Visual and Material Representations of Ageing, Space and Rhythms in Everyday Life

Wendy Martin*, Katy Pilcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A focus on the materiality within ageing studies brings into focus the material dimensions of space, rhythms and material objects in everyday life. The aim of this paper is to explore meanings around space in the context of the daily lives of people growing older and how materiality is embodied, embedded and performed in the material and social context of our everyday lives. The paper draws on data from the empirical research study Photographing Everyday Life: Ageing, Lived Experiences, Time and Space funded by the ESRC, UK. The focus of the project was to explore the significance of the ordinary and day-to-day and focus on the everyday meanings, lived experiences, practical activities, and social contexts in which people in mid-to-later life live their daily lives. The research involved a diverse sample of 62 women and men aged 50 years and over who took photographs of their different daily routines to create a weekly visual diary. The data illuminated three interconnecting whilst analytically distinct themes within the materiality of ageing and the spaces around everyday life: (1) Space, materiality and everyday life; (2) Rhythms, routines and materiality; and (3) Social and material connectivity. The paper concludes by highlighting a complex engagement with space, in which participants drew and re-drew boundaries surrounding meanings of space, sometimes within the same interview or even within a discussion of the same photograph. Moreover, a focus on materiality elicited rich and illuminating accounts of how people in mid-to-later life experience the intersections between ageing, bodies, time and space in their everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Early online date14 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Data Access Statement

The data that has been used is confidential.


  • Ageing
  • Everyday Life
  • Space
  • Rhythms
  • Materiality
  • Visual Methods


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