Artwork and cafes tackle 'age and intimacy' taboo in Sheffield

An inspiring art exhibition about intimacy and getting older, will open up discussion to open cafes in which adults can discuss close relationships in an easy atmosphere.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 11:36 am
Updated Monday, 3rd June 2019, 1:42 pm
Pete McKee at work. Picture: India Hobson

Intimate, funny and engaging artworks by artist Pete McKee in his Age of Love Exhibition, June 14-16, will provoke further discussion, it is hoped, that can be continued at Age of Love cafes over the course of the weekend.

The artworks by Mr McKee tell a story about love and intimacy.

Anyone who wishes to can view the exhibition in the Millennium Gallery, then attend the café in a private room in the gallery.

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The sessions have been developed by Dr Sharron Hinchliff, an academic based The University of Sheffield.

For the past 17 years, Dr Hinchliff has researched the nature of relationships in people in older adulthood.

She said: “It can be difficult to talk about intimate aspects of a relationship because it’s a private topic.

“There is a silence around these issues connected with older age. I’m looking to address that.”.

People aged 60 and older are invited to gather at the cafes to eat cake, drink tea, and talk about relationships.

Relationships are a central part of life, and one of the most important is the one we have with our closest other.

But intimacy and ageing are rarely talked about, so this exhibition and cafes seek to tackle the taboo. 

Cafe conversations are led by the participants with no agenda or objectives, and are confidential.

Within small groups, each person is free to join the conversation, or to just listen.

Respect and consideration are key. This is not a counselling session, and does not involve relationship support.

The 11am café on June 15 is open to anyone over 60 who identifies as male, and the 2pm session invites anyone over 60 who identifies as female. The event is free, and you do not have to give your real name. Tea and cake provided.