Emerging socially engaged activist poet focused on disability
Associate Artist Disability Arts Online
Outside In Artist/Ambassador
28th May 2020
I am an outsider artist on the inside. Shielded by a government I despise whose food parcels are nevertheless welcomed here on a Monday morning.
I live in a modern apartment block. Its hardly sterile but my wife and I lean towards white, beige and regardless of hoarding tendencies aim to appear as minimalist as we choose to be.
There is not a great deal to attract my artist eye. Yet my mornings and evenings are open to artistry through technology. Namaste. We start our mornings post tea in bed and cuddles with Qi Gong exercises. We discovered this through social isolation and have built up a nice little routine. I then sit at my computer. The day before I would have systematically work through memory cards looking for photographic images with texture in them. Where texture is missinI will crop and colour manipulate until I find texture. Being image ready I post to #texturehuntergatherer. I was introduced to the hashtag by a fellow artist who has mental health issues. She keeps herself well by taking a daily walk and looking for texture.
She also introduced me to #artistsupportpledge which is an opportunity to make money by selling work. I have not sold anything yet. I am excluded from the furlough scheme and do not receive benefits. I live in hope. The art I hope to sell goes from the memory cards to my REaD Rhymes Live Gallery on Outside In. Each day I post a new image (well Mon-Friday anyway).
As the day stretches out and the sun finds itself moving in a friendlier position I find myself lost in shadow and reflection. I photograph in approaching darkness. This is my own unique lock down project independent of Outside In and hashtags.
I post a poem a week to DisabilityArts Online. Poetry is my primary artform. I miss much of my poetry community. Wendy Young introduced me to facebooks, The Daily Haiku. Participating in that reveals the simplicity of the language I cleave to. I like my limited vocabulary but welcome new words from time to time. Cleave. I read somewhere that Boris cleaves to Dominic.
Wendy attends my zoom meetings. As does Michelle. David said he would attend the next one as did Gwyneth. Debbie has excused herself but there are many I never hear from either from The Highgate Society’s Poetry Group or Survivors Poetry. I am in touch with Charlet at Merton Centre for Independent Living. A former work mate she is now my collaborator in illustrating poetry. She has the skill, she has the eye. She also adds an imagination that I am free of.
I am grateful for art. I could let it corare this. She is well angry with the government. Anger. Hatred. I feel these emotions impinge on our love and I won’t let it win. Laughter is important. It springs up between us in spaces that our exercise regime and other timetables allow. To be systematic, to be disciplined, to not stop. These are the things that keep me/we going.