Monday, 27 June 2011

Exhibition

I was part of a small exhibition promoting young artists in Oxford as part of the Oxford Fringe.


It was a sweet evening with music and a great variety of art - it was very interesting to see all the pieces displayed together.


I sold one of my drawings, a piece called 'Bryony' which I did quite a while ago.
Three of the other drawings - 'Mugwort', 'Twins' and 'Trip' which are on the left hand side - are still for sale if anyone reading is interested in buying them. Just message me and we can arrange delivery etc.





I'm having an insect-inspiration at the moment. For quite a while it has been people with plants (which I'm sure will continue) but it seems now bugs have caught my attention.

The word for insect in Anglo-Saxon was 'Hond-Wyrm' which translates directly as 'Hand-Dragon', meaning small dragon. I was so excited when I found this out - it gives a beautiful insight into the culture and world-view of the Anglo-Saxon people.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

From Sunrise to Slutwalk...to space....

I had the great pleasure of being my beloveds plus one at the Sunrise Festival near Bruton.

He spoke about his book, Shroom, and I listened intently and tried to think of an intelligent and unexpected question to ask him.
Maybe it was the heat or the massive quantities of chai I had consumed, or maybe a little something altogether else, but I actually only managed the listening intently aspect of my plan.

Here he is talking in a tipi.

And here are some other sights from the festival...







It was a real pleasure to fall out of time in the way that festivals (or travelling) allow you to do.
After I purge a certain sense of anxiety, usually on the first day, I relax into the lovely routine of having very little to do.
My one regret was that I am not at the point of performing rope at festivals yet. But it can't be too far away I think...Until then.

I also attending the Slutwalk which took place in London recently.
Despite my not knowing many people in the London crowd (I was joined by two friends, one male, one female), there was an almost festival atmosphere.
Unfortunately it didn't come out - but this woman's sign read 'Buffy wouldn't stand for this shit'.




I was pleased to see that the walk had attracted a wide range of people.
To use somewhat clumsy group categories for a moment, just so you can visualise, there were straight looking women and men, men in women's clothing, women in men's clothing, Trans-women, femmes, butches and queers (I use the word queer to mean non-normative. I guess 'normative' in this case refers to people dressed conservatively who I assume to be heterosexual. I don't attach a judgement to this - I have nothing against straight looking straight people! And I apologise if my use of a reclaimed word - queer, slut etc - is offensive to anyone) of sorts of all shapes and sizes.

I'm pretty certain, despite my vaguely buffer arm muscles, vaguely unusual dress sense and shortish hair, that I'm 'read' as straight-femme by most people...Being suddenly surrounded by interesting people makes one consider how one appears...




It was interesting too to consider how frequently fear of sexual attack shapes the way I dress and behave in public.
I was particularly intrigued and moved by one trans woman talking about this - about how before she transitioned she (then he) really didn't understand how it is to be a woman in terms of social interaction - from walking down the road to everything else.
Of course, men get attacked and raped too - and women commit sexual assault. Rape is an attack about power, made by the physically powerful against those weaker than themselves.
I wonder how it must feel for men at events like this one to be constantly constructed as the more powerful, as the aggressors etc, when these discourses of masculinity and maleness do not fit with their experience of themselves at all.

In all, I feel it is an important movement, one which highlights the fallacy of victim-blaming culture (i.e. the 'they asked for it' mentality) whilst being pro-sex and pro-sexy - however one likes to manifest sexiness.

I wore my doc marten boots. They make me feel sexy.

Slutdog
After my adventure on the march, I had time to visit a science-fiction exhibition which is currently on at the British Library.
This was inspiring and disheartening in equal measure - there are so, so many books I've not read...


A beautiful sculpture, the reference for which I missed...But I liked the aerial imagery.




And finally, I went training at circus space.

Then I went home to bed.

Monday, 6 June 2011

More words

I am feeling inclined to share another poem. It's rather like a drawing with words after all...

Conditioning

Many swallow their spit and shrink,
Parade their bones,
I am differently afflicted.

I watch men with the masked attention of a thief.
I covet their shapes.
Then steal home, to pit will against weakness

Finally, my flesh expands, begins
to harden.
For the second time, my body becomes unfamiliar.

This time, let curves of muscles be my armour,
repulse uninvited
grasping stares
and sublimate my fear.