Advertisement - Content continues below
Art

Pensioners are channelling their inner Banksy to fend off social isolation

Graffiti Grandparents gives elderly Wheatley Group tenants in Glasgow a chance to take up street art and banish loneliness

Normally, you won’t find many pensioners picking up a paint can to tag the city – but it’s proving a powerful way to fend off social isolation and loneliness among housing association tenants in Glasgow.

The wonderfully alliterative Graffiti Grandparents let elderly residents with Wheatley Group’s Loretto and Glasgow housing associations get a lesson in street art at arts venue SWG3 in the city’s Partick area.

They channelled their inner Banksys to create large-scale murals themed around the group’s Livingwell service – as well as getting a tour of the other murals at the centre and the history and heritage of street art from Dave Knox, who took the session.

“People have a misconception that graffiti art is just for young people. We need to break down that barrier,” he said.

“It is good to get the message across that it is for everyone and everyone can have a shot at expressing themselves.”

The scheme is open to all the tenants who receive the Livingwell service, which is designed to help older people live in their homes for longer and connect them to their community.

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

And it was a big hit with the pensioners who grabbed a paint can to get involved with the session.

Loretto Housing tenant, Agnes Wilson, 81, from Partickhill, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had great fun. It’s a great crowd of people.

“I have done art in the past, but more landscapes and animals. This is totally different.

“I keep waiting for the police to come up and chase me.”

Glasgow Housing Association tenant Thomas Grady, who is 75 and lives in Carntyne, added: “This gets the imagination going. I have really enjoyed it – being in the sun, meeting new people and working with all these lovely colours. I have been to a craft class before but this is completely different.”

Images: Loretto Housing

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support us today

Over the last 30 years, your contributions have been vital in providing opportunities for those facing poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Support us to help thousands more. Buy a copy from your local vendor, donate or subscribe online today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Get your entries in for The Big Issue's Christmas Kids Cover Competition
Art

Get your entries in for The Big Issue's Christmas Kids Cover Competition

Exclusive: David Lloyd's unseen drafts of iconic V for Vendetta mask
Art

Exclusive: David Lloyd's unseen drafts of iconic V for Vendetta mask

Filmmaker Paul Sng: 'My new book shows diversity can make Britain stronger'
Art

Filmmaker Paul Sng: 'My new book shows diversity can make Britain stronger'

Get a limited edition print and original artwork from The Connor Brothers
Art

Get a limited edition print and original artwork from The Connor Brothers

Most Popular

Read All
Labour shortage: UK needs 1.1 million people to fill record job vacancies
1.

Labour shortage: UK needs 1.1 million people to fill record job vacancies

The problems with BT's £50m 888 app to protect women on their way home
2.

The problems with BT's £50m 888 app to protect women on their way home

Insulate Britain: Who are the protesters and why do they keep blocking roads?
3.

Insulate Britain: Who are the protesters and why do they keep blocking roads?

Minimum wage UK: How does Britain compare to the rest of the world?
4.

Minimum wage UK: How does Britain compare to the rest of the world?