Tag Archives: mental health

Pumping by Mina Polen and Creative Release by Mat JimDog: The Anxiety/Release Collaboration #1

31 Mar

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

THE ANXIETY AND RELEASE CLLABORATION

Welcome to the first collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of anxiety and release.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The poets have taken up the theme of anxiety, and the artists, in response, are engaging  with the theme of release. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions- the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Mina Polen (Poet) and Mat JimDog (Artist)

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Copyright of Creative Release Image - JimDog

Creative Release

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Pumping

Waves
…………pumping
right over
my chest

sea mist
…………spraying
the lining
of my heart

rising tides
…………reaching
the fragile shore
of my lungs

the whole sea
………..engulfing
swallowing
my whole body

the night
………..falling
dark and heavy
all around

waves
…………..pumping
sea mist
…………..spraying
rising tides
…………..reaching
the whole sea
………….engulfing
the night
………..falling

all at once

pumping waves
rising tides
spraying sea mist
engulfing ocean
falling night

………….slowly

…………………….finally

…………………………………fading……………….away

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………….

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JimDog 2

Harmful Release 

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You can find more about Mina and Mat here:

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Mina Polen

https://twitter.com/minafiction

http://aldebaranylosnarvales.blogspot.co.uk/

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Here’s Mina’s Weekend Showcase

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Mat JimDog

https://twitter.com/jimdogart

https://www.facebook.com/JimDogArt

 

You can see Mat’s Weekend Showcase here and also his Fear/Trust Collaboration.

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Please do come back for next Anxiety and Release Collaboration on Tuesday 15th April featuring poet Rod Kok and artist Heather Burns.

Thank you for your interest.

 

Dismissed by Charlie Eliot Winters, Photography by Jeremy Moseley

17 Mar

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

LONELINESS Collaboration

Welcome to the second collaboration in a six week, fortnightly engagement with the feeling of Loneliness.  For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together.  The poets have written a poem around this particular emotion and then passed it to the artists for their interpretation. The artist can work in parallel with the themes  within the poetry or in contrast. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the feeling of loneliness. Each pairing is different so  we’re hoping to create a range of interpretations that might communicate something to everybody. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the 6 weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange. We hope to turn our mental health collaborations into an exhibition next year and an online resource. 

 Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

.

This week’s collaboration features

Charlie Eliot Winters and Jeremy Moseley

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Dismissed

by Charlie Eliot Winters

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I have been dismissed from my duties
Bowed head, wordless and bewildered
Tumbling a bottle cap between my forefinger and thumb
marvelling at its conical shape and thinking:
the only things worth doing are calculations

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How many times have I cut through crowds without faces?
Warm beige buoys
bobbing above a cracked cement sea
emitting their cacophony of
misfires
trial runs
maybe laters

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I am watching from behind a frosted glass window
figures pacing the streets, glints of light hitting their wrists and necks
They are granting and dismissing duties from floor to ceiling,
loading boxes upon boxes with pictures, papers, ticket stubs
as to not confuse “loneliness” with “alone”

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How many conversations were held along this creaking floor?
Dangerous things often said
but seldom meant
Their bottle-capped stories
uttered to fill the air
hold their breath
pass the time

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Charlie Eliot Winters

Charlie currently resides in Toronto, Ontario where he is pursuing a degree in Photographic Preservation.  When the nitrile gloves come off, he works on his slowly but steadily increasing collection of poems.

http://cewinters.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/ce_winters

You can see Charlie’s Weekend Showcase here and his FreeSpaces here, here and here

Jeremy Moseley

London based photographer, Jeremy Moseley, seeks to capture the spirit of urban and street photography from a different or unusual perspective. Jeremy’s skills have been developed through portrait commissions and various photography projects in London, Brighton, Ibiza and Paris.
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http://www.jeremymoseleyphotography.com/

https://twitter.com/jeremymoseley1

https://twitter.com/captainsidcup

You can see Jeremy’s Weekend Showcase here and his work in The Recovery Project here

 

The third Loneliness collaboration post will be on Tuesday 1st April. Do come back and see how poet John Mansell and artist Ieuan Edwards engage with the very same feeling.

If you would like to get involved with one of our  future collaborations or opportunities. Do get in contact via the contact form on the What’s On Page or via @ArtiPeeps. Thank you so much for your interest.

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Mice Dance To the Spiders’ Applause by Stephanie Brennan, Artwork by Deborah Sheehy

6 Mar

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

LONELINESS Collaboration

Welcome to the first collaboration in a six week, fortnightly engagement with the feeling of Loneliness.  For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together.  The poets have written a poem around this particular emotion and then passed it to the artists for their interpretation. The artist can work in parallel with the themes  within the poetry or in contrast. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the feeling of loneliness. Each pairing is different so  we’re hoping to create a range of interpretations that might communicate something to everybody. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the 6 weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange. We hope to turn our mental health collaborations into an exhibition next year and an online resource. 

 Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

Stephanie Brennan and Deborah Sheehy 

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Dancing Mice

Dancing Mice by Deborah Sheehy

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Mice Dance to the Spiders’ Applause

 by Stephanie Brennan

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A latchkey kid small for her age
she balanced on a bucket,
unlocked the door
to a dark house where
mice scurried in the walls, and
spiders accumulated in corners.
 
A 40-watt bulb swayed from a cord.
She tossed her stories on the floor:
a dice game of classmates in cliques,
whispers of a skirt too long, of shoes all wrong.
 
In the corners
the mice pirouetted,
the spiders spun their silk,
but still she would not smile.
 
Hiding behind her slack dark hair
at the back of the class
the answers shimmered
in the weighted sunlight,
but she never raised her hand.
 
At her desk she sketched a mouse.
A spider curtsied, extended four arms
a perfect waltz across the page,
but still she would not smile.
 
As she grew boys took notice.
One, a shape-shifter,
escorted her home to meet his mum.
That genteel lady sized her up
deemed her unworthy of her sizable plans
for her obedient boy.
 
Alone in her room
the white mice pranced
on pink feet
to the spiders’ applause,
but still she would not smile.
 
On a pitch-black, moonless, starless night
she questioned her resolve.
But then she set herself to dream,
and when she woke
a song was fully-formed.
She got up out of bed, 
and heard her voice ascend.
The notes were clear and loud and long
the lyrics sad and true.
 
The mice sat rapt, the spiders stilled,
her ballad soared to light-filled halls.
To her surprise, a chorus echoed
to prove she’s not alone
 
The mice and spiders leapt to cheer
demanding encore, please
she bowed from the waist
and when she rose
a half-formed smile, a crescent moon
and tears and tears, of laughter

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Stephanie Brennan:

Stephanie Brennan lives among the redwoods and fog in Sonoma County, California. She’s been writing fiction for many years, some of which may be found online at: People Do Things With Their Lives. Recently she has ventured into poetry having fallen in love with the tanka and haiku writers on Twitter. She finds the online community of poets an invaluable resource for learning and support. Her recent publication credits include: Poetry Nook, Bright Stars 1, and Bamboo Hut. Find her short Twitter poems @tantamount2, and her poetry site: Restraint Unfettered.

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Deborah Sheehy

In the times in between life and a day job Deborah is an artist, writer and occasional photographer. Scottish by birth, she currently resides in the hills, paths, and narrow streets of a South Wales valley. Home is shared with her Irish husband – a maker of marvellous meals – and a hound called Henry whose days are spent in a happy amble of walks, sleeps and rubs. Inspiration comes primarily in the form of nature, especially the wild and deserted places and the creatures who reside there, as well as the stories, myths and happenings of times gone by. http://www.thehoneybeeandthehare.com/ https://twitter.com/honeybeeandhare You can see Deborah’s Weekend Showcase here . The second Loneliness collaboration post will be on Monday 17th March. Do come back and see how poet Charlie Winters and photographer Jeremy Moseley  engage with the very same feeling. If you would like to get involved with one of our  future collaborations or opportunities. Do get in contact via the contact form on the What’s On Page or via @ArtiPeeps. Thank you so much for your interest. .

Comfort Collaboration (Poetry/Art) #3

27 Nov


Comfort

Creatives Making A Difference

  ‘Supporting Mental Health’

Comfort Collaboration

Comfort: 1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.

Welcome to the third and final collaboration in a 5 week, fortnightly engagement with the notion of comfort.  Comfort is something we all need and often, curiously, find hard to get (either from ourselves or others). For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together. Each poet/artist pair, in contrast to  our fear/trust collaboration have been working on the  single theme of comfort. The words and the images working together in  a  uniform exploration of the  texture and nuances of this basic human need. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks pass is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features:

 Atalina Marie Homan (Artist) & 

Rebecca Audra Smith (Poet) 

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Butterfly

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Butterfly by Atalina Marie Homan

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Butterfly

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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Butterfly 2 by Rebecca Audra Smith

Please click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Atalina and Rebecca here:

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Atalina Marie Homan

Atalina Marie Homan is an artist, poet and writer. Born to a Polynesian mother and English father in the late seventies, she is inspired by both western and eastern culture.

Atalina’s approach to the arts is both expressive and spiritual. Her current portfolio includes a unique series of silhouette drawings, inspired by the wonders of nature and artistic traditions of the pacific that often contain a symbolic or storytelling element.

Atalina studied photography and graphic design and after developing an interest in eastern philosophy and meditation, has recently completed a Bachelors Degree in Metaphysical Science.

Atalina lives along the coast of England with her husband and three children and is currently working on her first book, ‘Love Says’, An inspirational collection of prose poetry written in the spirit of love.

 “I find the arts to be an expression of the soul, a way to both celebrate our journey and explore the illuminating landscape of our emotions. It is incredibly empowering to experience our ability to create, express and manifest our visions and dreams. We all have this ability and use it in many ways in our daily lives, visual creation in the arts simply brings that potential to our conscious awareness, that’s powerful!”

 www.atalinamarie.com

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Rebecca Audra Smith

Rebecca Audra Smith has just finished a Masters in Creative Writing: Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poems have been featured in Loose Muse’s fourth anthology, Cadaverine’s online magazine, and Now Then Manchester. She is one third of the Stirred feminist collective based in Manchester.

You can find her at beccaaudra.wordpress.com

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Volunteer Responses to Space2Create (FreeSpace #3)

26 Nov

img144logo2

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Volunteer Responses to S2C

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I asked a few Space2Create volunteers to tell me what it meant for them to be involved with S2C, what volunteering did for them. As a voluntary led organisation we rely on volunteers but must also recognise that the volunteers are as much a part of the group as any of the participants. We want the group to allow individuals to deal with problems in their lives, to begin a positive journey. We hope that individuals will come to our groups and evolve then move on, this applies to participants and volunteers who we hope grow from the experience of being involved with the creativity we use as our tool to aid recovery and development.

J writes:

“Being involved with space2create benefits me individually in many ways. Firstly, as a qualified (though not currently practising) occupational therapist I recognise the benefits of creativity to aid well-being. In fact it is core to our profession and much research has been carried out around this issue. Secondly, the group allows me to use many of the skills I trained for. Working with individuals and groups but always recognising that everyone is unique with their own set of goals, aims, beliefs and desires. Thirdly, I love being involved in creativity on a purely personal level. It is a passion and interest of mine and I benefit from its therapeutic value greatly.

Space2create encourages creativity, individuality and self expression . It allows me and everyone involved to develop new skills, experiment, learn from others and this in turn gives me confidence to try new things and to encourage and support others to do so.”

C writes:

“The benefits to me of S2C are manifold, but primarily revolve around being an integral part of a self-supporting and enthusiastic team, and also in the satisfaction gained from delivering a valued service to participants and, in the case of flagship projects, to a wider public. The creative aspects to the role are valuable both in providing a focus for various therapeutic and communal energies which the charity helps to embody, and in providing a personal sense of achievement with the completion of each project or piece.”

K describes:

“Being involved benefits me enormously – It’s the one session of my week where I can be creative, safe, productive and satisfied.

Through creativity I can express my deeper feelings, fears, worries, joy, contentment,… In the safety of the group I can go from a giggling childlike woman to feeling, and exploring, my ‘troubles’ as an adult in the here and now!!

The creativity is a place from which to connect with all the other members of the group. We all have our different ‘issues’ but the feeling of the ability to communicate and find ourselves ‘all in the same boat’ is better than any therapy I’ve had in a long while.

It’s the best thing that’s happened to me this year and I am so grateful this opportunity has come my way. It’s not only a space to create, it’s a space simply to be.”

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JimDog

Ribbon and Wire by Mat JimDog

(‘the volunteers and participants of S2C entangling, supporting and merging’) 

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All these people give their time to help individuals who are struggling to cope, are isolated and excluded. By their actions positive steps are forged to help these individuals move forward and begin to recover their lives from whatever distress they have been in. Volunteering is itself a tool to achieve this. There is nothing more powerful for one’s own well-being than to help another improve theirs. Creativity is our vehicle but it is the relationships, links and community that individuals come together to form that allow it to happen. Without the volunteers Space2Create would be nothing.

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For more information on all those involved see:

www.space2create.co.uk

http://www.lakelandartstrust.org.uk

http://www.cumbria.gov.uk

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logo1To find out more about S2C:

www.space2create.co.uk

Twitter: @S2Cspace2create 

Facebook: Space2Create

Email: info@space2create.co.uk

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Many thanks to Space2Create for sharing what you do and for sharing it with us.  Here’s to more collaborations between us!  Nicky

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #4 (Poetry/Art)

19 Nov

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the forth and final collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Ray Bentley (Artist) and Melissa Diem (Poet)

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Behind

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Behind by Ray Bentley

An Empathy for Small Machines

by Melissa Diem

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An Empathy for Small Machines

Please do click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Ray and Melissa below:

Ray Bentley  

Ray Bentley is an award-winning painter from Stoke-on-Trent whose still lifes and figurative paintings have been exhibited throughout the UK. He now lives and works near Redcar with his partner and dog, where he spends his days eating biscuits, napping, not doing the housework, tweeting about his favourite things, reading thrillers and – occasionally – painting. You can learn more about him at http://raymondbentley.com/.

 

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Melissa Diem:

Melissa Diem has an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin and was awarded a Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship. She has published the novel, Changeling [Pan (UK) and Gill & Macmillan (Ireland)] and poetry in several journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop, The Sunday Tribune, and Rival. She was the Featured Poet in The Stinging Fly Spring issue 2010. She was shortlisted for both the Hennessy Literary Awards and the Bradshaw Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition and joint runner up for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Melissa has exhibited visual media throughout Ireland including at the RHA, Iontas, Guinness Hopstore and The Ark. The one about the bird and Appraisal are her first poetry films and have been selected for several festivals including Belfast Film Festival 2013, Filmpoem 2013, Visible Verse 2013, 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival and finalist in the La Parola Immaginata – Trevigliopoesia 2013 and Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition, 2013.  She is currently working on her third poetry film and developing artwork for an upcoming book of poetry. 

http://melissadiem.com/

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*If you would like to be a creative involved in one of our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaborations next season do get in touch via the comment boxes or @ArtiPeep

Thank you so much for your interest.

Comfort Multiform Collaboration (Poetry/Photo) #2

11 Nov


Comfort

Creatives Making A Difference

  ‘Supporting Mental Health’

Comfort Collaboration

Comfort: 1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.

Welcome to the second collaboration in a 5 week, fortnightly engagement with the notion of comfort.  Comfort is something we all need and often, curiously, find hard to get (either from ourselves or others). For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together. Each poet/artist pair, in contrast to  our fear/trust collaboration have been working on the  single theme of comfort. The words and the images working together in  a  uniform exploration of the  texture and nuances of this basic human need. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks pass is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features:

 Ken Fasimpaur (Photographer) and Lauren Coulson (Poet) 

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Severing Setting

Severing_Setting-09_Nov_2013-Full

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Panic Attack

by Lauren Coulson

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He finds me curled up
on the sofa like a tangled string.
Sclera stained pink;
canyons carved down my cheeks
like a forest cleaved by a river.

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Words fail. My voice gets caught.
It’s knotted, tight, strangling
in my throat. A wounded animal,
I can only bleat out my sadness.

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He scoops me up, swaddles me
with his arms like a newly born baby.
Traces his hands across the crumples
of my face, doesn’t speak.
I listen to the steady beat of his heart
like a radio, as mine begins to slow.

 

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You can find out more about Ken and Lauren here:

Ken Fasimpaur: 

“My first known rolls of film, black and white stock exposed decades ago, involved documenting aircraft at a local air show or creating convincing but fake UFO snapshots at home. Since then I’ve followed a long cometary orbit in and out of photography, passing periodically through point and shoot film cameras, classrooms, negatives, darkrooms, digital cameras, Photoshop and cameraphones. Over the same period, my subjects have covered architecture, family, nature, surface and abandoned space.

For the past year or more, my photography has revolved in large part around my cameraphone. I’ve shot improvisationally wherever I was and whatever subject caught my fancy, processed the results on the fly, and posted them as possible. Vignette for Android has been my camera of choice and has provided the basis for the couple of filters I routinely use. I find a sense of captured moment in this method, and an emphasis on shooting images and not processing them, which appeals to me for now. When it comes to composition, I’m drawn to the nexus between detail and form, between abstracting the larger concrete and revealing the essential but ephemeral specifics of its nature.”

More of my mobile images can be found on Twitter at @kjfasimpaur

 on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/93020772@N05/

or at http://www.kenfasimpaur.com

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Lauren Coulson

In 1992 a wriggling pink baby popped out of its’ mother, who proudly proclaimed “cor blimey, it’s a girl!”. Since then that baby has gone on to study art and get a first class degree in creative writing (although she is no longer a baby). She now spends her time creating crafts to sell in her online shop and writing about the world around her. Currently she is working on her first novel, a children’s book, but is a poet at heart. On top of this she has branched out into storytelling and running writing workshops in the local community. Mental health is a topic that is very close to her and something she is keen to give support to others about. When she grows up she wants to be a cat.

Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/milkymoonshop
Website: www.laurencoulson.co.uk

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The next Comfort Collaboration will be on Wednesday 27th November

ArtiPeeps Update: Pulling It All Steadily Together

5 Nov

Pulling it all together

I thought as we were nearly half-way through this season of collaborations and showcases that I would do a little update of ArtiPeeps’ recent movements forward. I’m grateful to say there have been a fare few baby steps in relation to our formalisation which has really prompted this update and been necessitated by our preparations for our poetry/art exhibition ‘Transformations’ next year.

Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to announce that ArtiPeeps is presently constituting as a small voluntary organisation. We now have a Chairperson and a Treasurer and, confirmed as of this morning, a Secretary too. This is not a legal structure, but it does make us official and allows us to apply for certain funding streams that at the moment, as we are,  we can’t access. This is the first step towards eventually becoming a Company Limited by Guarantee with a legal structure.

It also means that ArtiPeeps now has another ‘official figurehead’ beside me who will act as the formal representative of ArtiPeeps at public occasions etc.  We will now hold regular committee meetings and there now can be some monitoring of our services and input from the outside to make sure we’re on track. Constituting also  allows us to pursue the notion of membership in relation to ArtiPeeps which is an exciting development. I have started a user-input group in order to explore issues around membership and this group’s feedback will directly affect our strategic plans. So ArtiPeeps is consolidating and constituting, which feels very grown up; the responsibility is also now somewhat spread which also feels great.

As far as ‘Transformations’ is concerned we now have 15 artists all attached to the various books of Metamorphoses and a Google group has been started so the artists can share their creative process. Overall 30 creatives are involved in the exhibition at Hanse House next year. I couldn’t be happier.

Of late I have been going regularly to Hanse House because we are deciding how to hang the pictures and poems. At the beginning we thought it was going to be relatively easy with display stands but this has not worked out and we are now exploring the idea of creating large rectangular cubes (if, indeed, a rectangle can be a cube). I’ll keep you posted on that one! We have also virtually confirmed our budget so we know what amount we have to crowdfund for next year.  Last week I also got in contact with Norfolk County Council in relation to tapping into their Arts Project Fund. They are sending me an application form now, and I’m hoping to apply for this. They can give us a maximum of £500 which we have to find match funding for….

We have also decided to get schools involved in our event and we are having a special  comic version of some of the stories from Metamorphoses made. We are hoping this will attract schools to ‘Transformations’ . It is our intention that we can then use this material as an educational template for future multi-form collaborative exhibitions (at the moment I’m thinking that a Norse Sagas collaboration will follow Metamorphoses in 2015).  Just last week I found out that there is a GCSE and AS level called ‘Classical Civilisations’  run at two of the high schools in King’s Lynn, and I am hoping that ‘Transformations’ might be a good access point for these students to explore Ovid and Metamorphoses.

I have decided from next year onwards to put ArtiPeeps collaborations, Weekend Showcases and FreeSpaces out in 3- monthly seasons. This will allow me time to focus on ArtiPeeps’ development (funding, sponsorship etc) whilst still providing the creative individual and collaborative opportunities. It will also allow for the possibility of theming these months which would be fun too. The next one would therefore start in March 2014, and I will start looking for creatives for that in January 2014. ‘Transformations’ and ArtiPeeps Updates will continue as per normal. 

I have also been very pleased with the quality and response to our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ collaborations  (fear/trust and comfort) which I think have completely met the brief and have used word and image to address really important issues in a creative and striking manner. My aim is to draw these all together (along with The Recovery Project‘) and create an exhibition. It is our overall aim to eventually  tour with all our multi-form  exhibitions  so that this work and the creatives involved can be given an even wider audience.

There are a million and one other little things going on which I won’t bore you with, but I can’t say how much your continued, daily support means to me and by implication all those involved in ArtiPeeps.

I would be extremely interested in feedback on the mental health collaborations we’ve been running- whether you think that they work? What we could do better?

Once again I appreciate your interest, and hope you’ll stick with us as ‘it all steadily pulls together’.

All the very best.

Nicky

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #3

4 Nov

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the third collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Mat JimDog (Artist) and Tom Murphy (Poet)

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I Fear Becoming What I Fear

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I fear becoming what I fear

Endure 

by Tom Murphy

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Endure 5

Please do click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Mat and Tom below:

Mat JimDog  

There are four key elements from my childhood that define my life and it’s course. A strange relationship with my parents that was, and is, never neglectful but not loving. We exist alongside each other almost like strangers with no emotional attachment. As a young boy starved of somebody telling me they loved me it left me vulnerable. The man who filled the void was in every sense the manipulative, secretive, grooming paedophile. From the age of eight till twelve he owned me, abused and left me utterly confused about sex, love and who I was. I read research recently that linked childhood diabetes with trauma so it seems unsurprising that aged eleven I was found to be a type 1 diabetic with absolutely no family history of this. When the abuse came to a sudden stop, as the family moved to a different part of the country, I was so bereft that I searched for more and picked up men in the local area until one day a violent sexual encounter and beating scared me so much at nearly fourteen I retreated inwards. I went to school and then avoided everything else.

The next ten years were a roller coaster ride of getting somewhere, then crashing out. I then found myself on a teaching course and discovered I was good at it. I met my wife, somebody who told me they loved me and actually meant it. I had a few good years but depression and diabetes are not a good mix and the consequences of poor self care began to cause me problems. The past was always too much of a burden and I was constantly questioning myself. I had a severe episode in 2003 that left me unable to carry on teaching but the warning signs were not really heeded by the medical professional in terms of diabetic care or mental health. By 2005 I was a real mess and attempted suicide, my diabetic care so bad that I was admitted to hospital in a coma with a blood sugar so high it was a record at their A&E to be so high and still living.

In hospital my wife brought me pencils and a pad. At that moment, having never drawn for myself or attempted any kind of art beyond school, I found a voice. A way to communicate to others. I found I can draw how I am feeling and communicate the problems in this way. More importantly I found I could make sense to myself the stuff in my head. Talking about it did nothing. But the act of committing to paper made make sense to me.

I still struggle daily with my mental health, I suffer very serious consequences from the thirty odd years of poor diabetic care. Now, however I can cope. I have this thing called being creative that lights my way and has given me hope. I have been lucky to survive, and it is through my painting and helping others who suffer through creative activity, that I prosper.

https://www.facebook.com/JimDogArt

https://twitter.com/jimdogart

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Tom Murphy:

https://twitter.com/sandcave

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Please do comeback for the final  Fear/Trust collaboration in this series on Tuesday 9th November.

Thank you for your interest.

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