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Home Alone: A Project by Sharon Bailey

Thursday 25th July

Grainger Market Newcastle, Alley 3 Unit 106/107

Sat 3 August/Mon 5 August/Tues 6 August 2019

Meet the artist Monday 5 August 4.30pm-5.30pm

Open daily from 10am to 4.30pm

Performances 2pm-2.30pm and 3.30pm-4pm

An older woman sits in her living room, alone.  She speaks to us about her day-to-day experience, an experience that a growing number of older people in our communities face.  Her living room is in The Grainger Market in Newcastle and what is normally hidden from view is open to public attention.

For eight months Sharon Bailey visited 15 older people who live by themselves, stuck in their homes for long periods of time. Travelling across Newcastle, Gateshead and East Durham she photographed and recorded conversations with them, spending hours talking and listening.

‘Home Alone’ brings these untold stories and images out of the houses and into busy public spaces.  The stories are important and they need to be told.  We all need to listen.  Our Social Care system is in crisis and things have to change.

The living room installation includes photographs made in people’s homes and diary excerpts and features a specially commissioned monologue, written by Catrina McHugh MBE.  It is inspired by Sharon Bailey’s ‘Home Alone’ diaries and uses many of the older people’s own words.  Theatre direction is by Laura Lindow and the performing actress is Barbara Heslop.

‘Home Alone’ has been funded through an Arts Council England award, Equal Arts and East Durham Creates and is supported by Newcastle City Council, Search, Elders Council Newcastle, East Durham Trust, Open Clasp Theatre Company and Grange Day Centre.

More information about Sharon Bailey and her work and the ‘Home Alone’ project can be found at or by emailing


More information

‘Home Alone’ is the lived reality for an increasing number of older people. There has been a marked increase in the numbers of vulnerable older people who are isolated and often alone, especially those with multiple challenges. 

The changing funding landscape has had a major impact on people’s quality of life.  There has been a reduction in local authority subsidy for those qualifying for statutory care services and the criteria for qualifying has changed, so that only those with complex debilitating needs benefit. 

Many older people are not getting the help they need and are spending long periods of time at home.  The situation has also worsened during austerity because many locally run support services, such as day centres and luncheon clubs, have been cut or have disappeared altogether.

There are growing inequalities, relating to health care and wellbeing. The recent All party Parliamentary report Creative Health recognises that in older life health inequalities affect vitality, mobility, mental acuity and life expectancy and that social and arts engagement can diminish anxiety, depression and stress while also increasing self-esteem, confidence and purpose.

‘Home Alone’ has taken place within three different areas of the region, in communities where older people are facing multiple disadvantages and don’t necessarily have access to social and cultural activities.

Sharon Bailey

Sharon Bailey is an artist and creative producer working within communities across the north east of England and internationally.

Her projects span art, heritage and health and she tells the stories of those she connects with, those living on the edges of our society, creating a space where individuals can talk, make and share.  This has manifested itself through both her personal artist-led projects and through projects she has initiated and produced as a programme manager and producer.

She has many years of experience of working collaboratively with people of all ages to create work of quality, which has been presented in exhibitions, as installations, in books and digital platforms and within our public spaces.

She works intimately with individuals, spending many hours in people’s houses, community centres, Care Homes, Day Centres and at hospital bedsides. She develops close relationships with the people she works with and her photographs and sound recordings are created in a sensitive and safe environment.


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