Sunday, 30 June 2013

'Flowers'


Sitting down to write this post, I realised I was lacking a piece of reference I needed to explain this drawing. Of course, having just moved house I also have not got the foggiest where my notes from Sussex are. So, all I have now is a vague recollection that, at some point in history, menstrual bleeding was sometimes referred to as a woman's 'flowers'. 

I know they also say this on 'Game of Thrones'. I swear, I'm not thinking of that. 

I'm pretty certain that I learnt this whilst doing research onto perceptions of gender during the Renaissance period. Which, if that is in fact the case, is one of the only instances of anything particularly nice being used in conjunction with the female body. 

They had some fairly radical ideas about the body in those days, interestingly based on certain observations of the physical world (scientific?) but largely informed by fairly magical thinking. 

For instance, it was thought that woman released a sort of noxious vapour from their eyes whilst they were bleeding. This had affects on the world around them - such as dulling mirrors. 

Now, I'm not one for proclaiming the menstrual cycle as 'empowering' - my personal experience of it is one of mild to significant discomfort and, sorry, mess. I don't see it as dirty or taboo or anything like that, I just don't find it an especially empowering experience. I like that it is sign of my body functioning as it should, although I'm possibly not the person to talk to about fertility at this point...

But anyway, feminist discourses aside, I liked this word 'flowers'. I liked it as an unexpected image when coupled with the body and blood. However I feel about it, there is something both symbolically and, for many, emotively powerful about the menstrual cycle. 

I might use these thoughts again on a painting or other drawings. But for now, this is a self portrait drawing I made whilst thinking about it all. The lace of the necklace, drifting away, are the little eggs, one shed at every bleed.  

(The image is possibly more vampiric than I intended...but maybe that isn't surprising considering I grew up watching Buffy.)



Monday, 17 June 2013

Little Book

As part of the ONCA exhibition 'Making Tracks', artist Pete Lally is creating a Suitcase Library which will be full of tiny books.

I love the idea so much, combining as it does a portable library, artists books, stories, art...many favourite things!

The teeny book I have filled in was inspired by a beautiful gift one of my new Chagford neighbours made to me - the body a of small Queen Bee whose had died when her hive had failed.







I used beeswax to glue a drawing of the queen into the miniature book. It adds another sensory layer, as the beeswax smells deliciously strong.






I hope I get a chance to see some of the content of the other book contributions, although as the project is taking place in Brighton, that might not be possible.

Devon continues to heal and delight. Last night there was klezmer music played in a field under fast moving clouds, as well as axe throwing...you never know what a gathering held around here will entail...

Monday, 10 June 2013

New Home


This is where we live now...in a town nestled between rolling hills and imposing moorland...




Everything has been in full Spring splendour just in time for our arrival...



New, brief flowers and ancient trees alike.





I still can't quite believe we live here now.
It is familiar land to us both, as we both grew up nearby, but somehow living here rather than just coming here for walking is something quite different.

It is where I had hoped Lyra would grow up, and it feels important and beautiful to have still come here, even though she is gone. Me and Andy will do our next growing here, together, whilst she flies free.

I cannot wait to see what this land inspires us to make/draw/write/play! I'm ready for the next part of the journey.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

ONCA

For anyone reading who likes writing...

This competition is being organised by a gallery in Brighton where a piece of my art work is going to be shown as part of a group show called Making Tracks.

They've used my drawing in the background of this poster (shameless self promotion...) which is how I know about the competition. Enter if you fancy, the gallery is very cool and supports ecological causes as well as art.
Check them out here.