Old Stock New Stock

A series of ambitious photographic artworks that confront perceptions of ageing and retirement

Old Stock New Stock is an ongoing photography project which combats the stereotypical imagery of older people and retirement in stock photography. The project is a collaboration between Art with Heart and photographer Joe Smith.

Old Stock New Stock started back in 2018, as part of The Golden Years’ Caravan, a roving cinema and art gallery that celebrated the curiosity, creativity and culture of Greater Manchester’s older generation. The Golden Years’ Caravan travelled all over Greater Manchester, reaching 1,067 visitors and engaged 68 elders as creative collaborators.

Fade away? Not likely!

During lockdown we saw older people reduced to negative numbers and throwaway figures; from the treatment of older people in care homes, to their increased isolation and lack of connectivity. Eager to offer support, we paired 25 elders with 5 Greater Manchester artists as part of Dial – a phone based project connecting elders through creative conversations. Over 150 hours of conversation took place between our creative collective, and during that time they laughed together, sang together, drew portraits, wrote poems, talked politics and pandemics, shared life stories and recipes, created maps and imagined fantasy lands together.

The elders expressed their joy at having a creative outlet and as a result we invited several of the Dial Collective to become our next Old Stock New Stock subjects and collaborators. Together, with photographer Joe Oli Smith and facilitator Chelsea Morgan, we developed a series of portraits that showcased their interests and challenged society’s perception of life in old age. From engineering experts, to daring DJs and poignant poets, meet our collaborators and their fascinating lives!


Reclaiming ownership of Greater Manchester

Portraits at the ready, we partnered  with venues that mattered to elders throughout Greater Manchester and asked if they’d display their portraits. This gave us the opportunity to bring elders right into the forefront following the pandemic.

Each portrait was displayed with a QR code that led to the website, an audio description of the portrait and additional content created by our collaborators and partners.


  • Cadishead Public Band Community Hall
  • Radcliffe Library
  • East Oldham Methodist Church
  • Gallery Oldham
  • Eccles Train Station
  • Eccles Library

Creative credits

Old Stock New Stock: Conceived and Curated by Art with Heart

Associate Producer: Megan Holland

Photography Exhibition by Joe Smith, facilitator Chelsea Morgan, and collaborators from Dial

Branding: Studio Baba

Audio descriptions: Elizabeth Wainwright

Funders & partners

Old Stock New Stock has been made possible by the generous support of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

With special thanks to: Reform Radio, The Naz, Eccles Library, Cadishead Public Band Hall, Freccles, Radcliffe Library, Gallery Oldham, East Oldham Methodist Church and Sarah Spencer.