young family and his academic career. After retiring, he decided to take up the horn again and “finally master this instrument before I pop my clogs.” He now plays with the Lanarkshire Cecilian Orchestra and is delighted to be their soloist in their performance of Mozart’s First Horn Concerto in 2023.
Janice is 67 and is a retired non-nursing hospital worker. Janice retired early through ill-health, but she was determined not to spend her time sitting at home. Janice found out that the local library ran a book club which she joined. She is currently a regular member of the Crafternoon Group that runs weekly from Motherwell Library. Janice loves attending the group as she has built up a friendship circle which are very supportive and always on hand to help one another. Janice looks forward to the group meetings, which give her structure and meaning to her life. They provide a place where she can be creative as well as be a meaningful part of a group that does so much for the local community.
Roger is 77. Living his formative years in ‘The Timbers’, viewing the fertile Clyde valley to the front and dramatic Steel production activity to the rear, ingrained in him an affinity with, and passion for recording the landscapes of work. Following recovery, after a spinal tumour removal at the age of 59, he decided to swap the corporate world for Art School. He loves the physicality of working with paint and mixed media to produce images and comments “it can be extremely rewarding and occasionally equally frustrating, but as long as I am fortunate enough to work with mark making materials it is unlikely to stop”.
This year, 2022, some of Roger’s work was exhibited as the ‘Craig and Beyond’ at the Cultural Centre Bellshill for the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Ravenscraig.
Trisha is a widow aged 66 who is a retired council care home worker that has for the past several years been a Therapet volunteer. One of Trisha’s dogs, Bruce, had previously won the ‘Therapet of Year’, which is an award given by Canine Concern Scotland where Trisha and Bessie currently volunteer. It is recognised that when people interact with a friendly pet it can help with many physical and mental health issues. Trisha gets rewarded for her time and effort volunteering when she sees people young and old give positive responses to her pets. Trisha’s work with the dogs also is a benefit by providing her with a sense of purpose and an opportunity to continue a caring role within her community and further afield.
Sylvia is 76 and plays oboe in the Lanarkshire Cecilian Orchestra. She began playing in her school days but took it up seriously in her late 50s. She worked through the grades and gained a performance diploma at 64. Playing in the orchestra gives her a great deal of enjoyment. It gives her a purpose, a sense of achievement and a feeling of belonging. It brings her friendship and fun and pride in the orchestra giving musical pleasure to the audiences attending our concerts.
View more of Wullie’s work at:
500px Gallery: wullbehere