After obtaining a master’s degree with honours in Photography from the University of the Arts London, the Québécoise photographer Arianne Clément travelled extensively in order to find inspiration for her work. As a result, Arianne has since devoted much of her time to portraying the elderly through a series of photographic reports. By creating a visual documentation of the elderly, Arianne has sought to focus on a number of questions which surround the concept of aging.
“Which aspects of aging are cultural and which are universal? How do societies, governmental structures, families and the elderly themselves handle aging abroad? What makes some people age gracefully while others decline? Are there places on Earth where aging is easier? What are the different perceptions of aging according to various cultures?”
Keen to discover the answers to these questions, Arianne began a project entitled, ‘How to live to 100.’
As part of the project Arianne travelled to the ‘blue zones’, places designated in 2005 by the National Geographic magazine, as the five regions of the world with the highest concentrations of very old people and where life expectancy is exceptionally high because of the lifestyle practiced by their inhabitants.
Umeto Yamashiro, 99 years old (May 2020), Yomitan village, Okinawa prefecture, Japan
“I am in perfect health, I have no illnesses and I take no medication. At my last medical exam my doctor was jealous of my impeccable health. The secret? Laugh, laugh and laugh! Don't let anger, hatred or worry live within you. Make an effort to love and accept all others. Be active, go out, party, dance, play music and embrace life!”
Another of Arianne’s projects is called ‘100 years old, age of beauty.’
Arianne met with 10 centenarians from the Montérégie region of Québec and became curious about the efforts that these women put into (or don’t), looking good and the many challenges that they face. She asked them about youth, old age, feminism, sexuality, charm, appearance, love, etc. Through these portraits, Arianne questions society’s obsession with youth and beauty standards. She also seeks to give a voice to these women whose beauty is rarely acknowledged.
Arianne's celebrated portraits of seniors have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she has won several prizes, grants and honours for her outstanding work.
More of Arianne's work can be seen on her Instagram account.