News: Creativity and Age - The best is yet to come?

Friday 29 May 2015 by Clare Evans

Sylvie Guillem - Life in Progress - technê
Photo: Bill Cooper

Booker-prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro this week said he believes most artists hit their peak before they turn 45, after which point an unconscious desire to repeat earlier work takes over. The Guardian’s Helen Walmsley-Johnson says not so.

“This is not what I want to hear. I want to hear that there is more to come and better, more dazzling concepts and descriptive tours de force to look forward to. Ishiguro also suggested that, as artists age, their output can be categorised according to three specific types – the Neil Young (who carries on enthusiastically doing more of the same), the Philip Roth (who distills his earlier work to an elegant minimalism) or the Bob Dylan model (who creates work that embraces age).”

As Ishiguro’s examples of aging artists are exclusively male, Walmsley-Johnson has put together a list of some creative women who disprove this theory, featuring Sylvie Guillem and Alessandra Ferri. At 50 and 52, they continue to perform at the top of their game, taking risks as leading contemporary and classical dancers. And although Sylvie’s farewell tour has kicked off this week, its title, ‘Life in Progress’, certainly suggests that the best is yet to come.

Read more: The Guardian, 27 May 2015

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