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Olympus UK marks its own centenary by celebrating centenarians

100 years of Olympus celebrated by photographing centenarians

To mark its 100th year, Olympus has opened a short exhibition in London showcasing photographs of centenarians – we went to the exhibition party and even met some of the models!

Olympus UK marks its own centenary by celebrating centenarians
Marcus Clackson, one of four Olympus photographers tasked to create an exhibition of photographs celebrating people who reached a third digit in their ages

Olympus is a big name in the world of cameras, a reputation hard-fought and won over the hundred years, this October, the company has been in existence. It’s also less well-known, but arguably even more successful, in the medical instruments world, making microscopes and endoscopes. Olympus even makes miniaturised digital cameras that can be swallowed so your insides can be snapped – the ultimate in ‘selfies’!

Staying healthy

As Olympus has a vested interest in helping us all stay healthy, it only seems natural that Olympus UK’s marketing manager, Georgina Pavelin, should have proposed to celebrate the centenary of the company by proposing to seek out and photograph centenarians around the UK. Despite, I understand, some initial resistance, Georgina persevered and four professional photographers using Olympus gear, were commissioned to photograph some of the oldest people in the country.

For one week only, until 5th November, the remarkable results from photographers Marcus Clackson, Jay McLaughlin, Geraint Radford, and Tesni Ward, will be on show to the public at the After Nyne Gallery, 10 Portland Road, London. Olympus has also produced a limited-edition book to complement the exhibition.

Hundred

Olympus UK marks its own centenary by celebrating centenarians
Author Heike Faller talks about her book, Hundred, at the Olympus centenarians exhibition launch party

Another facet to the exhibition is Olympus teaming up with German author, Heike Faller, who has authored a new book with a simple but philosophical and human exploration of ageing. Broken down in to individual years, the book (Penguin) is called ‘Hundred‘. Heike was at the event and talked about how the book was conceived and developed.

The exhibition

Olympus UK marks its own centenary by celebrating centenarians
Olympus UK marks its own centenary by celebrating centenarians

If you get a chance to visit the After Nyne Gallery before the end of 5th November, you will discover a small but inspiring exhibition of heart-warming portraits of 100+ year olds from all walks of life. They all have different stories to tell and they all have their own explanations for their enduring health. Most impressive was the presence of some of those featured in the photographs on the wall to join in the celebrations.

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