It’s Just Around The Corner.

Greetings. It’s the first of February and really – I can feel spring in the air already. Flowers have started to blossom and there has been many an afternoon spent with blue skies overhead. I’m working across several projects at the moment and progress is much slower than I would like, but something about having spring just around the corner fills me with that extra bit of energy to keep pushing forward.

Christmas was great, but there were a few things here and there that created more stress than I would have like over that period. I was attacked in the street near my home on boxing day. I managed to get away from the person unscathed but it was frightening. Typically if a complete stranger starts on me I just keep walking and they run out of enthusisam, but this guy decided to follow me. I reported it as you would but I felt quite shaken up for a couple of weeks and I’m making a point of not being by self when it’s dark out.

That brings me back to trauma. I’ve lived with the impression that trauma isn’t something that happens to everyone, or maybe it’s a little more subtle in other individual’s experiences and so they don’t really register it as trauma. My own experience feels brutal, it’s also often not seen as being valid and in some ways it’s ignored as something that happens to lots of people in contradiction to the point above, but then some how I am refused the right to feel any particular way about it. I do understand these persepctives up to a point, I’m probably guilty of it myself, but actually the point I wish to make is that I have no intentions of continually enduring trauma. Maybe that is the difference I wish to make to my own life that people who are strangers or even familar to me aren’t quite willing to accept. There are links within trauma, patterns and connections that I’ve been aware of since I was little, and I see those links play out long before they actually do happen.

As much as I felt I knew a fair bit about the real world as I was growing up, my awakening in my mid twenties was a genuine shock. As the monsters get bigger and their ties and threats become more apparant, you realise you’re just one person and it can be very difficult to come to terms with the nightmare you had as a child unfolding before your eyes. Especially when you’re trying to put your mascara on in the morning. I have so much I want to say, so much I want to do, but I no longer feel like I’m running out of time. It takes as long as it takes and with Gods grace I’ll get a bit more done tomorrow.

I’m indulging my love of film and theatre more and more. I’ve seen a couple of films this month that have stuck out for me. Firstly I saw The Gentlemen directed by Guy Ritchie. I’ve been having severe attacks when I go the cinema over the last year, it could be a mental health thing , it could be some form of epilepsy, but it means going to the cinema is a bit of risk and I really have to battle through if it happens because home is a long way away if it does. I wanted to see The Gentleman, I’m a big fan of Guy Ritchie’s earlier films Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, so it was a risk worth taking.

Watching a film about Toffs is like getting a humbug stuck in my throat. I mean I get it- they have cash. If I’d had the talent (*Winks*) and the good fortune to become a fashion designer it would probably be Toff cash I’d be relying on, if they’d actually had any interest in my pedigree and so on, which is part middle class English I’ll have you know. The thing is I’m much more at home with the concept of hard graft and I have actually grafted in my life time, so loads-a-money and making zlich effort gets on my tits a bit. I’d decided to go and see the film so I was in it for the long haul. I do love a Guy Ritchie film. You have drugs, violence, crime and the carnage that ensues as the King of the Jungle tries to maintain his empire. There’s the loss of lives that matter and lives that don’t, depending on who you are affiliated with. My own run ins and sobriety after my drug use as a young person means I’ve met a few characters like this myself, obviously with the kind of naivety young people have for the world they’re entering into, despite the fact they have actually seen Scarface. There was a point where I had a really hard time watching films on this subject matter and then I got over it: it would be much better to see a film about this kind of choas than to actually enter into that world itself. The gloss, glamour, tailoring, cigars, school-run-tanks, and £50 notes confetti does get your pulse racing but then you leave the theatre thinking “rather you than me.” I really enjoyed the film.

Very recently I saw Troop Zero starring Viola Davis on Amazon. It’s a film about a young woman who hopes to become part of an incredible opportunity offered by Nasa to a girl scout troop at a school in South America. Viola Davis works for the young woman’s father and begrudingly decides to help her earn her place in history. It’s an incredibly funny film that made me want to be a kid again and I can’t think of any other film that has made me feel that way in a long time. Viola Davis has to face her own nemisis and the young woman has to face hers too. The rivers, swamps and small towns of Southern America have the kind of charm an aligator has, but I really felt for the characters of this film and I kinda wanted some chicken that had exploded all over the barbecue. It’s a really great film about the debt we have to one another, and if you don’t cry then you need a check up.

I may have found myself a studio space so I’m very excited about that. I’ll be able to figure out how I’m going to manage my work across platforms because I am particularly fond of Folksy and Society6, and whether I need a one stop shop for my works. I desperately need to start selling at fairs so hoepfully that will come through soon too. It’s exciting: there are ideas that I can’t keep up with, teeny weeny budgets that enforce creativity when you’re day dreaming, and the topsy-turvy events of daily life just to keep me on my toes.

Finally my social media links have been set to private just to ensure a basic level of security. My portfolio remains open as does this page here on WordPress. Please feel free to connect if you wish. I will be back on the 1st of March. Have a great month!

Hello 2020!

It’s a brand new day, a brand new year, a brand new decade! I really can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed seeing 2019 come to a close, it was pretty fantastic. Finding a new home, finishing my degree and applying for my masters made for an eventful 2019.

The general election was a disappointment in every way imaginable with the Conservatives gaining a bigger mandate ushering in Brexit and the chaos that will follow. Politics has, however, been transformed by the conversations around the safety of the NHS, poverty, inequality and climate instability which can not be ignored.

I felt the need to take a break from my own art work after dyeing lengths of fabric with dyes gathered from nature. I’d been building momentum, working with ideas that were going to take time, chipping away when I was able too. Which is the great thing about having a creative practice when you’re managing a health condition; you gain progress when you’re able to. Whether it was the general election or some residual stress left over from earlier in the year, I started to lose focus and feel flat. I over optimistically thought I could take a break for six months in preparation for starting my masters, but I have never been able to stop making art work so a couple of weeks away from it was all I was able to do. Feeling refreshed after the Christmas period, I’ve started to reorganise my projects over the last few days with the aim of continuing to develop ideas and create new work for my portfolio.

I’ve found some new favorites over the last year. I saw a new version of Othello performed by The Pantaloons at The Gate, Cardiff. Set to music with hilarious performances, I enjoyed every minute of it. A different kettle of fish entirely I binge watched Preacher with Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun on Amazon. I literally own one Preacher comic that I picked up at my first Comic Con in Cardiff, but I’ve known about the series since I started watching Bill Hicks, who the character is inspired by. I struggle to find the words to express how much I enjoyed this series! I’ve also had George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice on repeat over December. I’ve loved George Michael since I was a kid seeing his music on MTV, in direct contradiction with my love of Bill Hicks. I think his music is poetic, stylistic and really just incredibly moving even when you’re dancing to it. I feel like I’ve started to enjoy the things I love a lot more towards the end of 2019, maybe it’s with a sense of abandonment that being cool even matters at 35 years of age.

If you wish to follow my progress please follow my social links. I hope that 2020 is the year of your life!