Thursday, 23 April 2009

International Collaboration. #blognor09

Norwich pole dancers.

Working table

Over the last few years I have watched all the businesses in Norfolk and the UK move out to India as there only way of saving there business. Norwich Union was one of them they use to be a huge employer in Norwich. People left school and either went to college or got a job at Norwich union.
Since I have been living back in Norwich after being in OZ for nearly a decade. I have struggled to get anything happening. I even designed ideas to fit in with the local community. Like my plastic bottle green house in schools. You would think that would be perfect for schools it teaches carpentry, reusing, and growing veges all in one. When I got in contact with all the schools after doing a Neat business course,  there was not the enthusiasm that I imagined. They said we only get funding for digital things like DVDs.
So the government has complete control over what the teachers teach. So the chance of a kid in a rural farming area growing a tomato is very slim. So the infrastructure in this country is completely set up to fail. 
As a desperate measure to find work in Norfolk I went on line, to search outside Norfolk and to find the like minded enthusiastic people.
I searched the whole planet all over. Starting with a websites, I have 3 at the moment and 10 I helped with the design and layout of writers and artists sites.
Then I went on Facebook, joined over a hundred groups. Then my friend Rebecca in Ireland started her sustainable living blog and I got hooked on the idea of having one. 
Then I started my own art related groups on Facebook. 
Then Anand found me on my cartoonist group. Anand lives in Mumbai India and has a animation porthole website called animation xpress. He knows all the animation studios and has been to Norwich for an Animation conference. He is also a journalist and writer and has joined forces with me to collaborate on a children's book.
The story I like a lot it sparked my imagination straight away. After absorbing the information and exchanging messages with Anand. I then draw lots of sketches and made up 3 paintings for the story and emailed them off to Mumbai.
I am trying very hard to get the pictures to be the best. The book is set in Indonesia so I have drummed up the imagination for being there. 
The illustrations have been accepted as brilliant, so this week I painted another page and have weeks a head of me to carry on painting. 
I wish I had a grant to do art all day I haven't seen a check since last year. I seem to work very hard yet no one wants to pay me in the UK. So I have joined the large boat of businesses moving to India, where they seem to be very on the ball, enthusiastic, embrace and use talented people. 
Ireland had the same problem in the 1970's of talent leaving the island. Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, to potters, traditional artists etc. The government acted on this straight away and let all artists be tax free. Then art and the music scene boomed, there was one year at my school that had six bands including U2 . When U2 started earning large sums of cash the first thing they did was repair Dublin, starting with a theatre at the school which was built.
So the best way Norfolk and the UK could start getting things going would be to support the talent instead of letting them rot in the gutter. A tax break would make no difference as artists don't earn anything. But grants  and management teams would be a good idea, to get the potential earnings working.
Or a basic government salary.
Maybe this country has come to a standstill because of all the rules and regulations, which fill up peoples in/out trays.  A sample of this is if I want to borrow a ladder, I need insurance, a letter of permission, public liability. A car with a roof rack, traffic permit to park. Health and safety certificate and a police check and a certificate course in how to go up and down a ladder, ow and someone to hold the ladder at the bottom.
I don't remember all these show stoppers in the first 2 and halve decades of my life. 
In the old days you just got up the ladder did the job and came down again. Falling off the ladder is down to pure circumstance and all the show stoppers listed cant stop or help fate.
When I was teaching stilt walking in Little Snoring a little boy said to me, my mum said I am going to fall of these stilts today, it was affirmed by his Mum that is what he is going to do. So I showed him how to fall safely. So he could fall off his stilts over and over again, like his Mum wanted him to. 
The same applies to everything, the news is constant failings. More jobs going to go this week. etc. then the I told ya so afterwards.
All I want is a life that I can get on with and not have boulders put in the way or hoops to jump through.
Best get back to painting, all this writing is eternal. Will keep you posted on my Mumbai/Norwich collaboration.

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