You are invited to the Private View of Alex Rotas' exhibition, Veteran Athletes, from 6.30pm to 8pm on Sunday 22 July 2012.
We’re used to seeing images of athletes but not these sorts of athletes. Alex Rotas’ exhibition showcases her photographs of athletes in their 60s and 70s and 80s who still compete in international competitions. Expect to see ‘elderly’ pole-vaulters, long jumpers and hurdlers and then to think again about what that word ‘elderly’ actually means. Alex, a veteran tennis player herself as well as an alumna of the college, will be showing her work in the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Room.
Alex challenges the kinds of images of older men and women that prevail in our culture. Her work shows it’s possible to look wonderful without pretending to be younger than you are. Competitive veteran sportsmen and women have all the lines and wrinkles that come with their age but they look amazing as they push themselves physically and mentally to achieve new goals. There are always new records to break in every age group as you get older so these athletes are constantly working to better their technique and to maintain, if not improve, their performance. As Alex’s photos show, they are determined, strong, joyful, and full of life, whether they throw javelins, shot puts or indeed themselves over impossible heights or distances.
Not everyone can be – or even wants to be – an athlete. But Alex’s images remind us of what’s possible as we age and force us to think again about our attitudes towards ageing. And the athletes she captures bring to mind Bette Davis’ famous words that, whatever growing old is, it certainly ‘ain’t for sissies’.