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Power In The Darkness : What Now and What Next?

What Now?

Led by Keira

We came home on Monday to find Keira had made a poster and stuck it on the front of our house. Her work has inspired me to cut a version of the fist stencil from Power In The Darkness.

I’m drafting a letter to our MP asking him to speak out about racism. I showed Keira the letter, she read it and said, ‘it’s good’ before telling me she’s already been in touch with our MP.

We’re now figuring out what to do next in this household, and while we do that figuring out, we’ve shown some support to community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organisers operating in the USA. We’ve been throwing coins in a jar for a while for some summer spending money, and Keira suggested we use some of that. She’s a kind, fierce friend – Carole and I are fortunate to have such a lovely daughter. ?

What Next?

Art As An Instrument of Change

While we figure out what to do to stay active in pursuit of racial justice and equality, I used the newly cut stencil to make a piece of art today – and I’m giving it away as a virtual free art drop. If you like it, all you need to do is send an email to freeartdrop@consultingartist.com and your name will go into the hat for the draw to win this signed piece of art. Entries close at midnight UK time on Wednesday 10th June and the draw will be made on Thursday 11th June.

How About You?

If you are having conversations and taking action on how to make this world a safer, fairer place, please tell us what you’re up to, I’d love to hear from you. And if you are still figuring it out – feel free to follow the link above and consider a donation in the meantime. I’m sure your help will be appreciated. Thank you.

The HeART of The Matter

A little something for Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week – and the theme this year is ‘Kindness’. I’m currently supporting a local heritage project called The Locals Diaries, which is encouraging people to journal their thoughts and feelings during these unusual times. Part of this support is a series of creative ‘how to’ videos, designed to give people something artistic to do, and to consider applying the creative process to their own journalling. If you’re interested, you can check out the videos here on the Sutton Council Youtube channel. Two have been published so far, and there’s one coming out this week focusing on kindness and poetry.

In addition to this work – I’ve been continuing my free art drops, albeit online, and I’m doing some creative practice linked to kindness through my work at GameShift.

I wanted to do something else to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, so this morning, I made a series of ten small artworks – simple designs painted onto 100% cotton rag paper.

These mini art drops will be placed in our neighbourhood over the next few days, when I’m out and about taking exercise. There will be no photos, no clues, but if you happen to spot one of these when you’re out and about – please take it if you like it. If you’re doing anything in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, I’d love to hear about it.

Update: I hid two of the mini hearts on May 18th – and later that evening someone contacted me to say they found one, while they were out walking their dog. That was a kind thing to do.

The Garden

Gardens are lovely places. Space to wander, think, breathe, remember, and more. I’m not a keen gardener but I am thankful to have some outside space to escape to.

In my role as Artist In Residence with GameShift – I’ve recently had the opportunity to artistically explore the garden as a place of remembrance. I’ve been working with some good people at Barts Hospital, designing an image to represent an online garden of remembrance. I chose to work in a representational style using ink and watercolour. Not my usual thing – but very little feels usual right now, so I used this as an opportunity to stretch myself and to hone my drawing skills a little too. Here’s what I came up with:

The Garden V1.0

I showed the work to the people at Barts, and I got some positive feedback and was asked to add some flowers into the mix. Flowers eh – good idea. See, I told you I’m not a keen gardener 🙂 A few flowers duly appeared:

The Garden

The design will now form part of Barts Hospital’s online garden of remembrance. I found the evolution of the design and collaboration process very calming, and I hope a sense of that is conveyed in the art work.

Having spoken with the staff at Barts Hospital – we have agreed to raffle the original art work to raise funds for Barts Charity. The art is A4 in size, painted using Winsor and Newton watercolours, and drawing pens, on 300 gsm watercolour paper. The art is unmounted to make it easer to ship – and it will be accompanied by a signed certificate of authentication.

Tickets for the raffle cost just £3 each and are available here until 10.30pm on Friday 26th June 2020. I hope you will consider supporting this idea, enjoy the art, and good luck in the raffle.

The treasure of a life
Is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give

In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect
It’s a measure of a life

The Garden : N. Peart