Thursday, 26 July 2012

Love Is Alive And Well

This page was in response to a news story where a woman shot her lover after she caught him in a compromising position with her favourite show cow, now that's a love triangle! Except it was more of a love square as the farmer husband forgave her everything and stood by her. Never let anyone tell you romance is dead!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Newton's Third Law Of Motion - Moleskine Art

I'm the short girl holding an innocent little spider monkey that was more than likely treated inhumanely and simply replaced when he dies due to improper care, but I didn't know these things then! with me are my siblings taken on Hastings beach. I look at my young trusting self, the one that still believed in the goodness of angels and that all adults had your best interests at heart. On the other side of the page is a wedding picture of my parents. Two images that are loaded with personal history. Why do old photographs give me the blues?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Blood Runs Thicker When It Runs In Vain - Moleskine Art

This is a subject I return to time and time again. I try to understand the connection between honour and murder. The medieval notion that blood can wash away dishonour leaves me confused, disheartened and angry. Honour...what exactly is it other than pride? If a woman has unsanctioned sex, her husband, father/ brother or son has the right to kill her in order to scare off any other male attempting to encroach on his property. The same goes for the beheading of enemies, it is simply a matter of pride. Over the centuries we have accepted the concept of honour that sounds altogether more noble and altruistic than the word pride that is so much more base and selfish. The powerless continue to pay the price. Nobody cares to address this tragedy as no one wants to be seen as passing judgement on another culture/ religion or tradition because the root of this lies elsewhere. Well I'm saying it. Once again an archaic male obsession blights the lives of women and children, and no one should accept it or make excuses for it.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Invisible Fault Lines - Moleskine Art

At parties I am one of those people bracing a wall: holding a drink as if my life depended on it. With a rictus grin plastered across my chops trying to look as if I'm having the time of my life. I always go with the aim of having fun but it rarely turns out that way. The other guests are mainly artists, with a smattering of fairly/ very well known ones which have a crowd 6 foot deep around them trying to initiate conversation, or invite them to a private view or generally brown nose. Others seem to know everyone and seem very comfortable in their own skin, the rest like me sit rigidly hoping no one approaches them at the same time fearing no one will come up and talk. Even at my own private views I try to blend into the walls/ carpet/ furniture. Why am I so darn anti social? I think of myself as a people person with something to offer, why am I so crap at getting that across. I want to be one of the shameless show offs hogging all the oxygen just for once!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Silence Spelt Trouble - Moleskine Art

The circle (cycle) is part of my own sacred geometry, I see it everywhere in everything. Once you see it, you can't unsee it.

Pharmacy - Moleskine Art

What would I have done a century ago? Six different daily medications just to be on par with normal people. The packaging is interesting though... a small compensation!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Demon Lodgers - Moleskine Art

This is rather apt for today! My demons seem to be extra active recently. I hate days like these where I am crippled with self doubt and loathing. The negative voice is whispering extra loud, and I am too weak to ignore it. What do other people do in times like these? When the air feels too heavy for me to hold up my head and everything I touch turns to shit. Do I really want to share my failings with all and sundry, sundry maybe but all?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

It Is A Clean Slate - Moleskine Art

My fascination with angels comes out in my work quite often. This page concerns a 17 year old schoolfriend in the Middle East, who gave birth to her boyfriends baby with the help of myself and her sister, we were 15 at the time. Her mother was out of the house luckily. We used a medical book to tell us what to do. We called the boyfriends mother who having absorbed a major shock, hid the baby under her 'abaya' (The black covering worn by Muslim women) and took her off home pretending to friends and neighbours that she'd given birth not knowing she had been pregnant. It was one of the most dangerous things I have ever been through. My friend almost became an honour killing statistic, but it all ended well with her marrying her boyfriend. Her father wasn't informed of the existence of a grand daughter till safely after the wedding, he still chased her round the house with a meat cleaver. The angels were with us that day!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Being Stupid - Moleskine Art

Like most children I had an implicit faith in the fact that adults knew everything, could do anything and would stop at nothing. Aged four I caught head lice from Kindergarten. My aunts and Arabic grandmother's solution was to douse my head in petrol and sit me in the sun where the petrol could do it's job. It was lucky I didn't burst into a ball of flame before my mother rescued me. Her anger at my plight planted seeds of doubt in my mind... maybe adults aren't all that clever, maybe they didn't order the sun to rise in the morning and set at night! This knowledge was at once confusing and empowering. I could use for my own ends, and I really did. I became very adept at setting adult against adult by whispering in this ear and innocently dropping a comment there. I spent my time eavesdropping and spying. I learnt how to be wallpaper and breath under furniture, and it helped me come through those powerless years less 'scathed' than I would have otherwise been.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Only Blood Could Cleanse Her Name - Moleskine Art

I will never if I live to a thousand understand why and how a man's honour resides in a woman's vagina! All religions and all patriarchal cultures have sought to curtail and control female sexuality. It boils down to a simple fact: a man wants to know that the children he is raising are fathered by him. That basic reality has caused and continues to cause no end of pain and suffering to womankind. We are paying the price for men's insecurity to this day. This insecurity has been dressed up and disguised as honour. And women have been brainwashed into believing that cocooning themselves in swaddling cloths, separating themselves from society makes them more honourable and godly. And It makes me mad!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

We Kept Watch - Moleskine Art

The need to control, in some people is so strong even sleep can't keep them away. I've seen couples that argue over stuff that happened in a dream!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Parade Began With The Courtship - Moleskine Art

Throughout history women have used their bodies as currency. And men have been avid consumers. It depresses more than I can say to see young women firmly believing their bodies are all they have to offer. The result is broken children from broken relationships that go on to repeat the cycle. Religion and tradition has ensured that women and their sexual potency were seen as something negative and dangerous, their power and fertility downgraded and under valued. What is the answer? I have no idea.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Day Ended Without Them - Moleskine Art

My parents hadn't heard of child centred nurturing when I was a child. In their world children fell in with the adults and not the other way round. I felt helpless, frustrated and unheard. I didn't want much, just to be able to choose my own clothes would have been a nice crumb to throw towards me. In my head adults took on the features and powers of Gods. They wrote the law, drew up the plans and told us what our needs were. It never occurred to them to consult, ask for feedback or show a little sensitivity to our developing personalities. I did what I could to thwart them, but it was more a little series of irritants than a major spanner in their works, but it made me feel better.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I Loathed Them All - Moleskine Art

 All my attempts at explanations for my pages offer just a tiny facet of meaning, so much more feeds into each image, a lot of which is too private or raw for me to make public. My books are a means of exorcising my demons and taming my monsters. I really enjoy hearing more objective points of view, however, an outsider can see more than I can in some ways. No matter how I feel about it, I reveal more than I intend to do and say more than I should.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Human Waste - Moleskine Art

When I was six and living in Kuwait, my bed was placed beneath a window. I'd lay on my bed and pull the curtain over my head . I'd then pretend that when I pulled the curtain back I'd be seeing the world around me for the very first time. I'm imagine what it would feel like to see the sky, the stars and the sea for the very first time and without preconceptions. To understand the most basic facts of being human, my body and the existence of others like me. I'd spend hours going over different scenarios till I fell asleep. I once convinced myself that I was turning into a plastic doll. I felt my legs go stiff and inflexible, my eyes: fixed and staring... at this point I was so alarmed I yanked myself back from whatever state I'd hypnotised myself into and never tried that game again. I have such vivid memories of my internal conversations, the strange world inside my head. I still spend time there when I am alone, surprisingly I haven't aged in that parallel world, I seem to have stuck at six.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Gravy - Moleskine Art

People are either givers or takers. Takers have a sense of entitlement, confidence and self belief. Givers have an exaggerated feeling of empathy, compassion and low self esteem. I am a reluctant giver with aspirations towards becoming a taker with giving tendencies. Is that a good thing? I've never claimed to be saint, nor would I want to be one. I am a sinner through and through but a nice one.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Mother's Dressing Gown - Moleskine Art

This sums up my perpetual state of confusion as a child. I was confused when adults lied but punished me for doing the same thing. They gossiped, stole, and bullied with a freedom I wanted for myself. At the centre of the confusion was my mother as a constant, in my minds eye eternally wearing a Marks And Spencer's nylon quilted dressing gown. The whole world could turn upside down but as long as mum was there in her dressing gown, I new all was well. They don't make dressing gowns like that anymore, I guess health and safety doesn't allow for that kind of fire hazard!

Friday, 6 July 2012

A Human Catalogue - Moleskine Art

Just think! Every female of our species carries approximately 400 eggs in her ovaries. The male produces trillions of sperm over a lifetime. Now imagine if we had access to a photo album of all possible combinations with a particular mate, and we could select our offspring. Wouldn't it be sad having to reject 397/ 396 of the possibilities. How would we choose? I think about this a lot and fantasise about the 395 babies I'll never have or get to know. Thinking about it, what a blessing it is that the selection is out of our control! Leaving the choice to chance relieves us of a terrible burden, and yet, I'd love to take a peek at what could have been...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

She Would Live Underwater - Moleskine Art

I am quite intuitive. I have honed my people reading skills over decades, so I know myself pretty well. And yet, when told I can't do something I completely ignore what my inner voice is telling me, and my five year old belligerent self would take the bait. I'll brave pain, discomfort and unhappiness just to prove a point nobody cared about anyway. These small victories are like a battery charge for my psyche. Little secret triumphs at an inordinate personal cost are at once perverse and utterly human.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

I Listened For Love - Moleskine Art

When I'm worried about something I start making deals with God, angels the Universe..anything out there that had more power than I had. I'd promise acts of denial or acts of super kindness. As a child I learnt never to take things at face value, I knew adults were twisted liars. I became adept at sniffing out atmospheres, moods and undercurrents. It was a survival tactic. I'd then adjust my behaviour to suit the situation. It was hard, stressful work, but I was on my own. I wish I could hold my five year old self and tell me that everything would be o.k.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Close Yer Eyes = Moleskine Art

An ambiguous take on male V. female relationships. In any partnership, happy or miserable, there are continuous power struggles. Traditionally, women used mental manipulation while men were more physical. We all have endless stories to illustrate this. I shall spare you my little homilies this once, and allow you to come up with your own anecdotes. By all means feel free to share.

Monday, 2 July 2012

She Hated Gardening - Moleskine Art

This image is a portrait of a couple I am related to by blood. Tbeir relationship as dramatic and compelling as an episode of Eastenders. They knew how to work each other, and they took full advantage of this knowledgr. He'd boast about how much control he had over 'his woman', and would regale anyone who's listen how he's worked women out. To him they were no longer a mystery. Meanwhile, his loving wife would spill all his intimate secrets to her girlfriends. As a child I knew when the women gathered together their conversation changed. I'd sneak around trying to look inconspicuous as I picked up crumbs of juicy gossip, not understanding much of it till years later. And what gossip! No holds barred, Xrated would be a conservative description. As an adult I realise that a lot of the marriages that were being discussed were arranged ones. Without the love component, these women felt no personal loyalty to their 'stranger' husbands. When you love someone, you are interested in presenting them in the best light, 'big them up' so to speak. Without love, it is a cold transaction. The women exacted small acts of revenge by betraying personal details, by puncturing their men's carefully crafted image. Since then I've always been a sucker for where is my heat magazine?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Fresh Air Doesn't Guarantee Breathing - Moleskine Art

One of my gifts for my fourth birthday was a Wade wall plaque of a cat's face. My mother thought I'd like it as I was animal crazy. She hung it over my bed lovingly. Now this was the meanest looking cat I'd ever seen.
 To my childish eyes it looked as if it had been skinned, it's rictus grin never faltering. If I saw that cat's head now I'd probably find it quite sweet and charming, but in my head it has taken on mythical powers of evil. I'd fantasize that it was spying on me, that it was colluding with my mother to thwart my every independent move, that says more about my relationship with my mother than anything else. My brother and sisters still remember that head with a shudder so it wasn't all in my mind.I have found the offending article online, so you can see for yourself.
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