I’m working hard on my new exhibition ‘The One I Love’ which explores the relationship people with long term invisible conditions have with their pets.
Where : Free Space Project, Kentish Town Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew Road NW5 2BX
When : October 23rd – December 14th
Private View : October 23rd at 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Hope to see you there !
I’m still getting over my most recent energy crash. It takes a lot of self-discipline to care for myself this much. And I don’t mean the physical side of taking enough rest or eating properly but the emotional component. That one I find pretty tough. For every step I take towards self-compassion a voice rears up in my head reminding me, with great authority, how indulgent I’m being to take it this easy and that I should be doing more. It’s an hourly battle not to be crushed by this inner dictatorial voice and I find myself losing the ability to see what I need with any clarity at all. To feel so in the wilderness with nothing but my own punishing thoughts for company can be a pretty lonely place and I begin to wonder if I’ll ever find my way back home. Now I’ve written this down I can see it does sound rather melodramatic. It’s also the truth.
Chronic illnesses have wavering symptoms, ranging from just about nearly OK to absolutely bloody awful and if the ghastly period is unrelenting the fear can hold you pretty tightly in its grip. The whole process of going through a crash, relapse, or flare is extremely traumatising. After the metaphorical storm has passed I find myself wincing at even the tiniest drop of rain. I know I’m not alone in this and that the unpredictable nature of long term sickness can be very anxiety producing. This is perhaps why so many of us turn to meditation, buddhism, a spiritual practice or a creative outlet to aid our navigation through these rough seas.
So, it will be no surprise to hear that recently I had given up on magic altogether, even in its most human form. That was until my friend Dina invited me over to her studio for a prolonged session of recuperative yoga. It’s not the first time she’s done this and I’m always grateful. The session lasted over two hours and Dina put me in a series of prolonged resting postures on mountains of bolsters and blocks, covering me with cosy blankets until I drifted in to that safe and hypnotic space between waking and sleeping. She is an expert at arranging the equipment and I often felt like I was floating in space, momentarily free of the burden of gravity.
One thing that struck me was Dina’s attention to detail. Even my skinny wrists were supported by rolled up blankets. We often think of holding on as something we do with our hands but our wrists can also carry a great deal of tension, the support I had enabled me to let go at last, to take flight. I decided to find out what mysteries our often neglected wrists held and discovered the location of Heart Point 7 described as an acupressure point to quell anxiety. It also served as a reminder to me that when we are feeling our most fragile the seemingly smallest things make the greatest difference and hold the key to our emotional sanctuary. I’ve called this heartpoint to highlight that even in our most difficult times there are clues everywhere, tiny doorways to love and tenderness and it’s in the silence and stillness that they are revealed to us.
NB: This post is dedicated to my friend Catherine who is in the middle of a storm right now.
Many exceptional writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I’ve received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images.
Ingrid Andrew is a multi-talented artist. Her poem below is a delicate and beautifully observed narrative of seasonal change.
Ingrid is an artist, poet and singer songwriter living in London.
From leaden skies;
a flurry of snow flakes
that do not settle.
creeps up our sleeves.
a blue and silver sky,
with ice white clouds.
That evening, walking home,
the snow is sprouting
from the pavements,
thickening on car bonnets and windows.
The little, beloved tree
at the rise of our road,
is frosted coral.
back garden fences
alight with lichen green;
February trees conduct
their still branches.
A blackbird and a jay
sit companionably together;
Many talented writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I’ve received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images.
Dorothy Fryd’s poetry is spectacular and original. She’s the sort of writer that introduces me to seeing the world in a whole new way with every word she writes. Not least in the poem below which is rich with an alerting juxtaposition of images.
Dorothy works for the School of English at Kent University as a Creative Writing Lecturer. Her poetry and fiction has been published in Magazines, Anthologies and Competitions such as The Rialto, BRAND Literary Magazine, Forward Press, Momaya Press, Educating Kenyan Orphans, WordAid (Children in Need Anthology) and Spilling Ink Review.
For now they stay furled, unfixed.
ready for tricky, unstable youth;
which axil, which bulb, which culture.
This is small reincarnation;
young solicitors, young whorling snippings,
weathered by recycled motes
flying off / falling in.
They sleep in their elders’ beds;
so long ago bloomed,
like dead saints or dead planets,
Some stunning writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I’ve received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images.
Janice Windle’s work as an artist floods through her poetry. Her poem below is a beautiful response to my photograph and captures much of what I was feeling when I took it.
Janice is a poet, painter and art teacher. She lives in Guildford, with her partner Dónall Dempsey. Janice has had poems published in several anthologies, most recently in “Cancan” by Wurm in Apfel and “Census 3” by Seven Towers.
Free falling caught in the act
my sundial shadow at my feet
I have suffered blows
my pirouetting days are behind me
I bend my head towards earth
where I came from
longing to swing up again
to gaze at stars.