So much of beauty is associated with youth, if you think of the language used by the cosmetics industry for women, you get a strong sense of beauty being firmly a luxury of youth: the ‘bloom’ in the cheeks, ‘taut’ skin ‘flawless’ foundation. Photography is primarily of young, often teenage young women, with barely a feminine lump in sight, with hyper-slim bodies, unmarked by age or the ravages of time.
But wait! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Edo Zollo, an Italian-born London photographer sees so much beauty in the mystery and wisdom of older women, he is staging an exhibition in July in London to shed new light on a selection of wonderful women who have left the flush of youth firmly behind them.
His photography project entitled ‘Beauty in Older Women’ has been a labour of love. The photographs, taken against harsh urban backdrops, feature ten women who are not professional models, clothed only in a white sheet.
Photographs of these ten beautiful women will be on display at Craft Central Gallery from 7th-13th July, at Craft Central Gallery, London, EC1.
Edo explains his vision for the exhibition: “The photos challenge the accepted view of ageing women as unattractive; my subjects are aged between 67 to 79 and are proud to show their bodies and their characters in my portraits. Each photograph is accompanied by a statement from the women. Hazel (79) writes ‘I’m doing something I have never done before. At my age, you have done most things, what a joy to find yourself involved in a new experience!’ Margaret (67) says: ‘Do not accept society’s evaluation! Be proud of who you are, expect to be noticed and look for attention. We deserve it and no matter who we are, we have contributed and should not be ignored or set aside.’ I wanted to capture their inner and outer beauty, said Edo, whatever their age, these women they are striking!”
A poignant example of the importance of this project is Val’s story: She was widowed recently and after meeting Edo and the other women and being photographed for the project, she started to feel better about herself and is starting to move on with her life.
As we traverse this age of enlightenment, it’s fitting that the divine feminine is celebrated even when she is not as young as her younger self!
Congratulations to Edo and his brave and beautiful subjects.
If you are in London that week, Edo, Solage and the others would love to meet you and tell you about their exciting experience with Beauty Older Women.
The Exhibition is supported by Hanover, who provide housing for older people.
Dates: 7th – 13th July
Venue: Craft Central @CraftCentral, 33 – 35 St. John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 4DS
e: firstname.lastname@example.org @beautyolder
© Suzy Rigg