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Art and agency in old age

Old age haunts the human imagination. Nowadays, it also haunts the politics, sociology, medicine and economics of an ageing world. Art has taken age as a subject since ancient times, giving its unique insights into other experiences. And artists have always shown that ageing does not mean stopping or even slowing down.

Winter Fires explores how the practice of art can change not the fact but the experience of old age. Art confers agency on its creator. It offers a capacity to act in the world by making something that did not exist before.

The book is based on conversations with artists of all kinds who, whatever else retirement has brought, are as creative as ever. Illustrated with portraits by Mik Godley, Winter Fires offers an unusual, optimistic glimpse of creative ageing.