Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Unveiling Persepolis animation

At the weekend I lay in bed recovering from Children's art workshops at the hospital open day.
The hospital open day is the only one in the world, no other hospital has an open day. Patients and staff and there family's attend. It is a good idea because I have found that I only go to the same areas of the hospital and never see other parts, so there for don't know my way around. Also good for staff bringing in there children to show them where they work and to show off the hospital arts project. Lots of Rabbits were painted by the children. The Rabbit was designed by Alex Johansen in Glasgow and sent down to Norfolk to be reproduced in plaster. They will be placed in the grounds of the hospital and one of them will win a competition.

While lying in bed I watched a DVD called "Persepolis" it was a fantastic animation made by an Iranian lady Marjane Satrapi. It was mostly made by hand as in artists drawing millions of pictures, which looks so much better then computer animations.
Here is a clip from the movie, but I do say get it out from a rental DVD place or your local library or buy it and watch it all.
It certainly gives an insight to silly fashion laws made by stupid men, with pea brains.
Wear what you want dont let the facists get you down. If you think someone is going to steal your wife. Then have it out with the someone not your wife. But also women are not dollys and no one owns us, we are born free. This film also gives a history of Iran, over the last 5 decades.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Unvieling of the Veil

The French Prime minister is unveiling the veil. This is most confusing for a everyone. I went to Saudi Arabia as a teenager and had to wear the full gear apart from covering my face that was OK because I was from the West. I also had to be escorted everywhere by my family. I was sweet sixteen and was very shy and didn't want to draw attention to myself. In Ireland where I grew up boys were never interested in me and I was worth nothing to them. Boys and men had generally been bully's in my life and rarely showed a nice side, so I had no interest in getting a boyfriend at that age.
But when I was out in the markets in Saudi, I went to a gold shop to have a look around at the jewelery with my brother, this view of European men was reinforced. The gold shop owner said to my brother how much for your sister. Then he started haggling and offered my brother the whole gold shop to him. My brother then said 40 riyals which was about 40p, the gold shop guy then got mad at him and opened draws of cash offering money and the whole gold shop. My brother still said forty riyals. I was raging by then and annoyed by my brother saying I was worthless.
Then my dad had an offer from his boss who already had several wife's and children but had no sons and thought another wife might give him one. He offered £30,000 to my Dad plus £30,000 to all his brothers each and a camel farm and a string of limousine cars. My Dad was certainly thinking about selling me off. I actually had to stand my ground for freedom, but was flattered by so many great offers. If the rules were changed like that I got offered the cash instead of all the men in my family getting it, I might have taken one of the men up on the offer. But as it went there is very little I would want to buy anyway, so all the money in the world doesn't really make me a bride to slavery. If I had spent any longer in Saudi I think the marriage offers would have turned to annoying and I would have completely covered up to save the hassle.
The full gear also worked as a great way to keep the sun off as I got burnt easily in the dessert and the silk caught the slightest breeze, which kept me cooler. What I wore underneath didn't matter so a bad clothes day could be covered up.
Then years later I was at art college in Bradford and there is quite a lot of Muslim Women wearing the full outfits there. But there was never very many happy stories about the Muslim women there, who were sometimes bought over from abroad, could not speak English, forced into arranged marriages then forced to have children, trapped into there homes with lack of communication with the outside world. Getting beatings and sometimes tried to suicide by pouring petrol over themselves. So the Burka in one way covers up the scars of forced arranged marriages.
Then as growing up in Dublin only in the 1970's all women wore head scarfs. Even my mother would not leave the house with out one. They were not a fashion statement, they covered up the hair do, to stop it blowing about in the wind and kept the wind from blowing in the delicate ears and kept the head and neck warm and in winter bigger scarfs were worn to keep the shoulders warm. As we see in the UK the Queen still wears a head scarf when outdoors.
As for the hole in the Ozone which is directly over Tasmania, women there have taken to wearing a head scarf to save getting skin cancer on head and neck.
When I worked in a retirement home I had to take a guy to the hospital to have his skin cancer on his head treated. My eyes watered watching him have the treatment done, it was so painful.
My friends from OZ have skin cancer and there between the ages of thirty and forty. So I make a point of not going out, unless necessary and always wearing a hat or scarf and sunglasses.
So I think the French President is right to say women should have there freedom but he should take into account that the head scarf is a useful item of clothing.
Maybe he should instead fund programmes for teaching Muslim women French and helping them set up there own businesses and women's groups or art groups after all it is France home to the great artists.
None of the information in my blog is based on scientific research and evidence, it is purely on my experience and story, so don't get upset by anything I write. I get on much better with men now and put them in there place when there out of line. I would also say it be a good idea if the whole world started to respect women and let them wear what what ever they want or nothing at all if that's what they want. The ultimate freedom is wearing nothing at all, which we get about 10 seconds of just after were born and the occasional go at skinny dipping in the sea.

I have just heard that religion is band in french schools this is fantastic news. My school life was ruined by religion and I could have spent all the hours per day wasted on religion making art. I really could not relate to the story's or the illustrations of religious figures in robes, centuries before. The constant thanking of to a god that I couldn't see, made me feel like adults and teachers were all insane. I wanted to learn straight up things, like how to grow a tree, buy an apple from a shop, how to make a pedal car like the one in the Bugsy Malone film, how to make sugar glass. How to play a guitar, How to fill out a form, what all the stars in the sky were, what all the wild flowers were called. How to cook a decent meal, how to make a ladder. How to be a tailor, a sailor, an actor, a film maker, a decorator, a stilt walker, a fire person, how to fix a bike, a car, sewing machine. All these useful things I had to teach myself at home. School was in fact 10 years of wasted in my life and because I knew it was and didn't want to go. I was sent to a shrink by the government officials which wasted more of my time.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Mother collects her prize

Saint Benedict's street fair today, the sun shone its face and we ventured down the cobblestone streets to the fair. There was happiness and music in the air. People sitting outside cafes and clothes racks on the the street and homemade arty assortments stalls. Everyone was smiling and saying hello. It was like walking into another dimension in Norwich, where usually gloom and doom of medieval city hangs with consumerist loom.
After cruising round the 4 churches that were now opening with art and crafts, one of them dedicated to knitting. We headed over to the Ship of fools shop where I still had to claim my prize for best dressed costume from the Warhol rejects party that was held at Take 5 crypt bar weeks before. The flaunted through the racks wondering which dress would best suit my opening day at the hospital children's unit. It was dicing up between conservative formative to just been my wacky arty self. My Son (Alister) gave a big friendly hello and then recognised his old mother from the party. He was very helpful in hints of what to wear. As we were chatting we were rudely interrupted by the police saying the fair was over and the clothes racks had to come in off the street. This was when the sun was peaking and the atmosphere of the fair was in full swing. I stood outside as my son was taking in the clothes racks and shop dummy's with his helpful friends. The last rack was the shoes my feet started to tingle as they came across a wonderful pair of modern day Japanese style shoes with pink rope straps. This was my prize a pair of shoes to match my Japanese/Chinese twin piece that I had made and was pleading out for matching shoes.
My Son took a photo of the prize winner and we chatted to all his friends on the street. They were all heading over to the Birdcage pub for some Bloody Marys and invited us along but due to my heavy paint work load I had to decline and head home up the cobblestones. As we waved good bye, we were nearly run over by one big enormous Tesco's truck that scrapped the sides of the medieval streets to pass through. So the realisation as to why are streets are not closed to traffic entered my head. All for the multi national smelly over sized trucks for the big shop that kills off local business. Then another truck passed again on another small street up on Pottergate nearly taking me off my bike.
When I become Mayor of this City the first thing I am going to do is Ban Tesco's monsters from being here. Please start the boycott today, why support a shop that treats it costumers, staff and farmers badly and shop at lovely local friendly shops.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

A star child is born

Photo taken by Rhalou Allerhand of The Alien.

The craft has landed here in Norfolk. Tonight I watched Kingdom the TV series round at Emma's House as I don't own a TV, which might sound primitive and crazy, but being an artist takes up all my time and I don't have a 2nd to watch the box. But made a special effort tonight as I was in the Kingdom series starring as an Alien freak. I knitted this costume especially for my part in the show. I broke all the show biz rules, which include never upstage the lead and wear plain boring clothes, usually something dark. Low and behold I didn't end up on the cutting room floor this time and got in a scene with Norfolk's hero Stephen Fry and my hero from Tiswas children's programme and many radio shows Sandi Toksvig.
I was very impressed by the colour and delight of the show this week, making it very entertaining to watch and pleased that they managed to solve the corn circle.
Not all corn circles can be solved as also in the film was Norfolk's UFO expert Mick Hardy and he is a real investigator and does find some circles beyond human ability. But has to cut through hundreds of cirles to find a legitimate one.
Meeting real aliens one would think of as some excitement in life to find out there is more to the planet then us humans and animals but for friends in Norfolk who do see aliens it is a burden to there life and they are constantly pestered by the Aliens. Then once your in the know it is impossible to tell anyone because everyone thinks that your raving mad. So the best outlet for being an alien victim is to write a book.
I was very pleased with my knitted alien as I am not a professional knitter and cannot read knitting patterns. It was just one of those visions in the middle of the night and then going to all the wool shops to find a ball of wool in the right colour, then shear determination and focus hoping for the best.
I have since knitted quite a few commissions. Get in touch if you would like a knitted something.
I will warn you now that I don't charge slave labour prices for knitting and designing. It takes 24 hours to hand Knit an alien.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Starring in Kingdom

Its that time of the year again and the new Kingdom series is on the moving image box. This sunday 14th June 9pm an ITV.
The series starring Stephen Fry is set in Norfolk where I live. The series has great landscape shots of Norfolk and captures its rural countryside and real charactors, that you would not find anywhere else in the world.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Art Money for sale

Art money the great new way to buy things from somewhere to stay or to use part payment for goods. Art money started in Copenhagen in Denmark by Lars Kraemmer an Danish Artist and has won awards for the art money concept.
While banks are still struggling and collapsing this is a great new way of exchange especially for unsupported artists like me that have 0 income.
I spent several months working out a stain proof material and a concept for my artmoney and also have new concepts to do once the first ones sales. The art money is valued at 27 euros, you can then spend it for that value anywhere in the world where you can tell them about the concept or places that already accept the artmoney. On the website there is a list of company's that accept art money already.
I made 40 pieces of artmoney and gave one to the artmoney company as a payment for enrolling.
Now I just have to sit back and wait and see what happens and maybe make more art money to use in the UK. I have a serial number now to make it valid as one art money.
Art money is fantastic, don't hesitate to join in and support this great concept.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

SOS Amazon rainforest

The Indigenous people in the Amazon need our help right now, they were peacefully trying to save the forest from destruction of oil and mining etc company's wiping it out. When the police were ordered to wipe out the indigenous people and the police murdered 43 indigenous people in one morning. The megalomaniac leader of Peru does not see the rainforest's as something that is important for the planet as a whole.
Please help in anyway you can. Here is a link to the real news.
Prince Charles is also calling for help to save forests around the world. This can be by creating alternative sustainable businesses that would create jobs. I mean sustainable by something that grows back again. Like willow, bamboo, cornstarch plastic. Rainforest's don't grow back they are replaced with acidic mono culture plants that kill off every living creature and become a noxious weed. Sign a petition on his site.
Another great thing to do is give up eating cows and dairy products, as this is another product used to replace rainforest's. Eating cows and dairy products is linked to cancer and illnesses. Have ago at giving them up for a fortnight and see your own health improve dramatically.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Hospital Arts Project Norfolk and Norwich New Children's Unit

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Arts Project Children's Unit refurbishment 2009 is now finished.
6 months of design work and tons of other work day and night to get it finished. This is my Eel PSI table that wraps around a pillar in the children's Assessment Unit waiting room. It was designed with 10 Psi's to go on it. The Theme of the whole Unit was beach and Broads and the Eel fits both as it spends time in the sea and wriggles across the land to find some broads to breed in. Eels in Norfolk were used as monetary exchange in the past, but due to pollution etc there is less of them about. The table was designed larger and redesigned so many times I have lost count. The table was built by Arce joinery in Norwich. I gave them a very hard task as Formica inlay is very difficult to cut like this and all the curves are not your usual type of woodwork. My nightmare was it going to fit in one piece around the pillar once finished and thankfully it did. The PSI have individual pieces of metal casing to keep them securely to table with metal cable so no one walks off with them.

The head of the Eel was made lower for the under fives who now play computer games.
The stools all snake around the table and are very soft to sit on. They can also be pulled away to fit a wheelchair in.

The Eel table is a floating design with water weed to hold it up.

Emma Jarvis hospital arts coordinator who puts more then her hours in to organise this job and I recon she is doing the job of 100 or more people. This photo was taken at 4am, yet another night of helping her unpack and move furniture around and putting up paintings and ceiling tiles.
The hospital Arts project is totally fund raised by Emma Jarvis through charitable donations.
My view is why have a hospital that looks so disgusting it makes one feel sick. The hospital would be a grey colour if there was no hospital arts project.
Children love colour, this unit will hopefully make them better and put a smile on the nurses faces everyday.

Here's a different view of the waiting room with my lighthouse and Eel table and the wedgie shaped stools put in a circle with new toys for Mums and children to play together.

Art and play table in the foreground with amazing new red chairs that have 1950's retro look.

The floors were all designed with healing waves that will wash away all ill health. The designer of the floor was a student and I will find her name reall soon and publish it as soon as I do.

The ceiling tiles were all replaced with amazing art work so lying in bed and looking up is now a new experience. Kate Greens art work on these tiles. Thanks to Chris Ball at GGS Graphics for the amazing amount of work that was printed on laminate.

Bubbles on ceilings and walls in one of the rooms.

A totally new invention and never been done before a magnetic photo board for the staff, this one is of a Norfolk style Guest house for the Children's Out-patients staff. From previous employment I learnt that the staff photo boards were a normal picture frame and if staff left and news came in then there was a not nice task of taking the whole frame a part to put photo in and out then putting frame altogether or a yukky pin board with a drawing pin through the head of all the staff.
This great and brilliant photo board can be wiped clean too.

Guess the hotel I based this painting on, when I was photographing the painting outside a neighbour said she stayed in room number 52 on the top right hand corner. Each window I have painted different flower arrangements.

Corridors so many of them look the same not any more with amazing paintings all different. This painting triptych was painted by Hannah Giffard BAFTA winning artist.

The submarine waiting room with porthole paintings by Kate Green and mobiles from the ceiling are all around the unit. These benches were suppose to arrive on Saturday in one piece. They did not arrive in one piece and you can imagine what a nightmare that added to two Lady's trying to finish a job off. Thanks to all the staff who walked by and came and helped put them together.
Starring at people working hard is very off putting, always a good idea to lend a hand on charitable projects that don't have funds for staff.

Swimming with fish is the best thing one can do in life after all we use to be fish before we evolved into land up right animals. Here Kate Green has made a wonderful transparent window painting.

More waiting rooms this one has a door so you don't have to run after run away toddlers. All the buckets are filled with brand new toys to keep the little ones happy.
Hannah Giffard's window and wall work in here.
There are hundreds more rooms that I did not get around to photographing due to blurry eyes at 4am. Squibb Design artists also made works for physiotherapy rooms.

Thanks also to Anand Gurnani from animation Xpress in India for waiting patiently for me to finish this project. I showed him the pictures last night and his comments were beautiful, elegant, cheerful, happy and thought provoking. Here's hoping all the staff, funders and children feel the same way.
I will now be working on a joint collaboration with Anand at animation xpress, finishing off one of the most amazing children's books ever made and hope that it will be made into a game that will be put in my Eel station at the hospital and a book to be read there too.

Lots of thanks to all the support from family and friends and new friends on Face book who also took great interest in this project. I do hope that hospitals around the world start employing artists to give them a big face lift too. I feel Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is very unique for this arts project.

Also please give handsomely to the Chauncy Maples hospital ship which is in much need of restoration on lake Malawi for a basic hospital shell.

The Hospital arts project is on going and also needs constant funds next area is intensive care unit, which will need lots of special art to bring people back to life. This will be very expensive as will be a digital sound project.