From trail-blazing scientists to charity shop enthusiasts, DJs and poets, the ambitious artwork features fascinating participants.
The portraits, shot by photographer Joe Smith, are available to view both online and in-person across a variety of locations in Greater Manchester.
Megan Holland, the Associate Producer of Old Stock New Stock said: “It’s been a total collaboration between Joe the photographer who has been amazing, and Chelsea Morgan who has facilitated it.
“This is actually the second time we’ve done Old Stock New Stock.
“The first time was I think about three years ago and it was a part of an exhibition that Art with Heart had called the Golden Years’ Caravan which was a roving caravan that went around Greater Manchester and had an Old Stock New Stock exhibition as part of that.”
Art with Heart, based in Islington Mill, Salford wanted to challenge the perceptions of stock photography for older people.
Megan, who is based in Manchester, said: “Most of the time if you look at them [stock photos] they’re just like white people who are usually middle class and they’re on a cruise and they don’t actually accurately represent the experiences of modern older people and the passions and hobbies that they have.
“We wanted to think about the ways that we could get older people back in public spaces because obviously, they are more likely to have experienced isolation in the pandemic.
“We decided to partner with a number of community spaces through Greater Manchester that older people are passionate about.
“It means that the portraits are up in all sorts of places, there’s one in Eccles Train Station, one at Oldham Art Gallery, there’s a really good combination of spaces.”
Most of the portraits will be up till the end of October and all will be available online to view.
Megan said that the community reaction to the portraits have been very positive so far.
“The venues are just really excited to have them all of them. We were meant to finish at the end of September, but all the venues wanted to keep the pictures up for longer and said that people have really enjoyed looking at them and they sounded quite joyful.
“The participants are just over the moon with them. All around it’s really lovely and positive.”
The participants of the project shared their hobbies and passions in the vibrant portraits and online exhibitions.
Pauline Smith, from Radcliffe, featured as a participant in the Old Stock New Stock exhibition.
Her section of the photographic exhibit shared her love of poetry that she discovered again in lockdown.
In her poetry, she shares her experiences as a trans woman, her experience in lockdown and of Manchester.
Pauline enjoyed the overall experience of being part of the project and believes that the artwork shows how much older people give back to the community.
“I think what it shows you is that when you get older you’re still doing all kinds of different things in different ways. Nearly everyone I know who I would class as a friend, is doing some kind of volunteering work of one thing or another and trying to help various people in various communities.”
Pauline believes that the range of backgrounds of the participants makes the project interesting.
She said: “They’ve found people in every cross section of Manchester and in a sense it’s an eclectic mix.
“Everyone’s inner warmth shines through, when you dig below the surface all nine of us are giving back to the community in different ways.
“When we take the time, we all learn from older people.”
You can read some of Pauline’s poetry here.
Explore Pauline’s Old Stock New Stock online section here.
Pauline’s portrait can be found at Racliffe Library.
Stand Lane, Radcliffe, Manchester M26 1JA
Friends Janet Reygan and Cindy Adams are also participants and their section of the photographic exhibition focuses on their love of charity shops.
Janet and Cindy have been friends for around three years after meeting at a Salford Tech and Tea course and they have both volunteered at charity shops.
Janet hopes that the artwork will help break the stereotypes of older people.
She said: “I am hoping that as a result of this they’re going to change those awful road signs because Cindy and I should be bent over with walking sticks like those triangles that warn you about older people crossing the road. If anything could change that would be it.
“When you looked online for pictures of older people you often see really bad stereotypes of older people and we are not those stereotypes.”
The duo’s photoshoot took place at the Red Cross in Eccles and they both enjoyed the experience.
Cindy said: “We loved it. We wore some of our favourite outfits, ones that you don’t often get the opportunity to wear.”
Both Janet and Cindy are passionate about recycling and like that charity shops give back to the community whilst also re-using clothes.
Janet said: “The fashion industry is creating a lot of landfill; something needs to change.”
Cindy said: “We’re recycling everything and you’re giving to charity but you’re also getting something back.”
As well as shopping from charity shops, Cindy also recycles clothes off the pound rails and turns them into bags.
You can view Janet’s Salford charity shop recommendations here.
Explore Janet and Cindy’s online section of Old Stock New Stock here.
Janet and Cindy’s portrait can be found at Eccles Train Station.
Eccles, Manchester, M30 0DL
If you are interested in visiting the Old Stock New Stock portraits you can find the locations on this Google Map: