A pen–to register; a key–
That winds through secret wards
Are well assigned to Memory
By allegoric Bards.

As aptly, also, might be given
A Pencil to her hand;
That, softening objects, sometimes even
Outstrips the heart’s demand;

That smooths foregone distress, the lines
Of lingering care subdues,
Long-vanished happiness refines,
And clothes in brighter hues;

Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works
Those Spectres to dilate
That startle Conscience, as she lurks
Within her lonely seat.

Oh! that our lives, which flee so fast,
In purity were such,
That not an image of the past
Should fear that pencil’s touch!

Retirement then might hourly look
Upon a soothing scene,
Age steal to his allotted nook
Contented and serene;

With heart as calm as lakes that sleep,
In frosty moonlight glistening;
Or mountain rivers, where they creep
Along a channel smooth and deep,
To their own far-off murmurs listening. 

William Wordsworth

If the older people in our families and communities are the archivists of our history, telling us stories about our past, connecting us and giving us a different perspective, then maybe photographs can do that too. Capturing, keeping and holding our past for us; connecting us to it.

For the many older people in our community who live with dementia, photographs have a particularly important role. They can be the trigger for those memories and stories, a place for reminiscence to start. They can remind us of the life the person before us once lived, remind us sometimes that they are a person, something that can sadly forgotten in the face of severe memory problems. A memory box, placed near a bed or by the door to a room in care home, is an important part of care in my view


So it is with great pleasure that I can introduce some of the brilliant photographers who have contributed to Age UK Barnet’s Secret Postcard Sale on 6 Dec in East Finchley.

Simon Roberts is a photographer whose work deals with our relationship to landscape and ideas of identity and belonging. His work includes photographs of England, Russia and of seaside piers, to his work on the Election Project, commissioned by the House of Commons Work of Art Committee. His photographs are held in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House,  Deutsche Borse Art collection and  the Wilson Centre for Photography.

US based photographer KH Krena’s work is painterly and involving. You can find her blog here

Coming back to Barnet, there are three great photographers who have kindly donated work.

Nadege Meriau is a young photographer with an impressive list of exhibitions and prizes to her name. Her work is stunningly beautiful, visceral and surreal and beautifully crafted.

Debbie Jaye is a landscape photographer and, as a local, many of her lyrical images will be familiar to residents of Barnet

And last, but by no means least, the wonderful Anne-Marie Sanderson, photographer at the Barnet Press, has donated a lovely selection of images. Her work is vibrant and beautifully constructed, with a lovely affectionate eye for her subjects – her website is well worth a few minutes of your time.

All these photographers, and work by others, will be on sale at the East Finchley Christmas Festival, so if you can spot them, you may well pick up a bargain. Head up to the north end of the high street, past the dog show, music and mince pie bake off, and you will find us in Passobello, all day.





On Sunday I took some of Age UK Barnet’s Art Appreciation Group to the Photographer’s Gallery. The group started because a number of clients, 3 of whom were retired artists and 4 retired art teachers, told us they really missed visiting galleries. We also visit private collections in people’s homes and we always make time for a bite to eat and a chat.

I love these trips. Whatever the work we go to see, it always sparks a stimulating conversation and this trip was no exception. Everybody loved the merry, decadent Lartigue, the clever Motherlode digital screen, and the exquisite Samallahti exhibitions. The Home Truths  exhibition was more challenging, exploring some of the darker aspects of motherhood. For one woman the raw intensity of the images brought to the surface equally raw emotions about her infertility.  It also brought up questions about how you manage as an older disabled person if you don’t have children. This led on to the disclosure that one of the group had not left the four walls of his home for 5 weeks.

If you want to know more about the exhibition (which I loved, even if others didn’t) check it out here, but before you do, I should probably mention that this link, and the Monomondo link below, contain images of female nudity (especially for you Mrs Angry):

Given that we were there, it seems like a good moment to talk about some of the photographers who have promised cards to the Secret Postcard Sale. And a good place to start is Simon Roberts, a photographer who is represented by the Photographer’s Gallery. The prices for his work there start from £500+VAT.

You can see his work on his website. It is really worth a look.

Another photographer who has exhibited in the Photographer’s Gallery, in their Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed exhibition, is Nadege Meriau

Her website, showing her extraordinary work, is here

Next up Robert Phillips, whose work has been picked for the Taylor Wessing prize exhibition, and who is just back from the Unseen exhibition in Amsterdam. His website is here:

Next up is Paris based photographer Cormac Hanley. His website is here, but you can see more of his work if you click through to galleries who represent him

Peter Kyte is an urban photographer, who is also a member of East Finchley Open Artists.

And last but not least, there is the lovely Anne-Marie Sanderson, photographer for the Barnet Press. Not only has she contributed to the sale, but she, like Simon Roberts, has also been busy recruiting others to help as well. Her website is here

There are other photographers, amateur and professional, who have promised cards, but I hope this gives you an idea of the range and quality of the work we will be selling. I want to thank all of them, whether they got a namecheck or not, because without their kindness this event would not be possible.

Now, will you be able to spot these photographers on 23 November?


A welcome drop onto the doormat this morning prompted this update. a lovely selection of postcards by two members of Barnet & Finchley Photographic Society – Vaughn and Ruth Sears

And a couple of people I should have included in my original post

Minnie Weisz

And Matt from the Local Gallery

Thank you all.