When I turned fifty, I felt like I was starting to disappear.
While I knew I was not actually disappearing, not seeing myself reflected in almost all media made me question my value and the value of the mid-life woman. To remedy this in some small way, I wanted to produce a body of work that focussed on women in my age cohort.
For this collaborative documentary project, I interviewed and made portraits of sixteen women in my life who are my age peers (45 to 65). The women in these photographs are my family, friends, friends-of-friends, neighbours, colleagues and fellow parents whom I met at my children’s schools years ago when our children were small. Most I have known for many years. They are not generally representative of older women but are a small sample drawn from women I know. I wanted to know how they felt about ageing and being in this stage of their lives. I wanted to hear about their accomplishments and regrets. I also wanted to know what they had learned on their journeys thus far and how they approached moving forward in their lives.
I discovered that while starting to feel invisible at this age is quite common, lives rich with experience, creativity, capacity, and accomplishment are also common. We have all faced some type of hardship over the years - careers have not turned out as expected, relationships have failed, children have struggled, and health problems have occurred. We have all experienced loss. Through it all, however, we have persevered. As a result, how we see ourselves has been refined over time. While we are (not) who we used to be, with time, we are becoming more and more ourselves.