How old is too old?

Last week I sat through a four day conference designed to help us plan our future. I try to be a pretty positive person but as the week progressed I began to despair. Out of the nine or so speakers eight of them repeatedly spoke of our USP – our youth, that is what we had to offer our future employers, its what gave us time to travel, work in Tesco or go on the dole (yes that was a career choice) whilst we built up our art career.

That’s great but I am a mature student, I wasn’t hard to spot as I was sitting on the front row with three other mature students – when you get to my age you have to sit on the front row due to failing sight and hearing.

How old am I? Forty eight (okay I admit it I’m nearly forty nine), now I realise at this point some of you have made a sharp intake of breath but there may be others who have managed to stagger from their recliner chair that think I could have a few good years left.

On line opportunities seem full of young artist groups and competitions for new artists under thirty five. Why should new artist mean young artist? Surely its self limiting  there may be less of us but don’t we deserve a go?

I have to say now that the staff and students at my uni have never been other than supportive. My peers who are in the main in their very early twenties have always treated me as an equal, encouraged and helped me.

I think I have a lot to offer, hopefully I can show you when I have figured out how to upload my images with a watermark. I know I have my own limitations, some of which are age related, but they are mine for me to overcome, I don’t need others putting limitations on me.

Now I am off to organize my Turner Prize submission – you have to be under fifty to be nominated.