Celebrating the Beauty and Strength of Women Over 40
We are happy to share with you some portraits of some of the women from the Over 40 project in 2022. This exhibition is a celebration of women of strength and beauty, showcasing their remarkable stories and unique personalities. These women come from all walks of life, including wives, sisters, mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, CEOs, business leaders, carers, workers, colleagues, teachers, and healers. They are menopausal, cancer survivors, life survivors, medicated, striving, and doing their best to survive and thrive. They have spent the best part of their lives carving a niche for themselves and are expected to be everything to everyone at all times. This exhibition is a reminder that they are invaluable, and they are master alchemists. They make babies and homes, friends and families, meals and crafts, and memories. This experience has given them the gift of seeing themselves as the world sees them – not flawed, but perfect and beautiful.
A letter to Oliver
40+. We are an eclectic bunch. And a remarkable bunch
Wives, sisters, mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers and friends
CEOs, business leaders, carers, workers, colleagues, teachers, healers
Menopausal, cancer survivors, life survivors
Medicated, striving, doing our best to survive and thriving, living
We have all spent the best part of half of our lives carving a niche for ourselves And in our generation we are expected to be everything, to everyone, at all times
Mothers, homemakers, career women, home school experts, chefs, nutritionists, long term carers, counsellors, rock the cornerstones and supports of a solid and stable family
whether that be me and my cat or with children, adopted and fostered or step, friends, relatives, colleagues and everyone important that I may not have mentioned
We are master alchemists
We make babies and homes and friends and families and meals and crafts and memories
But we also feel the need to be beautiful and sexy and desirable
What does that mean?
We’re not 20 anymore
So we spend a fortune, fretting, worrying, stressing
Teeth whitening, hair dye, miracle wrinkle cream, diets, support knickers
Botox, collagen, fillers, surgery Why?
To look like we did when we were 20
When we had no idea
Of how strong we are And how important
We are Invaluable
So why do we question ourselves? Make ourselves wrong?
Too old, too fat, too irrelevant, invisible?
We’ve learnt a lot. In half a lifetime
But we’ve forgotten more
We’ve forgotten to love ourselves
We love our friends and our families but we’ve forgotten to love ourselves
And that is the gift that Oliver Doran and this exhibition has given all of us
Because he sees us
Like the world sees us
Not how we see ourselves, flawed