THE untold stories of elderly people stuck in their homes for long periods of time are being brought to life in a new exhibition.

For eight months, artist Sharon Bailey has visited older people who live by themselves across Newcastle, Gateshead and east Durham listening to their stories and documenting their lives.

Her exhibition, entitled Home Alone, commissioned by Durham County Council, brings these untold stories out of the home and into public spaces.

With a living room as the set, the performance focuses on an older woman sitting alone as she speaks to audiences about her day-to-day life, using homely props to tell her story.

As well as the performance area, Home Alone includes photographs from people’s homes, diary excerpts and a specially-commissioned monologue by writer Catrina McHugh.

Home Alone will be performed in eight libraries across County Durham until April 24..

Councillor Joy Allen, cabinet member for culture said: “Home Alone is an exhibition which highlights an important issue and is a performance that always proves popular with audiences in whatever location it is installed.

“Sharon’s exhibition is a creative and engaging way to approach a difficult topic and gives us a chance to experience some fascinating and moving tales from inspiring people, drawing people together to hear the untold stories of older generations.

“Home Alone’s tour fittingly coincides with International Women’s Day, on Sunday, helping to highlight women’s achievements while raising awareness for the struggles older women may face.”

Last year, Home Alone was brought into Castledene Shopping Centre, Peterlee, where over 500 people stopped by mid-shop to see and hear the stories on display.

Home Alone exhibition has been commissioned by Durham County Council, funded by Arts Council England, Equal Arts, East Durham Creates, and supported by Newcastle City Council, Search Newcastle, Elders Council Newcastle, East Durham Trust, Open Clasp Theatre Company and Grange Day Centre, Throckley.

The exhibition will be at Seaham Library from March 2 to 6, Consett Library from March 9 to 13, Clayport Library from March 16 to 20, Newton Aycliffe Library from March 23 to 27, Spennymoor Library from March 30 to April 3, Shildon Library from April 6 to 9, Crook Library from April 14 to 17 and Chester-le-Street Library from April 20 to 24.

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