North Wales artist Elizabeth Ashworth has published a new book of poetry inspired by five local older people who all share a lifelong love of art.
Do Not Go Gentle – Interviews and Poems on Creativity in Older Age is a collection of works about Dymphna Darcey, Lloyd Jones, Beverley Bell-Hughes, John Wynne Morris and Elfyn Jones.
Elizabeth from Llanfairfechan interviewed all five for her book which contains profiles of each artist from their early childhood to older age.
She also wrote pieces of poetry based on their life stories in different forms including free verse and haiku.
‘For the project I interviewed a dancer, writer, two painters and a potter who are practising their individual disciplines more productively than ever”, says Elizabeth Ashworth.
‘They have all led interesting and incredibly varied lives, share this lifelong love of art and all continue to dance, write, paint and throw pots working well into their sixties and seventies.
‘And like the Dylan Thomas poem which inspired the title of the book, they have no intention at all of slowing down in their older age and going gently ‘into that good night’.’
The Gwanwyn arts festival for over 50s, run by Age Cymru, commissioned Elizabeth to produce the book as part of its tenth anniversary celebrations.
‘Gwanwyn is a celebration of creativity and arts among older people’, says Emma Robinson, who coordinates the Gwanwyn festival.
‘Every year, we run a Wales-wide arts festival for over 50s and we support older artists working in Wales by commissioning works of art from them.
‘This year, with Gwanwyn being 10 years old, we wanted to mark the occasion by offering the opportunity for Welsh artists to create new works of art to celebrate this important milestone.
‘I’m absolutely overjoyed with what Elizabeth has produced and it has been a joy to work with such a talented individual on this thought-provoking project.’
Elizabeth Ashworth will be distributing copies of Do Not Go Gentle – Interviews and Poems on Creativity in Older Age to older people’s groups, libraries and arts centres.
Copies are also going to Age Cymru Gwynedd a Môn Ageing Well centres and writing clubs across north Wales.