Tag Archives: Gary Caldwell

Beauty, Deformation and Monsters # 2

10 Oct

Deformity

 Lydia Allison our ‘Writer In Residence’ for the month of October.

..and the ever-changing Halloween Monster!

‘I often just write what I feel. I have a real interest in physicality/beauty/deformity as I think image impacts on everyone.  I’m particularly interested in how people see themselves and how that influences their appearance or physicality subconsciously/metaphorically in terms of their feeling or actively by self harm/eating disorders. And I’m interested in perceptions of beauty and body dysmorphia’.

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Here’s the second of five poems on deformation by Lydia Allison illustrated by emerging Artist Amanda Santos (See her biography below), and the second instalment of our ever-morphing, dastardly collaborative monster. This drawing is being  collaboratively produced and passed from artist-to artist week-by-week all contributing to one image.

The artists collaborating in Lydia’s project alongside Amanda are Gary Caldwell (whose work went out in our first post here) and Diana Probst and Sara Mena (whose work is to come). So….each week you’ll be presented with a new poem and two new images/artworks (one illustration & one growing monster) and you’ll also be introduced to each artist.

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Blood Gold by Amanda Santos

Please do click on the image to enlarge

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Blood Gold

by Lydia Allison

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it drags the veins as it flushes and trudges
heavy and sludgy, it reminds you
of energy and time and waste

.
it weighs
and stretches the fibres
the skin
until she is numb
and unable to see
the leaves that shimmered
now gather around the rich tree root trunk of her heart
like cholesterol snagging in corners
and shutting valves like doors.

.
the key
a bright speck that navigates the brain
or abides in the green retina of the left eye
he noticed once

.
and hurts? can you not know?

.
it hurts
it makes her shine
and now it pools
a small dam low
in her chest

.
it pools
small sac by sac
so when she breathes
it’s cold and half dead
and tastes
like blood

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Writer’s Biography

‘I’ve been writing for a couple of years and am currently in my final year of my BA in Creative Writing. Two years ago I thought it would be a miracle for me to string lines into poetry, but quickly fell in love with it and proved myself wrong. My real passion lies between the border of poetry and prose.’

lydiaallison.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Artist’s Biography:

 “Hi, my name is Amanda Santos. I’m a junior in High School, and I only really got involved in art a year ago in my Art I class. Since then I have tried to learn everything that I possibly can about every type of art that I could find. I am still trying to find a style and a voice in the artistic world, but I’m on my way.”

https://twitter.com/AmandaS5454

You can find more of Amanda’s art in a previous collaboration on ArtiPeeps, Interactions and Intersections.

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The Monster .

with Amanda’s additions

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Amanda's monster (2)

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The monster was passed to Diana Probst today. She’s shaping the monster as we speak….

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Lydia’s next poem will be out on ArtiPeeps next week-Wednesday 16th October.  You can also check-in then and  see what stage our cheery monster is at too!  

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As always, your responses to either Lydia’s poetry or the art that has been created would be very much welcomed!!

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Beauty, Deformation and Monsters #1

1 Oct

Deformity

Introducing Lydia Allison our ‘Writer In Residence’ for the month of October.

..and The Monster!

I approached Lydia a while ago proposing that she could maybe take up a month long residency on ArtiPeeps and to my delight she said yes! It was Lydia who then came up with the idea of focusing on notions of deformity as she had written a number of poems about it. When I asked Lydia the question, ‘why deformity?’, this is what she said about her interest:

‘I often just write what I feel. I have a real interest in physicality/beauty/deformity as I think image impacts on everyone.  I’m particularly interested in how people see themselves and how that influences their appearance or physicality subconsciously/metaphorically in terms of their feeling or actively by self harm/eating disorders. And I’m interested in perceptions of beauty and body dysmorphia’.

And this is what Lydia said about herself too:

‘I’ve been writing for a couple of years and am currently in my final year of my BA in Creative Writing. Two years ago I thought it would be a miracle for me to string lines into poetry, but quickly fell in love with it and proved myself wrong. My real passion lies between the border of poetry and prose.’

It was very clear that Lydia could ‘string lines into poetry’ and she produced 4 poems focused around the body or parts of the body. We decided that it would be wonderful if these poems could be illustrated and, because Halloween is a coming, for the artists involved  to use the parts of the body fleshed out within her poems to inspire a Collaborative Halloween Monster too.

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So what you’ll find for the next four weeks is one poem of Lydia’s illustrated by an artist each week and an ever- growing, ghastly Monster being created alongside it;  the nature of which, will gradually emerge bit by bit.  

This drawing will be collaboratively produced and passed from artist-to artist week-by-week all contributing to one image. The artists collaborating in Lydia’s project are Gary Caldwell, Amanda Santos, Diana Probst and Sara Mena. Each week you’ll be presented with a new poem and two new images/artworks (one illustration & one growing monster) and you’ll also be introduced to each artist.

Today’s images have been created by artist and illustrator Gary Caldwell who is currently living and working in Aberdeen, Scotland. Indeed Gary is also responsible for our ArtiPeeps logo on the sidebar. His graphics are always striking. 

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Print

You can find more of Gary’s art via http://www.flowland.co.uk/Contact

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Most People Start With The Skin

by Lydia Allison

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like back-washing a canvas
it is much easier to go brighter
or darker.
Try to remain as plain and smooth
as possible – make yourself
not like yourself
– do you want to stick out?

.
If they can tell you’re flesh and fibres
that you have pores
you sweat
think
eat mayonnaise
you have lost.

.
Learn to laugh
right
and to smile
right
how to talk
eat
who to like
OK
what to say
OK

and once you are there
consider all of them
consider yourself
disguised.

.

lydiaallison.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

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The Monster

The head

Print

The monster’s head was passed to Amanda Santos yesterday. She’s adding body parts as we speak….

Lydia’s next poem will be out on ArtiPeeps next week- Thursday 10th October.  You can also check-in and  see what stage our cheery monster is at too!  

As always, your responses to either Lydia’s poetry or the art that has been created would be very much welcomed!!

Bunny Hops: ArtiPeeps Update

1 Apr

Hurry

>

It’s been a little while since I’ve given everybody an update of what’s afoot with ArtiPeeps, so I’m taking this Easter Monday as a cue to do so. I am trying to embody all the energy of the hare above at the moment but not the speed- slow and steady is what I’m aiming for; trying to build something solid and meaningful in the long term. All of what you’ll find below is part of that trajectory.

Today is the launch of the new ArtiPeeps logo that you’ll see to the right at the top of the sidebar. It has been designed by artist and illustrator Gary Caldwell and Gary and I have been working on it for a number of months. The logo’s aim is to embody all that ArtiPeeps stands for in a clear and precise way and to communicate the notion of collaboration visually. There is also an explicit nod to another one of ArtiPeeps’ concerns -well-being. We’re going to use the logo on all our official documentation and business cards etc. It will also be the logo I use for my various social media profiles. It’s one of the stages in our professionalisation, so it feels good, and Gary has been a great collaborator. Artipeeps likes Gary.

In terms of present and future collaborations our Transformations Poetry Project is going on a pace. It’s our 3rd month in and the quality of the poems has been extraordinary. Long may it continue!  You can find all the poems here, here, here & here. My aim is to also bring in artists into this project to contribute one painting, illustrating one book. We have two artists so far. If you are an artist and would like to get involved with this please do contact me. The poems and art will form an exhibition/collaboration next year and this will, in real terms, move the virtual collaboration into something concrete and tangible (which is an important intent); foregrounding all the creatives involved. The exhibition which hopefully will also include the poets involved will take place in Kings Lynn late next year; I will be crowdfunding for this exhibition starting in July (that’s the plan).

Our mental health ‘Recovery Project’ is also well under way- 3 artist (Ray Bentley, Jeremy Moseley, Hugo Smith); 3 poets: (Carol Robson, John Mansell and Rebecca Audra Smith) 1 audio visual artist, (Shaun Blezard) working on the theme of recovery *. You can find full details of the project here just last week the 3 poems were passed to the artists. Indeed, the first section of our piece ‘despair’ is already complete as is the soundscape for the whole piece written by Shaun . The artwork combined with the poetty will be ready by the end of April and then it will be a matter of combining all three sections into a whole of some sort in May and releasing it to the world. It’s an extremely affecting and powerful piece we’re creating, I can feel that already. We’re getting a mental health charity involved with us and I’m working towards placing the piece in some way within psychiatric hospitals and/or like-minded organisations.

In relation to the well-being aspect of ArtiPeeps, it is also my intention to create a sister site (ArtiPeeps Well-being) that is dedicated to supporting creative minds. The two sites will be interlinked, but there will be a very clear psychological imperative to the sister site using art, literature and poetry therapeutically and creating links with similar groups and organisations such as Space2Create (with whom we’ll be forging a firm link shortly).

We also have our first prose collaboration Hot Potato kicking off in the middle of April, where 8 prose writers (Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, aksania xenogrette ,  CJ Sullivan, AK AndersonLaura Besley, Gwendolyn S, Natalie Beech (over a period of 16 weeks, will be writing one short story sequentially). It’s going to be good. We’ve got great potatoes!! 

We have also found another visitor peep/artist in residence Kelly Occhiuzzo who will be with us for the month of May co-ordinating and taking part in a 4 artist project she has developed in which 4 separate new pieces of art will be created over the period of a month. We’re in the process of firming everything up at the moment. We’re so glad to have her with us!

My focus is still firmly fixed on building as many individual and group opportunities into ArtiPeeps as possible, and the well-being sister site will be developed steadily alongside everything as best I can. I have to admit that balancing the running of ArtiPeeps with actually doing what I need to do to develop it is difficult. Finding the time to do business plans, make connections etc. At present I am in the process of trying to find not only someone to help me with all the day-to-day computer work but also someone who can help me with the budgeting of my 5 year business plan which will act as the foundation of ArtiPeeps’ business equity and project crowdfunding plans. I am approaching CamCreative in relation to this….

In terms of individual opportunities, ‘Weekend Showcase’ is running smoothly every Friday with a new creative featured each week. Every creative showcased is then offered the option of taking up ‘FreeSpace’ (3 separate slots which can be taken up in a cluster or spread across months for mini-projects or for further platforming). James Knight has already done so and Koos Kleven (cartoonist) is also taking up this offer as has poet Oregon McClure. I am also starting up another mini-opportunity called ‘FullSpread’ which will offer creatives: a showcase, ‘FreeSpace’ and a guest blog. This could work particularly well for groups and organisations that want to not only communicate what they do but also want to foreground individuals and projects. We are in fact in the process of offering this to Space2Create.

In terms of features our usual ones,Frenzy’s Flash Feature’ (Greg Mackie), ‘Flash Fortnightly’ and ‘Classic Friday’ ( Nisha Moodley) are going strong, and we have now introduced a new monthly ‘writerly’ feature ‘The Tiniest of Things’ with poet Tiffany Coffman.

Last week ArtiPeeps was nominated by Ant DiMartino for the ‘Very Inspring Blogger Award’ which caused me a bit of concern because it’s not me that does all the writing and the contributing it’s you. As I said to Ant I’m thinking hard how best to handle this and I will only proceed if I can foreground creatives from within ArtiPeeps and its environs… and they might not want to participate…so we”ll see.

As you can see there’s a lot going on; things shaping and shifting in every direction. It’s all really exciting but there’s such a lot to do so it’s about being slow and steady whilst embodying boundng hare-like energy that moves us consistently forward. It’s a matter of stepping forward each day and leaning into every opportunity I can to develop ArtiPeeps and all those who sail in her.

I thank every single contributor and supporter of ArtiPeeps. You are growing ArtiPeeps by your sheer presence and that is an amazing gift, and if you want to get involved just contact me!

Nicky 

>>

* “Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms. It is about having control over and input into your own life. Each individual’s recovery, like his or her experience of the mental health problems or illness, is a unique and deeply personal process.” Scottish Recovery Network 2009

Recovery is not about ‘getting rid of problems’. It is about seeing people beyond their problems – their abilities, possibilities, interests, and dreams and recovering the social roles and relationships that give life value and meaning”Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins, 2002

ARTIPEEPS HALLOWEEN HOTCH-POTCH

31 Oct

 

Welcome to Halloween HotchPotch the first multi-collaborator ArtiPeeps blog themed around Halloween and ‘spookiness’. You’ll find a real mish-mash of fiction, audios, videos, poems and illustrations. Feel free to pick and mix and come back to savour…..And we’d love your feedback!

 The talented contributors to this blog are:

+Gary Caldwell+Jasmine DeGrado

+Kate Garrett

+Lisa Risbec + Ryan Shaw 

 

 

                                                                                                           Original Art Work by Ryan Shaw

 

HAPPY HUNTING!  

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http://acloserlisten.com/2012/10/24/various-artists-trust/

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All Hallows’ Eve

by Kate Garrett

They’ve run barefoot for hours

Over dirt paths littered with broken glass,

And they feel no pain.

He says, “Your patience breaks my heart.”

And kisses her hair,

As one tear taints the blood on his lips.

She says, “I love you, but I need the sun.

We’ve been in the dark

Too long, and I can’t handle this.”

He has to decide.

He touches her cheek. They part with a kiss.

She can no longer see his face

As he returns to the hours of starlight.

Her smile fades with his silhouette,

And regret steals her childlike delight.

The choice was never hers to make:

When he needs her she is there.

She’s a secret, a charm – invisible as ghosts.

When he sleeps, she is awake.

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The Contract

by Jasmine DeGrado

Original Photo by Lisa Risbec

 Dear Readers,

The excerpt you are about to read was found in an abandoned car. The tow truck driver was a friend of mine and had found loose papers thrown about in the back seat of the car, and thought I would be interested in reading them. The writing was that of an elderly man. Upon reading, I feel eerily connected, as if I need to share this story with the world. I have made no changes or revisions of any kind. Read at your own risk.

When I signed my name in blood that night, not long ago, I knew what would happen. I dare not speak upon it except in silence through pen and paper.

He had looked at me with dark eyes…those dark eyes. They seemed to reach into my being and steal my soul, leaving my shell so cold and void. I remember the physical changes. I could never seem to warm my body, my blood is chilled, like a fine wine. My brain has slowed, but my eighty year old step became much faster.

The ties that once bound me from freedom released me, one by one. The first was my son, a pathetic drunk ass. He died surprisingly fast. They called it alcoholism. The next to go was my beautiful daughter tortured for nearly forty years by the grasp of drugs. Tears of joy I cried for her, only her, as I stood over her coffin. Soon after, my beloved Mary finally died, her evil heart worn from a lifetime of anger. That b***h, that b***h, was finally gone, along with every so-called fake friend we ever claimed to have had. Some questioned the deaths, while others felt pity and did not how to react, so they simply disappeared. No one questioned the money.

I moved into a fine neighborhood, one I could not have imagined a year before. It was just I and the two inherited dogs, each dying six months apart until I was completely freed from my past.

A woman had been brought into my realm “As a reminder of your past,” he would later say, standing over my hospital bed. My face swollen, my jaw wired shut, my old, frail body at his mercy. He had looked at me with dark eyes…those dark eyes.

The woman had been a gift. She had all the characteristics of those who were killed, those I had been freed from. That woman was to remind me of my loyalty to my contract and to the man with the dark eyes.

You will be rewarded,” he had said. A new woman would come into my life soon, a very beautiful woman with dark hair and a daughter. I was to take her in and love her. What could an old, worn man like me do with such a woman? He looked at me, his mouth slowly drawing up into a snare…or was it a smile? His teeth showing yellowed stained filth. “Destroy her,” he had said.

As promised, the woman arrived with her child and all was well. Then it began. I loved her so much, too much, though never once touching her. I watched the woman filled with curiosity struggle with her new life, with her new money. Blood money. From my bedroom window I would watch her sneak back into the house very late, night after night and I began to hate her as I hated the others. And so she began to drink. She began to get angry. She began to do drugs. She wanted to leave me. I did nothing.

The woman, drunk, smelling of sex and perfume, stumbled into my home one night. That hot summer night. And then he came, the man with the dark eyes…those dark eyes. Paralyzed in fear, standing in the doorway of the woman’s bedroom, I watched him.

Even now on paper, I do not have the courage to bring to life what my tired eyes had witnessed. She had made no noise, there was no mess. The man with the dark eyes stood up from her bedside, looked at me fiercely, and heaved a sound indescribable, vibrating every inch of my being. A demonic voice of a thousand souls speaking in synchronic subhuman misery screamed, “Abaddon!” The house shook with fury and wind. His eyes were huge, his mouth became monstrously large, his face grey, almost glowing in the darkness. I hid my eyes with my arm and then it was over. I slowly lowered my arm and looked toward the bed, but he was gone. So was she.

I ran into the little girl’s room. She was sleeping so soundly, as if nothing had happened at all. I will drive her to her grandmother’s house tomorrow. I feel as if we are in danger, as if I did not destroy the woman enough to fulfil my contract. I feel as if the man with the dark eyes will come soon for her, Abaddon. What have I done? The contract I had written with the blood of my wrist on virgin parchment was meant for freedom and wealth. I am afraid I cannot take this back. So be it. If these notes are to be found without me, please publish somehow as to warn the world there is evil waiting for you, watching you with dark eyes…those dark eyes.

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Here we have a rendering of Robert Browning’s  My Last Duchess, An Unreliable Narrator of the Highest Order:

Written in 1842. It links the short story form, the tableau and the dramatic verse monologue….

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The Third

by Jasmine DeGrado

The torture of sobriety’s bitterness lingers on my tongue,

his face haunting my memory.

My heart, after all of this time,

ripping apart.

Still. I let him go, but will never let him go.

My soul, will forever hungrily gnaw

at my pathetic, cold heart.

Stake me before I rise.

Decapitate my thoughts

and spare him my misery,

for my eternal love will

surely seduce him into the darkness…

as it has the others.

 

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by EDGAR ALLEN POE

Original Art Work by Gary Caldwell

 

Picture within Soundcloud player by Larry Vienneau, With Thanks

The Cask of Amontillado is one of Poe’s most well known tales written in 1846. He is one of the first theorists of the short story (which he called ‘The Tale’ or the Prose Poem) He believed this particular form to be superior to the novel.

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Original Art Work by Ryan Shaw:

 

 Boo! Some Devilish Books!

 

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Original Photography by Lisa Risbec

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Inspired by Woman With A Crow by Picasso:

Every day that my mistress comes to visit me the sun always

lies low. I have been her familiar for over 10 years now,

and I see no reason why this should change, unless I wish

it so. Our relationship is founded upon mutual disregard.

She only comes when she really needs me, otherwise I am

left to my own devises to peck & scrummage. My talons

are sharp, precise and can draw  blood. As soon as I see

her coming I offer my head and as she bends, my claws

root into the wood below, as my emotions surge to the fore.

To me her lips feel like thin parchment and her fingers

like snapping twigs. Everything about her is veiled, translucent

apart from her intent which I feel as her white lips pucker. Her intent

is dark and lies deep behind her masked eyes. Sometimes I

wonder whether I am more alive than she is? I wonder who is

the better phantom-she or I? She hides herself my mistress, and

she knows no bounds. My  mistress and I, we know no bounds. “

Picasso’s Woman With A Crow:

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Day of the Dead

by Kate Garrett

His place was set, a plate was left

Untouched.

No time to think, she poured a drink –

Just enough.

To raise a toast

So he knows

He’s still loved.

She cries at times when he’s on her mind

But consolation

Returns to her when she uses words

For transformation.

Finding grace

In the memory

Of those she loved.

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We all hope you enjoyed our Halloween HotchPotch and wish you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN. As always, thank you for your interest! And if you would like to get involved with any future ArtiPeeps collaborations, do get in touch via the comment box or @ArtiPeep on Twitter or follow our blog via the Follow button on the sidebar…

n.b. If you want to follow any of the above creatives on Twitter:

Gary Caldwell: https://twitter.com/GaryCaldwellart

Jasmine DeGrado: https://twitter.com/JDest1978

Kate Garrett: https://twitter.com/andlavendercats

Lisa Risbec: https://twitter.com/LisaRisbec

Ryan Shaw: https://twitter.com/ryannotbrian

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ARTIPEEPS NEWS

  • New Page: FineFocus which focuses on specific techniques, genres, forms and processes in art/writing/creativity. At the moment we have two videos by a young artist CeleneArtiste up which show a new technique of hers. Do get in touch if you’d like to contribute to this.
  • Our First Guest Blogger , James MacKenzie was a great success, and I think brought a  new dynamic to ArtiPeeps. James is now our official ‘ArtiPeep’ English Art ‘Correspondent’ so you’ll be seeing more of his blogs on ArtiPeeps as the months go by. We’ll be having another guest blogger in November, Alastair Cook,  A Film Maker…
  • Also from  Wednesday 7th November we’re adding  a regular Wednesday fortnightly flash fiction element to the blog with Laura Besley…..
  • And you’ll find our  first ‘Visitor Peep’ in residence on the Visitor Peep Page. Another new poet, Susan O’Reilly, having written for only a year, who will be sharing her work with us. She’s keen to have any constructive criticism…Please see the side bar for more information about this initiative
  • Shortly there will also be a new ‘FabFiction Page’, a place for new poetry and prose,  so if you’d like to contribute, do get in touch!

There’s a lot going on!

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