Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sad Stories Of Finite Love - Moleskine Art

In a perfect world every new life would be a precious and valued one. In an ideal world every child is safe, loved and nurtured by every adult he has contact with. But if you look around you, read the papers, listen to the news you'll see this isn't that kind of place. With all the technical and social progress the world has never been a more caring, aware place or a more dangerous one! We are awash with societies for the protection of children, animals and the elderly yet we have never had more incidents of abuse, neglect or indeed murder. To realise that even parental love isn't guaranteed or infinite is hard to deal with. I wish I has some answers, explanations or solutions. All I can do is impotently hold up a mirror for those who give a damn to look inwardly. Pathetic but honest!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Number 293, 079 Dream - Moleskine Art

I've always been lucky in having a rich inner life. There has never been a time where my mind hasn't been choc full of pictures. The tritest, most innocuous comment triggers a torrent of images that I am helpless to stem. This particular image is a patchwork of dreams/ nightmares that I've had at various times. In my favourite ones I am aware of dreaming, I control the action as much as I can but strange stuff still happens. I solicit dreams from other people in order to enrich my own. I keep them in a mental dream box just as I store my collage cuttings in an actual box. Thank God for art and for being creative, it saves me from madness. (or does it?)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

We Are Stardust - Moleskine Art

These sketches were done surreptitiously at a party, I think it may have been a wedding. I was moved almost to tears by the sight of women of all ages dancing with complete and utter abandon. Probably with the aid of a drink or too, their inhibitions three sheets to the wind. Everything was forgotten except the music and the feel of their bodies moving. I don't know wht it made emotional but it did. They were in that moment beguilingly beautiful.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Drink Me - Moleskine Art

I collect old photos. It saddens me that people could so easily dispose of old family photographs, so I see it as my duty to adopt these long forgotten relatives. I weave stories around them, give them names and generally make them comfortable.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Multiverse Of Stories - Moleskine Art

The word Hesteria stems from the Greek cognate of uterus, ὑστέρα (hystera). The naughty uncontrollable uterus was thought to wander around a woman's insides blocking passages, obstructing breathing and generally driving her nuts. Men couldn't understand how a space large enough to hold a human child could fail to interfere with a female's general wellbeing. So by filing every mental or health related complaint ever suffered by a woman under 'Hysteria' Men could generally sit back and pity these defective, crazy creatures. It continues even now. The description a 'hysterical woman' is often bandied about, without a murmer. I am a woman, and my womb has carried five children, A feat no man can hope to emulate. Forget penis envy, I believe men have long suffered from womb envy, let's face it; the ability to create is one only ever ascribed to the highest divine powers. So all men could do was diminish and contain women's role in society.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Believe In Us - Moleskine Art

Another page that deals with my ongoing relationship with angels. This relationship began when at the ripe old age of three and a half I told a porkie pie (lie). I was already a skilled liar, a skill I used to get what I wanted simply because I felt powerless in a world where the adults held all the keys. This time however, I was caught out. I was given the option of sending a written apology to God and waiting to see if he accepted my apology. I dictated the letter to my father (not yet having mastered the alphabet) and we left it on the roof as high as we could.
That night, while waiting to find out my fate, I received my first visitation. I was in bed thinking about the day and casually leafing through a story book when I heard a strange sound. It was a strange rhythmic squeak coming from the ceiling above my bed. At first I couldn't see anything but the noise grew louder. Eventually what looked like a cork screw appeared and it continued to make the hole bigger. A face peared at me from the hole as a rope with a swing on the end of it was lowered towards me. At this point my mother barged in with the ironing and proceeded to put my clothes away. She was completely oblivious to what was going on. The swing contraption was pulled back up until my mum left the room. All this went on without a word from any of us. I just lay there wide eyed with curiosity and without a hint of fear! The swing thing was again lowered until it was almost touching my face. Suddenly, I knew that I was required to climb onto the swing, that it was a vehicle for me to ascend to the heavens and explain my crime to god himself. But I wasn't stupid! I shot out of my bed and out of my room at lightning speed and joined the rest of my family in the sitting room. my heart was thumping and I kept looking around to see if I'd been followed. I didn't go to bed till my sister was tired enough to join me. I never spoke of this to anyone but the next morning my letter had gone. My dad said that meant I'd been forgiven.
 Over the years, I have caught glimpses of the same angel, but he'd disappear as soon as I caught sight of him. I saw him the night after my daughter Lucy was born. And again after my mother's funeral. There have been many other occasions but those two stick in my mind because they lasted a while. I'm not crazy, but I can't explain what happened rationally. Since then I have been somewhat wary of angels, I don't think they are always as angelic as they want us to believe.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

I Was And Remain Earthbound - Moleskine Art

The older I get, the smaller my life gets! I remember being four and sitting at the bottom of my grandmother's garden and thinking if I sat still enough, I'd catch sight of some elves/fairies/goblins going about their business. I'd follow ant trails in the hope of being led their homes where I was convinced I'd find miniature bunk beds, tiny sofas, and antified stereo systems. Once, I got stuck atop a pile of rocks where builders where adding a new garage.  Too scared to climb down, I was relieved to see our 'mother' cat that had recently given birth to a litter of kittens in our garden. I politely asked her in plain English to either help me down or call my mum to do so. You can't imagine how deeply hurt I was to see 'Mother' cat stick her nose up in the air and walk away as if she hadn't heard a thing! Anyway, life slowly chipped away my convictions and it slowly dawned on me that life is much more linear than Fairy Tales had led me to believe. As I digested my limitations I turned more and more to art in order to take flight and indulge my fancies.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

I Am A Bride Wedded To Doubt - Moleskine Art

My favourite aunt was a second wife! She shared her husband and her home with wife number one and her 7 children. She went against family advice and married the love of her life. He was king, and beat his wives without mercy when he was angry. Strangely though, the wives competed to see who had the worst injuries.. it was proof of his love you see!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Listen In Unison - Moleskine Art

This page was born as a result of an argument about the nature of God. The universal human need to believe in an intelligent creator. The direction the argument takes depends on whether one believes in God , disbelieves completely, or is undecided. It struck me that even the most vociferous atheists fill the need hard wired into us, by substituting religion with an alternative belief system such as Humanism or Darwinism. It is an argument that is more likely to lead to fist fights than any other.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Spring In My Roll - Moleskine Art

I tried in this page to combine elements from my nightmares (contrary to most people, I enjoy them). There are brooding shadows, talking animals with urine stained pants. Clueless children being led astray, A Victorian googly-eyed moon that watches but offers no help and an atmosphere of eerie jollity completely at odds with what is going on. You may infer what you please from what you see!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

New Shoes And Cleaner Dreams - Moleskine Art

In the area of Baghdad, where I lived as a 14 year old, a middle aged man with mental issues would wander the streets offering to show his bits in return for a few pennies. I never found it funny and I felt bad when I saw kids tormenting him. It was said he's been a successful business man until he had a breakdown.  Under Saddam's rule, social services were in their infancy, just beginning to take shape. People with mental problems would be taken care of by their families, but some slipped the net. I changed the sex of the main character because it changes the entire dynamic.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Motherless Tongue - Moleskine Art

When I was five and living in Kuwait, I was spending a pleasant evening on the beach where we lived as we did most days. I was invited by a neighbour to 'watch cartoons' in his house. As I was a little bored I willingly went with him. Once in his house however, even at that age I realised things weren't right. His breathing had gone all funny and he lifted me up and asked for a kiss before he'd switch on the T.V.. He was all sweaty and grunty, ugh!  I'd had it drummed into me since birth that you are never rude to grown ups, but on this occasion My instincts kicked in and I, in turn, kicked him straight in the goolies. He dropped me screaming and I ran outside as fast as I could and resumed playing with my siblings. I never told anyone because I felt it was my fault, and I knew I'd be in trouble for kicking a neighbour and for wandering away from where my parents were. I'd put myself in that situation. After that I became obsessed with reading body language. I learnt very quickly that what grown ups said and did didn't often match up. It was confusing, but I knew I had to trust that little voice in my head, it has rarely if ever failed me.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Cowboys And Bitchgirls - Moleskine Art

My personal tribute to Ladybird books for children. Anyone growing up in the UK can't fail to have some deep mystical connection to these books. I so wanted to be one of these sunny little children in their sunny little lives. The illustrations by the likes of Harry Wingfield and Martin Aitchison are evocative, brimming with childhood innocence and deeply aspirational. I can't be the only person who feels this way. One of my dreams is to own an original illustration from one of these books.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

He Was A Perfect Fit - Moleskine Art

When we boil down our lives and relationships to their bare bones, we come up with pretty uncomfortable truths. Through the millennia, men and women have fashioned roles for themselves that they cling to even when they outgrow them. The tendency to pervert and abuse each each other has no bounds. But on the whole we rub along from day to day, swinging from drama to ennui just to keep life interesting and give us the impetus to wake up in the morning. Is this too reductive a summary? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

In The Garden Of Eden - Moleskine Art

My childhood experiences taught me that to an extent the phrase 'childhood innocence' is an adult fantasy. Children can be breathtakingly cruel to each other. It goes along with a code of secrecy that would leave a hardened gang banger in tears of admiration. The bully keeps quiet in order for his reign of terror to continue, the bullied keeps quiet out of shame and fear of further retribution. The lucky of us come out of the other end relatively unscathed. It shapes us more than we know. Although I was never a bully, I was sneaky, a consummate liar and at times fiercely self righteous.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

We Tried To Be Kind - Moleskine Art

I woke up in the early hours to what appeared to be an angel sans wings, he/she/it was quite tearful begging for the return of he/she/it's wings. The duvet is stitched to the lady's breasts to protect her modesty. I'm still working on unravelling the rest, but I am open to outside interpretations.

A Ghost Had Seen Him - Moleskine Art

Sunday, 10 June 2012

I Have Nothing Else -Moleskine Art

Grief is a fearsome thing! And the worst grief comes after the loss( How I hate that word 'loss', a loving mother doesn't lose her child as if it were a handbag or a pair of sunglasses) of a child, you skate as close to madness so as to make no difference. You never really come back from it, part of you is buried with your child. You realise that all you have to give your child are your tears, I read once that a mother's tears carry her child to heaven. Whether you have any kind of faith or not doesn't come into it. In the aftermath you scrabble around catching at any straw that could maintain a connection, and grasp for anything that guarantees a future reunion. On a lighter note, Hope is glorious!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Inmates At The Asylum - Moleskine Art

My humble tribute to the great poet Anne Sexton. Her work never ceases to inspire me ans spark endless pictures in my head that I can draw upon. I can't believe that her works are out of print in the UK, what a travesty!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

He Held Her Hand - Moleskine Art

According to a recent documentary, Queen Elizabeth the first was such a powerful and effective monarch, rumours circulated that she was in fact a man. Notions still persist that she had died as a child , the servants then out of fear substituted her with a village boy of similar age and build. Why is it that whenever a woman shines at something she is compared to a man? Margaret Thatcher was described as the only man in her cabinet! Personally any human who is bold and brave in my world can be said to have ovaries, forget cojones, they are so last century!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

We Are So Proud - Moleskine Art

If you do something for twenty days running it becomes a habit! And humans are creatures of habit. Even events or actions that may appear outlandish for some are habits to others, we can assimilate anything. That is why as a species we have been so successful. Under the banner of 'habit' families can file open secrets, and every family has them!
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