A NEW exhibition is showcasing the art and photography talents of the older community in Govanhill.

Aged from 67 to 82, senior residents have been using new skills to capture their local community and the wider city.

And for some, it is not just a hobby but a vital source of companionship.

Jim Wilson, 66, a former postman, was injured in a brutal attack that has left him requiring the use of a walking stick.

His disability meant that he left the group for a year as he felt unable to keep up with everyone else.

But the Anne Marie Millar, manager of the Larkfield Centre where the art and photography clubs run, found funding for extra equipment that has helped Jim rejoin the group, which he has been part of since it began 12 years ago.

Jim said: "I just thought to myself I would give it a wee try and I've more or less been here since the start.

"The company is really important for me and getting to go out to different places around Glasgow - we go to the art galleries and Queens Park and the Burrell Collection.

"It gives me a wee bit of freedom and the chance to see places we have been as young people.

"I'm not as active as I was but everyone is very supportive and if I have a problem then someone will help me.

"It's very difficult to say something positive about Govanhill now but coming to a community centre like this and getting to know people is definitely one of the positives."

Larkfield Digital Photography Group and the Tuesday Art Group both run once a week with around a dozen participants each.

Their work has been curated into the Glasgow Through the Lens of Older People and Glasgow Parks Brushed By Older People exhibitions.

Both are on show in the Larkfield Centre, on Inglefield Street, from today until early August before they move to Govanhill Library.

Anne Marie also plans to convince Glasgow City Chambers to show the exhibitions there.

Tommy Millar, 61, teaches the group. He has lived in and around Govanhill for the past 50 years and says the clubs are important for older residents to socialise and learn new skills.

Tommy said: "About a year ago we got a grant to buy DSLR cameras - previously they had just been using wee point and shoot cameras.

"The results we are seeing from people who have never used DSLRs before are phenomenal.

"There are women in the group old enough to be my mother but they are picking up all these new skills and doing things they never thought they would be able to before.

"Jim was getting 94 per cent in his written work - a good 15 per cent ahead of anyone else - but he couldn't use his hands fully and was struggling to use the camera.

"He knows how to do it but doesn't have the physical ability.

"Now we have special equipment for him it is really emotional to see the work he is producing."

Elizabeth Murray has lived in Govanhill for around 30 years.

The 64-year-old, who paints landscapes, said: "It started off as just something to do to get out of the house but now I thoroughly enjoy it.

"It angers me that Govanhill gets such a negative reputation as there's lots of good things and plenty of positives about the people living here, which is what our clubs show."

Susan McDougall, 78, added: "I used to nurse and when I retired I wanted new things to do.

"I've been in the art group for 10 years now and I would never miss it."

The Larkfield Centre is open from Monday to Friday from 9.30pm until 5.30pm for anyone who wishes to drop by and see the exhibition.