Are You a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

Puddy Tat, Pigment pen on paper, 15 x 15 cm

When someone asked me, “are you a cat person or a dog person?” I responded: “both!” I love the friendly way dogs often approach as if you’ve come to see them alone. I also love how cats choose to be around you and leave when they’ve had enough. We can learn something from both these behaviours.

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Love is a Valid Form of Activism

Wooden Heart, Pigment pen on paper, 15 x 15 cm

I drew the image above after reading an essay by Jacqui Roach and Petal Felix on the black female gaze. In the essay, Jacqui and Petal* analyse the gaze of three black women – a writer, an actor, and a songwriter. They conclude that the black female gaze is not a unified gaze but made up of different points of view. However, they see one of these points of view as lacking.

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A Calm Ending to Victorian Ideals

Last week I shared a post about revisiting my short film Not Punch and Judy… and this week I’d like to share another film I made the same year: Skeletal Sunset (2014). I remember sitting on Brighton beach making this film. It was cold. I was with friends and we were gathered to say goodbye so it was an ending. I’d borrowed camera equipment from university and had it with me so I set up the tripod and sat there, adjusting the light setting every so often.

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Puppets, Power and the Patriarchy

Not Punch and Judy: The Chronicle and Story of an Experiment in Emergent Practice, 2014, 9m 6s

I revisited this film last week, whilst deciding whether to include it in an art award application. It was fascinating to watch the process of the puppets being made, including the undoing of bits that didn’t work. I thought I’d cringe at my reflective narration but actually it feels even more relevant six years on.

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Emotional Flashbacks Don’t Have to be Destabilising

Mauve Daisies 2020, photograph

I had an emotional flashback on Monday. I had a deadline for an expression of interest for an art project yesterday. I feel wiped out today. An emotional flashback results in my body going into shock. There are no visual memories, which is why I sometimes find it confusing to understand – seeing is believing, right? It is purely a bodily reaction to a past trauma. My extremities go very pale and I shiver. It’s when I start shivering that I think, ‘wait, what’s going on?’ 

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Is Pain Part of Creativity?

Despair, 16 x 16 cm, pigment pen and colour pencils on paper

Is pain part of creativity? It seems to be for me. Often, I begin creating a piece of art because I’m in psychological pain and it can transform that pain into healing. The drawing above began on the anniversary of my father’s suicide. Despair was what I was feeling and, somehow, I was able to tap into that feeling and watch it take shape on paper. By externalising it and writing in my journal about it, I could understand it more. I wrote a blog post about the beginning of this process.

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Connection versus Despair and the Winner is… Connection

Drawing despair – work in progress – pigment pen on paper

The Pain of Remembrance

The day before yesterday I was ready to throw in the towel and go back to Brighton; back to my cosy flat where I don’t have to plan where I’m going to sleep, or shower, or get water from (I’m living in my van for a couple of weeks whilst visiting university in person). It got too hard, especially when Boris Johnson announced new Covid-related restrictions. As I sat in the university library trying to work out how the new restrictions would affect me, I felt horribly alone.

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Lonely Teenage Part Discovered Whilst Painting Dots

I tapped into a teenage part of me whilst painting dots. I was feeling lonely. One of the things I love about painting is the meditative aspect. I can sit and be aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations without the need to act on them because I’ve dedicated myself to the task of painting dots. I first became aware of this choice in relation to thoughts when I painted Constellation in 2009. It was a revelation! I don’t have to act out every thought and impulse!

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Square Dots #1: sexism and dinero

Square Dots #1
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 in
POA

If you would like to know the price of Square Dots #1 contact meIf that statement makes you nervous, there’s no pressure to buy. Do feel free to ask me questions about my work. Read on for insights into my painting process…

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