Patricia Niven: Golden Oldies

9 Dec 2009 – 16 Jan 2010


London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 4, 55, 56, 243
  • Tube: Barbican, St. Paul

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Golden Oldies


Less than a decade and a half after the end of the Second World War, the renowned Golden Lane Estate opened its doors to its first excited residents. The first residents arrived with spouses, with families, and with a multitude of professions. Everything was ahead. Many already worked in the area — often junior doctors or nurses from St Bart's hospital — others were accountants, geologists, lawyers; there was an heir to a baronet, and also a man who turned out to be a Hollywood film director! Everyone had a part to play in the renaissance of the area. And as the years passed, so families grew and changed, often moving to other flats within the estate more suited to their varying needs; thus creating a harmonious, long-term resident base that helped the estate evolve into the successful community it still remains. These residents unknowingly became pioneers in this new urban utopia, and fifty years on many of them are still living on the estate. This is the story we are telling. The Golden Oldies exhibition follows 9 of these residents, most of whom have lived on the estate since its advent. Throughout 2009, resident and photographer Patricia Niven, in conjunction with EXHIBIT, has documented these residents in a series of intimate and affecting images. This body of work will become part of EXHIBIT's on-going initiative, Golden Lane Archive. Aside from being an important historical record, these images offer the viewer an insight into the sitter's character — from who they were the day they collected their keys, to who they have become today. Gentle, yet thought-provoking, these portraits aim to depict the unique journeys they each have taken. Patricia Niven has always had an ongoing interest in the stories and lives of the older generation, and has been documenting Golden Lane community events throughout the year. It is her ability to find beauty in the everyday that offers a wider perspective in the way we look at our neighbourhoods and of course, our neighbours.

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