An older woman sits in her living room, alone. She speaks about her day-to-day experience, an experience that a growing number of older people in our communities face.
For eight months, artist Sharon Bailey has visited older people who live by themselves, stuck in their home for long periods of time.
Sharon travelled across Newcastle, Gateshead and East Durham listening to their stories and documenting their lives.
Her exhibition, entitled Home Alone, commissioned by the Council, brings these untold stories out of the home and into public spaces.
With a living room as the set, the performance focuses on an older woman sitting alone as she speaks to audiences about her day-to-day life, using homely props to tell her story.
As well as the performance area, Home Alone includes photographs from people’s homes, diary excerpts and a specially commissioned monologue by writer Catrina McHugh MBE.
From 2 March to 24 April, Home Alone will be performed in eight libraries across County Durham.
Cllr Joy Allen said: “Home Alone is an exhibition which highlights an important issue and is a performance that always proves popular with audiences in whatever location it is installed.
“Sharon’s exhibition is a creative and engaging way to approach a difficult topic and gives us a chance to experience some fascinating and moving tales from inspiring people, drawing people together to hear the untold stories of older generations.
“Home Alone’s tour fittingly coincides with International Women’s Day, on 8 March, helping to highlight women’s achievements while raising awareness for the struggles older women may face.”
Last year, Home Alone was brought into Castledene Shopping Centre, Peterlee, where over 500 people stopped by mid-shop to see and hear the stories on display.
Home Alone exhibition has been commissioned by Durham County Council, funded by Arts Council England, Equal Arts, East Durham Creates, and supported by Newcastle City Council, Search Newcastle, Elders Council Newcastle, East Durham Trust, Open Clasp Theatre Company and Grange Day Centre, Throckley.
The first stage of the exhibition is wrapping up at Seaham Library tomorrow, and then it’s going on tour:
- Consett Library from 9 to 13 March
- Clayport Library from 16 to 20 March
- Newton Aycliffe Library from 23 to 27 March
- Spennymoor Library from 30 March to 3 April
- Shildon Library from 6 to 9 April
- Crook Library from 14 to 17 April
- Chester-le-Street Library from 20 to 24 April
For more information about upcoming library events, visit www.durham.gov.uk/libraries