We Would Like To Welcome Jade Bryant as ASLI’s Newest Team Member

Welcome Jade Bryant as ASLI’s Newest Team Member

 

Jade Bryant
Jade Bryant

We are excited to announce that we have a NEW member of the ASLI team.

Jade Bryant is now our ASLI Arts and Mental Health Campaigner and Feature Writer

Jade’s role includes:

  • To design and write at least one feature blog a month for our ASLI Magazine on: the arts and mental health.
  • Campaigning for the use of art to help those with mental illness, petitioning our government, engaging with the online community on how to get involved with ASLI.
  • Creating projects to help people engage in artistic and creative outlets to aid understanding and communication of mental health.
  • Enlisting artists from all disciplines to: engage with ASLI, to be involved in campaigns, to contribute to the ASLI Magazine and to be in pop up exhibitions.
  • General fundraising.

Some of you may recognise Jade from our last campaign “Mental Illness, Health and Recovery” where we learnt that Jade uses visual art and creative writing to help in her recovery with mental illness.

Here is Jades interview with ASLI:

Artist Jade Bryant is fiercely tackling her mental illness with art and in the process is changing the world’s awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Jade is a visual artist and creative writer from Devon. She has previously studied Film and Television Studies, Art and English. While not having been able to complete her degree due to mental health issues, she hopes that from this, she will eventually be able to begin a career within the mental health sector, and help other people who are in similar situations.

Jade believes that art is one of the most effective methods of medication when it comes to releasing emotions that can often be difficult to deal with when you suffer with mental health issues. Jade has a dual diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder and uses her art as a means of release and healing.
Jade hopes that by expressing issues she is passionate about such as, mental health, anti-war, equality, anti-capitalism, domestic abuse, animal cruelty and other such issues, she can create less stigma and a more healthy, truthful awareness of such issues.
Jade met Charlotte through an online group for BPD Support and has followed her art and ASLI ever since. She says that Charlotte has been and still is an integral part of her recovery, and having the opportunity to end stigma and raise awareness for such important issues through such an amazing charity is truly an honour.”
ASLI TEAM MEMBERS
ASLI TEAM MEMBERS

At ASLI we could not be more delighted that Jade has joined our team, a truly talented and enigmatic person, with an abundance of empathy and a determined mind to create a positive change within mental health and the arts.

If you would like to know more about Jade and her work please follow these links below:

Website

Art Portfolio

Writing Portfolio and Blog

Facebook 

Twitter

 

ASLI Team Member Jade Bryant

NEW ASLI CAMPAIGN – CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR – CALL FOR ARTISTS

NEW CALL FOR ARTISTS!!

NEW CAMPAIGN!

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC ART BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

 

Here at Art Saves Lives International we are now launching our 3rd campaign and call for artists. With or first “celebration of women” and second “mental illness, health and recovery” we have created an exciting collaborative space to share art and create change.

So what is our next topic?

THE NEW CAMPAIGN:

CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR.

Misused and Abused - By Charlotte Farhan
Misused and Abused – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Our world is in turmoil and it seems everyday we wake up and hear of more people being killed by war and poverty, either directly or indirectly. Poverty is known everywhere around the world, even the most “developed” countries have excessive poverty rates.

War and conflicts are happening in most corners of the world.

Capitalism is at the heart of these issues in many ways.

So we at ASLI wanted to shed light on these ever increasing problems and discuss them using artistic expression and creativity, allowing for a conversation to be had, from and by the unheard. So if you are interested in the CALL FOR ARTISTS click here.

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

However please read on to find out why these issues are so important.

 

 

 

Here are some facts:

  • Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.

  • 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

  • 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. Food banks are especially important in providing food for people that can’t afford it themselves. Run a food drive outside your local grocery store so people in your community have enough to eat. Sign up for Supermarket Stakeout.

  • More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.

  • In 2011, 165 million children under the age 5 were stunted (reduced rate of growth and development) due to chronic malnutrition.

  • Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment.

  • As of 2013, 21.8 million children under 1 year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

  • 1/4 of all humans live without electricity — approximately 1.6 billion people.

  • 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.

  • Oxfam estimates that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty–that’s less than 1/4 the income of the top 100 richest billionaires.

  • The World Food Programme says, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

There are 42 ACTIVE CONFLICTS worldwide today!

Civil war has been identified as one of the main causes for the persistence of poverty in many regions of the world: war damages infrastructure, institutions and production, destroys assets, breaks up communities and networks and kills and injures people.

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”
― John Steinbeck

We at ASLI are committed to being against war and we aim to highlight the struggles war creates and the impact it has around the world.

CAPITALISM! 

CONSEQUENCES TO CAPITALISM ARE:

INEQUALITY – The top 1% of the world’s population are the elites, the bourgeoisie those who have capitalised on the system of “top down politics” and fill the population’s minds with the idea “anyone can be rich if they work hard enough” which is a fallacy designed to get more people working and making money for the people at the top, remember there’s only so much room at the top. Making money by effectively taking it from others through the consumer market, taxation, debt, interest, insurance and many more…

WASTE and POLLUTION – The top percent of people have resources in abundance and an excess of “things” and necessities, with all of this being with the minority at the top, it is no surprise there is so much waste. Even the middle classes in developed countries waste so much of what many do not have. Food is wasted the most and often simply because food distributors and stores are afraid of profit margins reducing. Pollution is excessively caused by overproduction of goods and companies refusing to responsible for their impact on the environment in general. It doesn’t matter to them that, in the long term, we’ll all be dead, as long as in the short term they’ll have the most money.

HUNGER – When there is such an unfair distribution of wealth there is a majority around the world who have less and not enough resources to survive. This world houses the excessively over fed and the excessively malnourished, the minority is in between. We know that there is more than enough food for everyone to be fed adequately, but the capitalist nature of the world only wants those who can afford food to eat, inturn wasting more food which could be given to those starving. 

UNCHARITABLE SOCIETY – When capitalism rules, making money and keeping money for profit is a greater need to individuals and companies than being altruistic. This leads to less charitable societies and is due to a forced need to put oneself first above all else. This is fueled by governments cutting benefits and scapegoating the poor. 

LESS CONCERN FOR PUBLIC SAFETY – When a world is more concerned with profit and looking after themselves over others, big companies will often cut corners in health and safety requirements due to cost. Many injuries and fatalities happen due to this and could be simply avoided. 

UNDEMOCRATIC POLITICS – The wealthy and powerful will always have more monopoly in a capitalist society and this in turn creates undemocratic practices. Governments will put big business and banks before the public. Also money within politics means candidates who do not have financial backing will be disadvantaged in elections and against lobbyists.

WAR – Most conflicts around the world in recent years have been for profit. War is big business, funded by big companies, oil and arms dealers. Even private military and special forces are now used in conflict zones. Many interventions from developed countries are due to a particular interest of theirs is in danger of losing them money or there is money to be made from an opportunity. 

TOTALITARIANISM – Forms of dictatorships are seen not only in corrupt governments but also within big business and organizations. With huge bonuses being given to those at the top, those who do less work are rewarded whilst their staff is paid minimum wage. The media industry is also run like a totalitarian state, with normally one organisation monopolising the majority of media outlets within capitalist countries. 

PROPAGANDA – Capitalism would not be able to exist if it weren’t for advertising. With the power of suggestion, psychology and “brain washing” media can reach and influence you in so many ways throughout the day. Making you want to buy those “things” you do not need or even want. It is also used as propaganda and allows ideologies to be pumped out of your media outlets and devices telling you, if you have more money you are a success, telling you to blame the poor, the disabled and migrants for all that is wrong, leaving you guilt free to buy more “things”!

 

SO GET INVOLVED

WITH OUR CALL FOR ARTISTS

CLICK HERE!

 

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

 

REMEMBER our call for artists are open to all who create:

visual artists, photographers, musicians, singers, dancers, performance artists, creative writers, poets, spoken word artists, journalists, film and documentary makers, actors, fashion designers, crafters, artisans, tattooists, textile artists, street performers, cartoonists and animators, graphic designers, bloggers, vloggers….

basically if you are using your art and creativity to communicate to the world WE WANT YOU!

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

 

If you feel you have something to say or create which will comment on our campaign “capitalism, poverty and war” then click here to see what you have to do to get involved.

 

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.”
― Fidel Castro

Call For Artists and Creatives – Art Against Capitalism, Poverty and War – GET INVOLVED!

ASLI launch new campaign

CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR

CALL FOR ARTISTS – GLOBALLY

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC ART BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

We at Art Saves Lives are launching a NEW CAMPAIGN called “CAPITALISM, POVERTY AND WAR” to raise awareness about how these global issues affects people.

Read More about why this campaign is so important, click here.

Starting today the 6th of November 2015 and ending the 6th of February 2016.

We are looking for artists and creatives from all disciplines from all over the world to be featured in ASLI MAGAZINE!

JOIN OVER 100 ARTISTS ALREADY FEATURED

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS ISSUES AND CAMPAIGNS

Issue 1 – Celebration of Women – ASLI MAGAZINE click here

Issue 2 – Mental Illness, Health and Recovery – ASLI MAGAZINE click here

We accept work from many disciplines including:

visual artists, photographers, musicians, singers, dancers, performance artists, creative writers, poets, spoken word artists, journalists, film and documentary makers, actors, fashion designers, crafters, artisans, tattooists, textile artists, street performers, cartoonists and animators, graphic designers, bloggers, vloggers….

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC

PLEASE READ SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY! (If not followed correctly we will not be able to consider you)

Submission Guidelines:

We would like you to contribute submissions from these chosen topics:

  • Consumerism
  • Elitism
  • Money
  • Propaganda
  • Revolution
  • Famine
  • Austerity
  • Poverty and Children
  • The Business of War
  • Occupation
  • Surviving War
  • Patriarchy and War
  • The Dangers of Nationalism and Imperialism
  • Children of War
  • A Better World
  • Save Our Planet
  • Anarchism
  • Please submit ONE piece of work for consideration, this can be ONE collection or ONE piece (if you submit more than one with no clear explanation we will look at your first one and choose according to this)
  • State your artistic discipline and chosen topic (If you submit outside the topics requested we will not be able to accept your submission at this time)
  • Please read about us first, see if you want to be part of our mission and make sure you understand who we are what we are about.
  • Do not just email a link (we will not follow it)
  • Remember we are a non-profit organisation
  • If you wish to submit in another language other than English we accept untranslated work in French and Arabic, all other languages must have an English translation attached.
  • If submitting creative writing please do not submit over 500 words and if your piece is longer submit a 500 word abstract
  • To submit your work please send all submissions to artsaveslivesinternational@gmail.com
  • If you have any queries please contact artsaveslivesinternationl@gmail.com or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. Please be aware you CANNOT submit via the contact form this is just for queries (we aim to get back to you within 48 hours depending on volume of submissions)

Submission Deadlines:

All submissions must be in by the 24th of December 2015

ASLI INFOGRAPHIC ART BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

New ASLI Poster by Charlotte Farhan

Look at one of our new Art Saves Lives International posters which MD Charlotte Farhan painted then designed.

For now this artwork will be featured on our  websites and social media pages but as from next year will be available as postcards, greeting cards and posters to buy from our ASLI Store – coming soon!! ‪#‎artsaveslivesinternational‬

We will also be launching a competition to have your art and designs featured on our stuff and in our store!! As well as a call for artists to sell their items via our store. Lots of exciting stuff to be announced next year! We shall keep you posted!

Dance ASLI by Charlotte Farhan

Artwork by Charlotte Farhan

 

 

Debs Carter wants to help women share their stories with one another, as she has about her struggles with depression, connecting each other through her amazing organisation The Touch Network.

Debs Carter wants to help women share their stories with one another, as she has about her struggles with depression, connecting each other through her amazing organisation The Touch Network.

Debs Carter, 36, Southampton, UK describes herself a lover of people and her favourite thing to do is sit down with a cappuccino with her husband or friends and discuss the world, life and everything in between. Debs is also expecting her first child with her husband Phil and is a charity freelancer and the founder of The Touch Network.

Debs states she is not an artist but is very creative and uses her creativity to think up new projects and strategies for charities as well as her own creative writing, where she is a true storyteller with a focus for real life.

We invited Debs to our last event for this campaign “mental illness, health and recovery” so that she could engage with people at the event and get them to possibly sign up for sharing their stories via the Touch Network. It was a successful day for Debs as she acquired many sign ups and a few from the ASLI team itself.

So we decide to interview Debs and find out more about her and this important project:

Click link for full interview:

Debs Carter wants to help women share their stories with one another, as she has about her struggles with depression, connecting each other through her amazing organisation The Touch Network.

An Open Letter to My Friends and Family: I Am Surviving

I want to tell you that not all anxiety is the same, and I know the difference. But most of the time my anxiety rides me like the tearful child on my back who just scraped her knees. Who needles me between my shoulder blades where I can’t reach. Who I am trying to comfort as she squeezes my neck. Who is pushing me down and pulling me close and nestling against me to stake her claim over who I am to her.

Source: An Open Letter to My Friends and Family: I Am Surviving

Film maker Sadie Kaye is working with China Intercultural Initiative to document fine artist Matthew Plummers tour of solo exhibitions around Hong Kong and Mainland China

Film maker Sadie Kaye is working with China Intercultural Initiative to document fine artist Matthew Plummer’s tour of solo exhibitions around Hong Kong and Mainland China

 

“My work is concerned with salvation, refuge, revelation, roving eyes, long pilgrim marches, violet stars, rapt lovers, the morning after the wreck, dense, clotted murky rhythms, that which is rare, raw, fluid, innovative and dynamic.”  (Matthew Plummer)

Matthew Plummer
Matthew Plummer

Our amazing Sadie Kaye who is ASLI’s International Creative Director and Co-founder has embarked on a NEW and exciting adventure. Sadie will be documenting the solo exhibitions of Matthew Plummer as part of the China Inter-cultural Initiative. Matthew Plummer is the lucky artist chosen for this experience and exposure and will be touring main land China and Hong Kong.

So who is Matthew Plummer?

Matthew Plummer is an exciting young contemporary Fine Artist of lyrical elegance and undisputed originality. A passionate and acute observer of natural landscapes, which, for many years, he has swam, climbed and explored the wilder expanses of – in rain, sun and snow, by darkness and by day, and in all seasons.

 

Plummer’s bold and distinctive paintings hold impressionist abstraction and figuration in a perfect tension to remarkable effect, given his youth (and thus, one might expect, relative inexperience). His striking, poetic style is both intriguingly original and steeped in tradition, the latter the outcome of his fascination and engagement with the Grand Masters, Turner in particular.

Plummer claims to feel intensely close to his painting forbearer’s. He joyfully interprets, wilfully misinterprets and celebrates them in the process of creating his own, unique artistic language.

His impressionist paintings bring a rare intensity and romanticism to his timeless medium, continually advancing the innovative use of oil paint and acrylics. With sweeping, complex textures, lush palettes and compressed gestures focusing on the dynamic interplay between Light and Dark, his exuberantly intense colours typify the frenzied freedom in which he works. Expressed with the effects of the brush, his paintings cultivate a visual language culture that embraces diversity and spontaneity.

 

Plummer was born to an artistic, cultured family in London in 1987. He is an alumnus of London’s Royal Drawing School and the prestigious, internationally renowned Chelsea College of Art, where he received exemplary training as a Fine Artist. He has since proved himself a prodigiously talented and prolific painter with a portfolio of more than 400 completed works, 120 of them oil paintings. He has exhibited extensively in London, Paris, Toulouse, in South America and Eastern Europe.

 

He has recently been selected by the China Inter-cultural Initiative for a tour of solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The tour will be filmed and documented for broadcast by Radio Television Hong Kong presenter and film maker Sadie Kaye. Despite his young age, Plummer is exceptionally well travelled. He recently returned to London from a spontaneous painting trip to the Red Sea, where he began work on his latest inspired collection of waterscapes, The Blue Roads.

 

In 2016 he will form part of a select group of artists embarking on a month-long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, sailing a 60 ft. yacht from the UK to Venezuela, in order to paint a poignant Mural of Hope on the walls of anarchic El Rodeo prison, which lurks on the outskirts of Venezuelan capital, Caracas. The latter project will also be filmed for international broadcast on the Discovery channel.

 

In the past few years, Plummer has donated several pieces to be auctioned in benefit of the charities he has generously devoted much of his time to supporting. He was Artist in Residence for UK arts charity, Art Saves Lives (renamed Art Saves Lives International in 2014), from early 2012 until 2015. Several famed international artists and public figures are known to be collectors and followers of Plummer’s distinctive artwork, for which he has received many kind endorsements.

(Press release for Matthew Plummer)

 

 

So what is China Intercultural Initiative (C.I.I.)?

China Intercultural Initiative (CII) was founded by an established collective of innovating artists, arts educationalists, exhibitors and Asian art enthusiasts dedicated to using their years of artistic training, exhibition and events experience, inter-cultural passion and beliefs to create bespoke six month, one year, or two years artist exchanges for experienced, professional artists and rising talent.

Together, CII, its partners and collaborators have defined ways in which inter-cultural experimentation can create alternative modes of practice and help artists to respond creatively to the changes they see in the world around them. The rich, interactive environment of CII provides artists with the opportunity to expand and enhance their aesthetic range through exposure to cross cultural performance practices and new approaches to artistic production.

We are unique in offering artists the freedom to travel, paint and create in stimulating artistic environments; a plethora of creative opportunities to experiment, hone, develop, and share your techniques in the inspirational talks and workshops you’ll hear and give; professional opportunities to expand your professional networks; opportunities to exhibit and sell your art work in solo art exhibitions and international art fairs; and a diverse range of quirky opportunities to immerse yourself in all aspects of Chinese cultural performance. Our Chinese Cultural programs are designed and delivered to bring you the most creatively adventurous, daring and rewarding experiences from your time with the Initiative.

CII provides artists with all air travel, art transportation, housing and living costs on a need basis in return for an agent’s commission. This commission is taken from the art you sell during exhibitions and art fairs we arrange on your behalf. The commission is donated to registered children’s charities in Hong Kong and China. You will be afforded the opportunity to meet these charities and understand their work. CII believe artists should value themselves as instruments of social change and social justice is of paramount importance to us.

(CII is a partner of ASLI)

So we at ASLI want to wish Sadie Kaye, CII and Matthew Plummer all the success possible for this exciting new project, we feel this is a great opportunity and initiative.

For more information on Matthew Plummer please visit these links:

Website

Flickr

Tumblr

Google+

For more information on China Intercultural Initiative (CII) follow this link:

Website 

And for more information on Sadie Kaye follow her links:

Website

Twitter

Art Quote ASLI

 

 

WANTED!! Bloggers to write for our blog – Recruiting Now! Interested in being a monthly guest blogger?

Would you be interested in being a monthly guest blogger?

With your very own blog as part of ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL?

 

ASLI QUOTE

 

We are looking for enthusiastic, creative and compassionate people to join our team as monthly guest bloggers/feature writers. We want you to be an author on our website with your own login, author name and in charge of your very own blog on the following subjects (listed below) with the artistic freedom to make it your own! If you think this opportunity is something you may be interested in, keep reading…

Remember when we say ART we mean all artistic expression, visual art, photography, creative writing, dance, theatre, film, poetry, music, crafts, anything under the umbrella of “the arts”.art quote ASLI

The blogger topics we are looking for are:
Reviewers and Critics of the following subjects:
A music reviewer
A visual art reviewer
A poetry reviewer
A film reviewer
A photography reviewer
A theatre reviewer
A dance reviewer
A literature reviewer
We would want you to review at least 4 artists in your chosen category each month, they would need to be representative, inclusive, in-keeping with our mission and inspiring. You will need to interview artists you are reviewing via email, phone, skype or in person.
Local Artist (Portsmouth/Southampton areas) reviewer 
This would be either for both areas or we could have two bloggers for the separate areas. We would want you to review local artists from all artistic disciplines, abilities and would need these artists to be interviewed and reviewed.
Women in art 
A blog about women in all artistic disciplines from all over the world, showing women using art and creativity to better women’s rights and the world we live in.
Men in art
A blog about men in all artistic disciplines from all over the world, showing men using art and creativity to better men’s rights and issues and the world we live in.
Save the world with art
This would be for the eco-warrior blogger, we want you to talk about the issues facing our planet, what can be done about it and artists of all disciplines who use their art to educate and engage others about this issue.
Animal Rights and Activism through art
This is for the animal lover, campaigner and activist. We want you to discuss how we can all (not just vegans and vegetarians) become cruelty free, more aware of animal rights and what animals face in the world today and find artists discussing this through their artistic expression.
Art Therapist Blog
We are looking for art therapists and creative therapists who can discuss the benefits of art for better mental and physical health, with exercises, tips and guidance as well as all the latest news in this area.
Art as Activism
We want a blog which simply finds all manner of artists who use their art as activism to better the world in any
way.
Political and Satirical Art: Comment on the world
We would like a blog written about current political issues around the world and the artists that use their artistic expression to inform, educate, engage and express this.
Comic strip artist
We would love a few comic strip artists to create a specific comic strip for ASLI
Artist Tips and techniques
We would love artists who would like to blog about their skills and techniques used to create art. In a kind of how to or workshop style, this can also be a vlog (video log) which can show a demonstration on a specific skill, such as photography, pottery, painting, drawing, journalling… If its creative we want to learn how to do it!
Art Journalling
We would like to types of art journalling blogs, one by an artist who would share their art journal and progress and secondly a “how to” art jornal blog, with tips and ideas on how to journal with art.
Your countries art scene
As we have a large international following from all over the world we would love people who are from countries other than Britain to blog and write articles about their own local art scene in their country. We would also like bloggers in other languages too, so we can share your blog with our English speaking followers and engage NEW followers from your country.
ASLI QUOTE
We would send you an authors invite to our website/blog and then we would pick a date you publish on each month and this would be your deadline, then you can upload it and publish it yourself on our blog.
You can then link your own stuff, such as website and social media links to our site.
This is obviously a great opportunity and great for the CV, especially if you are a budding blogger, journalist or just love writing and wish to make this into a career.
As a non-profit organisation this would be a non-paid voluntary position.
But with our large following, subscribers and supporters you would have a keen audience.

How to apply for this position:

  • Send us an original article or blog post you have written before and then a second article/blog post about the chosen subject you wish to be a guest blogger for.
  • Send us any links to your websites, published works and social media sites
  • Tell us why you wish to be involved with us and our mission (no more than 100 words)
  • Tell us a date within a 30 day month that you wish to have as your deadline and publishing date
  • Send us a relevant CV
  • Send everything to MD/Editor and chief Charlotte Farhan at artsaveslivesinternational@gmail.com
  • Set up a wordpress account and send us your username so we can invite you as an author if we choose you. (if you do not have a wordpress account this is OK, we can still consider you, but you will have to be published though one of us (ASLI team members) as you will not be able to have your own log in)

ASLI QUOTE

We look forward to receiving your applications and thank you for engaging in our mission and aim.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask?

Also please share this with anyone you feel would like to get involved.

Create Change and remember art saves lives! 

 

 

 

We love our Supporters! Show us your support #artsaveslivesinternational

Some of the team and our amazing supporters!

 

Do you support Art Saves Lives International‬ ?
Show your support by creating an image like this with our hash-tag

#‎ArtSavesLivesInternational

and we will add you to our gallery

Thank you

ASLI’s Mental Health Awareness Fair and Event – The low-down

 

ASLI’s Mental Health Awareness Fair and Event 

The low-down

 

ASLI Info graphic

On Saturday the 30th of May ASLI had a fabulous day of engaging with our local community and our event was a great success. The whole premiss of our day was to raise awareness about our campaign MENTAL ILLNESS, HEALTH AND RECOVERY, to showcase some local artists who use their art to deal with their own mental health struggles, to give back to the community by having a FREE table-top sale and swap shop and by inviting local crafters and artisans to sell their beautiful creations along side us in solidarity. Oh and how could we forget CAKE, there was lots of cake!

The ASLI team and our ASLI volunteers pulled together so that our guests as well as ourselves, enjoyed a day of positive engagement and community.

See our Gallery of all the event photos – Click Here!!

 

We would like to thank:

The Oasis Centre – Not only was the centre and amazing venue, the staff were so accommodating and supportive. They gave us the entire venue for free, we asked if we could donate to their chosen charity and they chose a local animal sanctuary.

The Exhibiting Artists – Louise Tomkinson, Michelle Morgan, Chris WebbPhilippa Newman , Andreea Stan, Lisa Reeve and Charlotte Farhan

Our Stall Holders – Lisa TaylorJames WaterfieldPaul Brian, Philippa Newman, Debra Carter and Emily Murphy

We will be featuring all these amazing people and their talents in separate blog posts so keep an eye out!

PhototasticCollage-2015-05-29-12-14-07

We made lots of amazing connections with our local community, including mental health charities and art projects and communities! We will be building on these connection in the coming month, more details to follow…

Plus we had lots of local artists sign up to get involved as well as local residents signing up to our blog and newsletter.

All in all a very happy event! And to top it off we raised just under £200 for ASLI to continue to do what it does best, using art as a tool to create change and save lives.

Be sure to check out:

  • our Gallery of event photos taken by our two ASLI photographers Lisa Reeve,  Charlotte Farhan and Iain Turrell
  • our gallery of our exhibition on mental health and artists in Portsmouth at the event
  • our shout outs to our craft and art stall holders

Thank you xxx

ASLI INFO GRAPHIC By Charlotte Farhan

 

 

 

The Mental Illness, Health and Recovery ASLI Event in Pictures

The Mental Illness, Health and Recovery

ASLI Event and Fair

in Pictures

Gallery 1 Photography By Iain Turrell

 

 

Gallery 2 Photography By Lisa Reeve

 

 

Gallery 3 Photography By Charlotte Farhan

ASLI’s International Creative Director Sadie Kaye has exciting news about her documentary Bipolar Express

ASLI’s International Creative Director Sadie Kaye has exciting news about her documentary Bipolar Express:

Sadie Kaye
Sadie Kaye

 

Sadie’s documentary, The Bipolar Express, aired on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK Radio 3) Sunday 24th May at 8.30, but for those who missed it, there’s still the opportunity to check it out on RTHK’s podcast.

You can also catch the doc and Sadie’s 123 Show interview with Noreen Mir on the RTHK website.

The Bipolar Express is a 30-minute roller coaster ride through the euphoric highs and debilitating lows of the bipolar mind. Produced and presented by Sadie Kaye (Radio 3’s “Miss Adventure”), the documentary gives an enlightening account of the perks and the pitfalls of living with bipolar disorder.

Featuring interviews with bipolar comics Ruben M Tuck and Josh Walters, and Hong Kong ballerina Kiki Wong, as well as Hong Kong’s leading expert on bipolar disorder, Dr. Barry Connell, this quirkily styled production was made with a serious mission in mind: to fight the stigma and stereotypes attached to mental illness in Hong Kong and to spread awareness of a condition most people know little or nothing about, and yet is believed to affect as many as one in fifteen of us.

For information on bipolar support groups in Hong Kong and a wealth of articles written by others who have the condition, visit:

Sadie’s blog – http://bipolarhk.com.

 

bipolar

 

Also the rest of the ASLI Team want to congratulate Sadie!

We are so proud of her and for her important work within the arts and through this creating change!

 on-air

It is among the station’s top 10 most popular broadcasts at an honourable Number 8!

Coincidentally, the 123 Show, on which Sadie was interviewed last week by ace presenter Noreen Mir, is Number 7. 

Listen To Bipolar Express – Pod-cast is ready, please click here

This fits in with our 3 month campaign “Mental Illness, Health and Recovery”

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

For more information on Bipolar Disorder please follow these links:

Mind:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/bipolar-disorder/#.VWdMQ8_BzGc

Bipolar UK:

http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/

Sane:

http://www.sane.org.uk/uploads/bipolar.pdf

 

Bipolar-Disorder-words

 

 

Join our Facebook Group and Share your Creativity and Art with us!

Join our Facebook Group

and

Share your Creativity and Art with us!

cropped-phototastic-2014-12-17-15-22-001.jpg

Did you know we have a Facebook Group?

This is a group focused on the work we do at Art Saves Lives International. With news, updates, art, quotes and more…

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

We want visual artists, photographers, writers, poets, musicians, performers, dancers, creative organisations, art groups, community art projects, art therapists, craft and artisans. Basically if you are creative we want you to get involved with our mission and aim.

Here are some amazing art shares from our group members:

 

RULES FOR ARTISTS AND SHARES IN GROUP:

We also invite artists and projects to submit to us via here…

Please only submit one piece per day and never the same piece twice.

We are looking at art that conveys a message and communicates important issues. If you just have decorative art this is NOT the group for you. And your art will be removed.

Do not try and sell art here!!

Do not just promote yourself – this is about art engaging, educating and expressing our world. If your aim is to get more money and exposure this is not the group for you.

We welcome you to share other projects and organisations who are like minded

RESPECT one another’s work. Art is subjective – we DO NOT ACCEPT negative comments.

If you have any questions please tag the main admin into your post and question – Charlotte Farhan

We accept all forms of artistic expression like:

visual art, photography, creative writing, poetry, dance, film and documentary, performance art, music, installation art, fashion design, journalistic work, blogs, crafts and artisan work………..

Please share this group with like minded people.

Here is the link to the: group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArtSavesLivesInternationalNewsandArtShareGroup/

 

Artist Rocio De Alba “My one and only goal is as long as I can stand, breath, see and hold a camera I want to create photographs that people are drawn to”

Rocio De Alba
Rocio De Alba

 

Artist Rocio De Alba “My one and only goal is as long as I can stand, breath, see and hold a camera I want to create photographs that people are drawn to”

My name is Rocio De Alba (translation: dew of the dawn). I currently live and work in Queens, New York with my wonderful partner, Glen. We share four children between the two of us. It’s our own chaotic version of the Brady Bunch, lol. I was born in El Salvador. My family moved to the USA illegally in the early 80s escaping the civil unrest. Under the Regan administration, we were granted amnesty a few years later.  My father was a well-known artist in our country so I was surrounded by art a lot. But I didn’t realize I wanted to be an artist until my late twenties. I was working as an administrative assistant in Los Angeles and simply quit one day to pursue my BFA in photography. I completed my degree in 2007 after I moved to New York at the School of Visual arts.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of mental illness and the stereo type of mothers in your art?

I’ve always been intrigued by artist who document their lives. And I suppose this topic is apropos considering I am a mother of four with limited time. But I didn’t want to focus on a subject purely on the merits of accessibility. So even though I didn’t have a sophisticated concept or narrative, I documented my family and took self-portraits. It wasn’t until I studied Claude Cahun and Nan Goldin’s work that I realized I could use art as a way to overcome personal difficulties. In 2012 after a long battle with alcoholism, depression and suicidal thoughts, I was diagnosed with a severe case anxiety and panic disorders. Finding out you suffer from mental ailments feels like you’re walking around with your skin inside out. You feel fragile and exposed yet ironically ashamed. It was a dark period. One day while going through my archives, however, I began to dichotomize my self-portraits from narcissistic and vain portraits to cathartic rituals that subconsciously were saving my life. As an artist I could finally see the cohesive thread that lead me to create more intentional images with regards to context and theme; but as a patient, I found the photographic discipline itself cathardic and therapeutic. When I launched my site two years ago with these new images, several friends (and strangers) confided in me that they too shared the same struggles. It was then I knew I was on to something meaningful.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

Society tells us that we must be perfect at a glance and what people see on the outside should reflect the inside.  Yet I remember being on the subway or a bus with my make-up done, perfectly dressed, a big smile on my face, a diaper bag on one shoulder and two kids on the other hand; from the outside all appeared “normal” but inside I was screaming for help yet no one ever asked how I was feeling, not even friends. We’re also taught that talking about suicide and addiction is taboo, especially for women. This submission is my way of hopefully inspiring women to know that there is no shame is asking for help and there is no obstacle you currently face that is worth ending your life over. Seeking help to quit drugs or alcohol doesn’t make you week or brave; it merely signifies a desire for something different maybe even better? Although better isn’t promised either. But most importantly all the horrible shit you to your loved one that you think can’t be forgiven and there is no fresh start for you is wrong; it IS possible to change. We are all capable of change not matter your age the depths you’ve sunken down. I have learned however, that It may be too late to fix certain relationships but it’s never too late to forgive yourself and accept responsibility for your wrong doings and try to be as good a person as you can be today and right now.


 

 

“FACES OF LOVE”

In my early twenties my pious “old fashion” Hispanic parents divorced. Years later they confessed their most devoted accomplishment was “sparing us (as children) the unpleasantries associated with step-parents.” Yet almost immediately my mother began a successful relationship with a man nine years her junior, whom shared custody of two sons with his ex-wife, while my father courted many women simultaneously. Baffled, I witnessed my strict marital ethics unravel through the adults that enforced them and seamlessly integrated into what is commonly referred as a “modern family.” Suddenly my mother was a stepmother and we often met dad’s female companions with the imminent question: “will he marry her?” Using heaps of props, make-up, minimal post-production to alter my bone structure, eyes and skin color, I produce these satirical and humorous self-portraits to explore the “modern family” concept, focusing on the gamut of the contemporary mother archetype.  For the purpose of visual reference and to accurately reconstruct the physical attributes of these personas, I scrutinized hours of affiliated reality TV shows, primetime family programs and “telenovelas.”

The 21st century features great diversity in family structures. Research reveals fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, sixteen states legalized same sex and transgendered marriages, two million adopted children live in the United States alone, while interracial unions remain legal since 1967. These statistic endorse the evolution of the mother prototype, from that of the 1950s for instance, exemplified by fictitious characters like June Cleaver. Today mothers derive from biological roots, adoption, single parenthood, stepmothers, same sex unions, foster custodians or all the above. And due to new age media, feminist movements, and plastic surgery these women may look younger, live longer and remarry multiple times, as in mine case. Currently, I hold custody of my three children. The two eldest are from a broken engagement (he married a woman with two kids) and share the third child with my current husband, whom has full custody of a son from a previous relationship. As the evolution to a progressive family dynamic occurred, it seemed to revolutionize societal doctrines that enforced what mothers should look like and instead beckoned she reinvent herself unconventionally and without conceding to social biases.

“If I photograph [a] generalized human being, everybody will recognize it. The more specific you are the more general it [the subject] will be.”
-Diane Arbus

“GIRL ANACHRONISM”

Experts say by the time we reach age three hippocampus, a portion of the brain used to store memories, has adequately matured to handle our first palpable recollections. It so happens that is the age I learned about death. Inadvertently, this provoked the initial stages of a series of panic and anxiety attacks that would haunt me through adulthood. By age ten, I experienced more ruthless traumatic incidences that intensified the disorder and consumed me. I was unreasonably needy, continuously felt a pending doom, and was certain I was born in the wrong century.  At fourteen, a friend unveiled a magical potion that relieved all distress: alcohol! I self medicated for decades before finding sobriety, therapy, and a healthy lifestyle demanding I deal with the underlining cause of my psychological malady: my fear of dying.
In 2006 I began an extensive research study of Claude Cahun for an essay. Cahun was a 19th century surrealist photographer, writer, and feminist whom experimented with self-portraiture as a way to inwardly escape the oppressions of Nazi regime. Using Cahun’s concept of photography as escapism, I began this series of self-portraits to illustrate extravagant fragments of the mental and physical agony I endure at the peak of a severe and intolerable episode. Although doctors have diagnosed my prognosis as promising, I continue to incorporate abstract fantasy tableaux of neurosis and emotions of angst as they shed light on my disease and create a cathartic and therapeutic neurological relief stimulated by the photographic discipline itself.

“Photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary…I survive by taking pictures.” –Nan Goldin


 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I secretly think that (like my father) I’m a painter at heart, but lack the patience. My point is I could have painted my concept, made a collage, written a song or poem. I mean let’s be honest, I’m not reinventing the wheel here. Mental illness has been a theme in art for decades Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” quickly comes to mind. Photography is simply my art tool of choice. There’s a definite immediacy about photography, but none of my images are spontaneous. There’s an intense amount of meticulous calculations that has occurred before the shutter is pressed that, believe it or not, is still “awing” to me.

What is your process when creating?

I tend to sketch a new vision on paper or write the idea for it on my smart phone first. It may sit there for moths or I may execute it within a week or two, provided I bought or have the materials needed.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Well I’ve already mentioned my father, Claude Cahun and Nan Goldin. Jessica Woodman is another influence, but not just because her images have a volume that screams in my ears, but also because of their beauty.  The rich vibrant color pallets of Cig Harvey’s work are also inspiring to me. Or the soft, warm, and mysterious spaces of Utah Barth. Lately I’ve been seriously obsessed with Cristina De Middle’s work, who happens to be a friend that motivates me and believes in my work. But mostly I’m inspired by my amazing network of talented female friends and colleagues who bust their assess in this highly competitive field yet won’t take “no” for an answer.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?.

When you’re an immigrant, in any country I suppose, you don’t have to concern yourself with labels because others are doing it for you: government officials, bullies, employers and other women. SO I’m very caution is placing labels on myself. That being said however, I believe in the equal treatment and rights of all peoples. Especially those who cannot or don’t know how to defend or speak-up for themselves, or are denied that basic right. So under those beliefs, yes I would consider myself a feminist.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I am extremely impressed with your dedication to give a voice to the muted and the forum to showcase issues that others hide from by using art as your weapon.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously?

Do you have any experiences of this? Although we have made great achievements from the days of a young Gloria Steinem let’s say, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Personally I’ve either had to “dumb-down, dress-up, talk-down in order to not just be taken serious by men, but also (and this one hurts the most) to not seem a threat to other women.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?
Around the world? My goodness no! All you have to do is turn on the BBC and within ten minutes you can personally witness the exponential inequality worldwide. It’s really terrifying what some women must make acceptable in order to simply stay alive. You get a sense of hopelessness followed by a strong sense of power to know that you live in a country where you can still speak out and try to make changes.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?  

I  have a tremendous passion to help children that are in and out of foster care. My step-son, who believes is my biological son, was kept from his father (my husband, Glen) for many years due to his mother’s resentment over Glen and their volatile relationship. And even though Glen was fighting for custody, she was an active addict and my son was being tossed from one foster care to another, even though we were fighting to gain custody. I find they ethics of child protective services repulsive. One day I’d like to begin a photographic project about children in the system. I know exactly how I’ll go about it, I  just need the funds and the permission from the state, which is the hardest thing to clear.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

To me “Art Saves Lives” is simply a literal term that is exemplified in my life. Many times during a panic attack, state of deep depression or a moment of anxiety, I can simply pick up my camera begin photographing and it’s almost as if I am transported into a mental state of mind that soothing and authentic to my inner self. Art Saves Life is a lifestyle for me.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

When I was an undergrad student I never thought of art as a way to make a change in the world. I was a narcissistic, self absorb twenty something kid with one goal in mind: to become a rich and famous artist. It’s funny to think back now because nothing could be further from the truth. To choose a career as an artist means you are willing to let go of all those fantasies and work from the heart to create work you are proud of and hope that it somehow connects to an audience and maybe even touches someone. Ideally I’d like to live off my art one day and I still believe this will happen for me but I more than anything, I want my art to speak to someone and touch them deeply. But I’ll admit I didn’t begin with this objective in mind, and sometimes I still don’t. But it is certainly something I’ve been told my art is doing. And to me that is motivational and inspiring.

What are your goals as with your art?

My one and only goal is as long as I can stand, breath, see and hold a camera I want to create photographs that people are drawn to for their aesthetics, but might return to see them one more time for its merit. I want to see my images exposed to a large audience and one day have gallery representation. I also see myself teaching photography as a therapeutic release in rehabs or foster care facilities

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

Right now I am working intensely on editing a large series about my seven-year-old step-on and converting it into a multimedia book. I would like to complete the series “Faces of Love”, which you ( at Art Saves Lives) selected to showcase along with my series “Girl Anachronism.” I was also chosen to participate in the Annual New York Times FREE Portfolio Review (chosen from over 3500 entries!!) and am preparing a meticulous portfolio for this occasion. By the end of the year, I have plans to begin a new project regarding my father’s death from alcoholism two years ago. I have the images in my head but I need to finalize my four current projects before starting this one.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

More than anything I want to thank you for selecting and believing in my work. It’s truly an honor to be one of your featured artists. I also want to thank my loving family for pushing me to not give up when times get tough and for their unconditional love.

If you would like to know more about ROCIO DE ALBA please follow the link:

Website

 

Art Saves Lives International’s Mental Health Awareness Fair and Event in Portsmouth UK

Art Saves Lives International’s

Mental Health Awareness Fair and Event

On the 30th of May at The Oasis Centre in Portsmouth open between 11am and 4pm 

PhototasticCollage-2015-05-13-11-18-24

Art Saves Lives International would like you all to come along for a fun and important day in aid of Mental Health Awareness for our campaign Mental Illness, Health and Recovery.

This will be an engaging event spread across 3 rooms at the wonderful Oasis the Venue in Portsmouth city centre.

First room: There will be a art exhibition by artists affected by mental illness

Second Room: A performance stage with live acts and with art and crafts stalls from local artists

Third room: A swap shop, Cake sale and refreshment stand

So plenty to do, see and engage with!

The event is raising money for the non-profit organisation Art Saves Lives International to aid in their projects, events, mentoring of artists, campaigns and to help continue the important mission of creating change through art in all its forms.

Admission is a donation of your choice (suggested donation £1)

Bring a bag of items for the swap shop to then fill your bag back up with fab “new” items

Gallery exhibition is Free and Performances are free

Money taken at art and crafts stalls goes to the artists

See our last campaign “celebration of women” please visit our ASLI Magazine

If you are a local artist in the Portsmouth/Southampton areas and want to get involved there is still some room for craft stall holders, performances and we are always looking for volunteers get in touch with us at artsaveslivesinternational@gmail.com

PhototasticCollage-2015-05-13-10-52-26
 Check out the amazing venue which has been given to us for the day for free! Please support them and give them a like on their Facebook Page 
logo
We will be announcing all the amazing artists and acts later this week!
So to keep up-to-date why not subscribe to our blog.
Thank you.

Art, Mental Illness, Health and Recovery – Worldwide Call for Artists

HOW TO GET INVOLVED…

 

We are looking for artists and creatives from all disciplines from all over the world to be featured:

  • In our second issue of the ASLI Magazine
  • On our ASLI Blog
  • To be a guest blogger or feature writer
  • To get involved with our local event (UK Only)
  • To be featured in our on-line gallery
  • To raise awareness for ASLI in your local and worldwide communities.

As usual we want artists from the wide spectrum of “the arts”. Such as poetry, creative writing, dance, theatre, film, documentary, music, visual arts, photography, comedy, blogging, comic/graphic novels, crafts, fashion, textiles…. If it is creative we are interested.

We would like you to contribute submissions from these chosen topics:

  • Mental illness and your personal story
  • Stigma
  • Stereotypes about mental illness
  • Art and creative therapies
  • Highlighting specific psychiatric illnesses
  • Achieving mental health
  • Recovery
  • Medication and Treatment
  • Politics, society and mental illness

Also we would like to raise awareness for particular mental illness awareness months and weeks during the time period of our campaign:

Submission Guide Lines:

  • Please submit ONE piece of work for consideration (if you submit more than one we will look at your first one and choose you according to this)
  • This call out is open to: both men and women, all ages, worldwide and all abilities
  • State your artistic discipline/medium and chosen topic (If you submit outside the topics requested we will not be able to accept your submission at this time)
  • Please read about us first, see if you want to be part of our mission and make sure you understand who we are what we are about.
  • Do not just email a link (we will not follow it)
  • Remember we are a non-profit organisation
  • If you wish to submit in another language other than English we accept untranslated work in French and Arabic, all other languages must have an English translation attached.
  • If submitting creative writing please do not submit over 500 words and if your piece is longer submit a 500 word abstract
  • State if you are submitting to be: featured in on our ASLI Magazine or ASLI Blog, to be a guest blogger or feature writer, our on-line gallery, you wish to raise awareness for our campaign in your local area, want to fundraising, be involved with our local events (UK only – Portsmouth Based)
  • If you have any queries please contact artsaveslivesinternationl@gmail.com (we aim to get back to you within 48 hours depending on volume of submissions)

Submission Deadlines:

ASLI Magazine or ASLI Blog – submit by Monday the 15th of June

Guest feature writers and Bloggers – submit by Friday the 5th of June

To be featured in our on-line gallery – Open until the 5th of August

To raise awareness for ASLI in your local and worldwide communities – Open until the 5th of August

Being involved in our on-line campaign – Open until the 5th of August

Selection process:

We divide the entries into categories regarding the artistic discipline first such as; Visual art, photography, Performing art/Dance, Film/Documentary, Poetry, Creative Writing, Music…..

Each category is given to an ASLI team member and they then look at the submission criteria and divide your submissions further into the topics.

A select amount is chosen from each topic

And we try to be as representative as possible with our global range of submissions

Be part of the campaign on-line, get involved!!

Tweet us @ASLInonprofit :

Your images and videos of your work add #artsaveslivesinternational

If art has saved your life or you think art saves lives share your selfies telling us using these hash tags #ArtsSavesLives #ArtSavedMyLife #SupportASLI #artsaveslivesinternational

Or you can do this on Instagram the hashtags @artsaveslivesint

Look at all the artist who share with us on Instagram using our hashtag#artsaveslivesinternational 

We will then add you to our campaign gallery and share your involvement with our global audience making you part of the mission

Check out our #artsaveslivesinternational Gallery on our website

Take a look at last month’s:

ASLI Magazine

ASLI Blog

Issue One Campaign Gallery

 We can’t wait to engage with you all!

ASLI Quotes

ASLI launch new global campaign and call for artists – Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery

ASLI launch new campaign – Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery

CALL FOR ARTISTS – GLOBALLY

We at Art Saves Lives are launching a NEW CAMPAIGN called “Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery” to raise awareness about how mental illness affects people, how art helps achieve better mental health and how it can aid in recovery. This coincides with the Mental Health Awareness Month of May but as usual ASLI want more than a month, so we are extending our campaign to 3 months.

Starting today the 5th of May and ending the 5th of August.

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

We are looking for artists and creatives from all disciplines from all over the world to be featured:

  • In our second issue of the ASLI Magazine
  • On our ASLI Blog
  • To be a guest blogger or feature writer
  • To get involved with our local event (UK Only)
  • To be featured in our on-line gallery
  • To raise awareness for ASLI in your local and worldwide communities.

 

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 

As usual we want artists from the wide spectrum of “the arts”. Last issue we had poetry, creative writing, dance, theatre, film, documentary, music, visual arts, photography, comedy, blogging, comic/graphic novels, crafts, fashion, textiles…. If it is creative we are interested.

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

We would like you to contribute submissions from these chosen topics:

  • Mental illness and your personal story
  • Stigma
  • Stereotypes about mental illness
  • Art and creative therapies
  • Highlighting specific psychiatric illnesses
  • Achieving mental health
  • Recovery
  • Medication and Treatment
  • Politics, society and mental illness

Also we would like to raise awareness for particular mental illness awareness months and weeks during the time period of our campaign:

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 Submission Guide Lines:

  • Please submit ONE piece of work for consideration (if you submit more than one we will look at your first one and choose you according to this)
  • State your artistic discipline and chosen topic (If you submit outside the topics requested we will not be able to accept your submission at this time)
  • Please read about us first, see if you want to be part of our mission and make sure you understand who we are what we are about.
  • Do not just email a link (we will not follow it)
  • Remember we are a non-profit organisation
  • If you wish to submit in another language other than English we accept untranslated work in French and Arabic, all other languages must have an English translation attached.
  • If submitting creative writing please do not submit over 500 words and if your piece is longer submit a 500 word abstract
  • State if you are submitting to be: featured in on our ASLI Magazine or ASLI Blog, to be a guest blogger or feature writer, our on-line gallery, you wish to raise awareness for our campaign in your local area, want to fundraising, be involved with our local events (UK only – Portsmouth Based)
  • If you have any queries please contact artsaveslivesinternationl@gmail.com (we aim to get back to you within 48 hours depending on volume of submissions)

Submission Deadlines:

ASLI Magazine or ASLI Blog – submit by Monday the 15th of June

Guest feature writers and Bloggers – submit by Friday the 5th of June

Being involved in local event (UK – Portsmouth) – queries in by the Friday the 22nd of June

To be featured in our on-line gallery – Open until the 5th of August

To raise awareness for ASLI in your local and worldwide communities – Open until the 5th of August

Being involved in our on-line campaign – Open until the 5th of August

PhototasticCollage-2015-05-04-11-02-17

Selection process:

We divide the entries into categories regarding the artistic discipline first such as; Visual art, photography, Performing art/Dance, Film/Documentary, Poetry, Creative Writing, Music…..

Each category is given to an ASLI team member and they then look at the submission criteria and divide your submissions further into the topics.

A select amount is chosen from each topic

And we try to be as representative as possible with our global range of submissions

 

Be part of the campaign on-line, get involved!!

Tweet us @ASLInonprofit :

Your images and videos of your work add #artsaveslivesinternational

If art has saved your life or you think art saves lives share your selfies telling us using these hash tags #ArtsSavesLives #ArtSavedMyLife #SupportASLI #artsaveslivesinternational

Or you can do this on Instagram the hashtags @artsaveslivesint

Look at all the artist who share with us on Instagram using our hashtag #artsaveslivesinternational 

We will then add you to our campaign gallery and share your involvement with our global audience making you part of the mission

Check out our #artsaveslivesinternational Gallery on our website

 

 

 

This campaign and mission is also personal to ASLI as all of us in our organisation have been, or support a loved one or are still affected by mental illness.

ASLI President - Charlotte Farhan
ASLI President – Charlotte Farhan

Let our voices be heard, let our tool be art and let our mission be change!

Take a look at last month’s:

ASLI Magazine

ASLI Blog

Issue One Campaign Gallery

 We can’t wait to engage with you all!

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 

Rosie Swayne tells us about her song Cider Mill and how it is a reaction to her observations of a violent, darkly manipulative relationship

Rosie Swayne tells us about her song Cider Mill and how it is a reaction to her observations of a violent, darkly manipulative relationship.

 

Rosie Swayne

 

 

Rosie Swayne, 38, living between Helsinki and the UK.

I grew up on Dartmoor (on a farm on the edge of the moor, not in the prison) and started writing music as soon as I started learning instruments. I met Rachel Sanson at Northampton Uni where we were on the same Performance Studies degree: her superb vocals, performing skills and understanding of my material were a great writing inspiration and we continued doing music together in our band Invocal for the next 10 years – playing live everywhere and releasing lots of brilliant CD’s that were largely ignored by all but our small but awesome fanbase. The band ceased as a full time endeavour in 2010 and I am now writing music for theatre as my job, but Rachel and I are still performing.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of ‘violence against women’ in your art?

It’s The idea of being kept captive by someone’s aggression and influence which is assisted by the validation of the surrounding community and culture. The experiences some people around me have had are staggering – it’s humbling to think they must carry these dark and complicated memories around with them and try to process them as they try to get on with their lives. I try to keep this in mind when I’m complaining about my own hardships, which are more based on things like why oh why did they have to take all the salt and fat out of hula-hoops? now they just taste like general building supplies.


Tell us why you chose this submission?

I wrote this song shortly before I started a family and I was thinking about babies a lot. I guess I was attracted to investigating the lengths a mother might go to to protect her young, and so now I am a mother it has a renewed resonance. It doesn’t seek to convey a moral message, just tell a story based on somebody pushed to the limits. I think Rachel’s voice is perfect for the character in the song – it sounds awesome.


 

 

About the song:

CIDER MILL by Rosie Swayne, performed by Rachel Sanson and Rosie Swayne

The song portrays a character being kept captive by the aggression and influence of an unseen figure, whose power is assisted by the validation of the surrounding community and culture.  It considers the notion of seeking freedom at any cost.

Rachel Sanson sings the main vocal on this recording, which was recorded at Fitdog studios, Northamptonshire and produced by Rosie Swayne & Chris Furner . Music & Lyrics by Rosie Swayne.

Cider Mill

The last time I killed

Was in this mill

One Big Wheel

They let out the hounds

To track me down

Cogs Creak Round

Heave ho

Turn the wheel

Slow stone

Crush the apple

Keep the seed

Crush the captor

Keep the dream

Bolted door

Shards of sun

Feel the dust

In the lungs

Here’s the Adam

Here’s the Eve

Here’s the serpent

Come to free me

I’m nothing for you

Empty subdued

Mill, Crush, Fold

Your oppression has crawled

Into these walls

Mean, Dark, Cold

Heave ho

Apple must

Alcohol

Here’s the blossom

Here’s the tree

Here’s the person

We conceive

Awful dry

Dreadful numb

Never cry

Cork the lungs

Here’s the madness

Here’s the grief

Here’s the anger

Come to free… (repeat)

Hush time little munchkin

There isn’t very long

Cos the hounds’ve gone a-hunting

And mamma’s on the run

It is strange to be so present

So conspicuous and full

Having been until this juncture

Empty, null, invisible

There are scratches in the girders

There are hand prints on the floor

There are claw marks in the door parts

That I couldn’t let be yours

Seems they’re blocking all the bridges

But I’m running in the fields

And the river feels forgiving

As I’m breathing in the free.


 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

Well… music is the only thing I can do well (apart from write long letters of complaint to KP Snacks). But it’s pretty great to work in an artistic medium that people actually carry around with them in headphones and utilise in their daily lives. As for the style, I set the song in a kind of folky historical world as I have been more and more influenced by folk tales and story telling in my writing in recent years, since I moved through my introspective ‘6th form’ phase which lasted two decades.

What is your process when creating?

I’m very boring about it. I’m extremely detailed (read: slow) which I’m trying to work on now I’m writing for theatre and working to other peoples schedules. People ask me about the process a lot. I’d like to invent something a bit more interesting – perhaps involving me keeping a pencil and empty manuscript by the bed and writing my dreams in notation as I sleep, but the reality is I just sit down and get it done. In between large Facebook breaks of course, which are very important.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Like most composers my list of musical influences are vast and diverse but I am lately being inspired by Karine Polwart, The Tiger Lillies and Serj Tankian . I am also very inspired by the way current issues are being dealt with in the standup world by artists such as Josie Long and Bridget Christie. Also, while I was heavily pregnant, housebound and looking after my 1 year old we watched a LOT of musicals on my laptop in preparation for my next project. I got very excited about Urinetown and I’m about 10 years too late but I discovered Jerry Springer the Opera and found it to be a work of actual genius. Aarni liked Starlight Express, but what does he know?

 

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Actually I prefer ‘feminazi’- I’m taking the word back. Not really. Feminism means the pursuit of equal rights and opportunities for men and women to me, and is also a word that inspires a lot of uptight jibber-jabber from men AND women which is beyond tedious. People started referring to me as a feminist long before I decided I probably was one. I’ve been continuously accused of man hating in my songs even though if you actually listen to them, men rarely get a mention anywhere.  It’s as if a female person with the slightest attitude just needs to get close to a guitar and OH MY GOD A FEMINAZI! WHY DO YOU HATE MEN SO MUCH?! Um… I was just about to sing a song about tinnitus actually?

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I’ve seen some of your stuff on the internet and thought it would be cool to submit something.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I do think all people outside of convention have their struggles, but women do experience a certain type of brutal sexualised ridicule for not meeting certain (often irrelevant) expectations, which anyone who has spent more than 5 seconds on the internet can surely confirm.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Um… overall I think we could probably do a *bit* better

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I have campaigned with anti-racism groups and support raising awareness of mental illness issues (which, btw, I do *hilariously* with the song ‘Cheer Up Frowny Face’). But at the moment it’s hard not to focus on the rapidly intensifying issue of climate change. They’re releasing worse and worse data every day and we’re still prattling on about Jeremy fucking Clarkson like particularly idiotic lobsters being cooked alive.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I’ve seen the amazing effects art and music therapy can have on a person and I would definitely agree that it helps save lives. So hooray for art!

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Well I don’t like to brag, but my next project is writing a stage musical that will fix climate change.

What are your goals as with your art?

To fix climate change through the medium of musical theatre.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

it’s a stage musical …that we’re seeking finance for incidentally … and well I don’t like to brag but… it’s definitely going to fix climate change. You’re welcome!

If you would like to know more about Rosie Swayne please follow these links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

SoundCloud

 

Writer and Poet Lilly Garwood-Lloyd “I wanted to make a point about how much we associate the vagina with politics or ‘angry’ feminism because in truth it has become a political battleground”

Writer and Poet Lilly Garwood-Lloyd “I wanted to make a point about how much we associate the vagina with politics or ‘angry’ feminism because in truth it has become a political battleground”.

 

Lilly Garwood-Lloyd / Lisa Lawrence
Lilly Garwood-Lloyd / Lisa Lawrence

 

 

Lisa Lawrence, 23, London, England.

Lisa also writes under the name Lilly Garwood-Lloyd and describes herself as a vegetarian, atheist and feminist. Having successfully studied Drama, Applied Theatre and Education and graduated  two years ago from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Lisa discovered feminism and this sparked her creativity to begin writing plays and what she calls “stand-up poetry”. With a background in all manner of creative expression including visual arts, graphic design and millinery Lisa is using her artistry to challenge feminist issues and engage with her audience.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of vaginas in your art?

As someone who has always been very unapologetic and outspoken on the topic of bodies and sex I suppose the ability to discuss the vagina came naturally to me, which it doesn’t for everyone. I felt a bit concerned that the only words many women feel comfortable using for their vagina are sexy or cutesy words, so I started trying to write poems about vaginas.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

 I think humour has the ability to deliver a message in a way which helps you reach people who might otherwise not be willing to listen. I wanted to diffuse a lot of the fear people have about feminism and to show that feminists have a sense of humour and aren’t all angry!

 

The poems I chose to submit are ones which feature something which makes lots of people uncomfortable; vaginas. It seems alien to me that so many people can barely say the word ‘vagina’ when they came out of one. I wanted to make a point about how much we associate the vagina with politics or ‘angry’ feminism…because in truth it has become a political battleground, from contraceptives, to abortion, to rape the vagina features in each and every one. I wanted to lighten the tone, so every day people could feel able to discuss vaginas, take ownership of their vagina and see it as part of who they are (rather than a dusty storage cupboard for entertaining guests or a hallway for babies).

 


 

 

Naming your ninny

by Lisa Lawrence

I find I often envy men

cos they get to have a willy

not in a weird Freudian sense

but cos the word is cute and silly

Men get to have a todger

They get to have a winkie

even words like cock and dick

at least make it sound kinky

 

me, I’ve got a vag

an axe-wound or a gash

I dare you to find a word for it

Which isn’t gross or brash

 

Men can have meat and two veg

Something edible at least

Like a salami or a sausage

upon which one could feast

I don’t want to have a beaver

I want something which sounds nice

Fuck having a ‘Lady Garden’

I want something to entice

Words like dong or prick

aren’t such a terrible thing

and even the term bell end

has got a certain ring

 

See men have got a pork sword

A sort of weapon you could say

Even plain old penis

is nice in it’s own way

 

Not me, I’ve got a vagina

A cunt or maybe twat

where the only nice variant

is another word for cat

 

Who wants to sip from a furry cup

or plow a phoof or slit?

what’s sexy about a slut-hole

or just calling it a ‘clit’

 

I want a revolution

You see enough is quite enough

It’s not a fucking ninny

and it’s not a fucking muff

 

It may seem insignificant

and I really hate to whinge

but I swear to God I’ll kill someone

If they tell me it’s a minge!


My Vagina isn’t political

By Lisa Lawrence

My vagina isn’t political

My vagina doesn’t care

about all those deep philosophical things

like what to do with pubic hair

 

Why must my vagina be radical?

Politics isn’t her thing

she’d much rather talk about French lace

than cotton torpedoes with string

 

My vagina wants a quiet life

not too quiet, if you know what I mean

but she doesn’t want to talk about women’s rights

She’d much rather flick the bean

 

See my vagina, she’s too often distracted

by all the good looking men-folk

to be thinking about labour or childbirth

she just wants a damn good stroke

 

My vagina, she’s satirical

She doesn’t intend to be blunt

She doesn’t see why ‘pussy’ can’t be playful

or why we’re so afraid of ‘cunt’

 

Perhaps my vagina is lazy

but the truth is it’s all too complex

and like most other vaginas

she only really cares about sex!


Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I’ve always been incredibly drawn to rhyming poetry, it’s easy to be drawn into the rhythm and I think it is one of the best written forms of comedy. Also because poems can be any length, about any topic I find them incredibly enjoyable as a written medium. Whilst I also write plays I find poems pack a punch when they have a message in a much more direct way.

What is your process when creating?

The beauty of writing is you can do it anywhere, so a lot of my work is written into the notes on my iphone whilst undertaking journeys to and from work. Sometimes I also go low-tech with a good old fashioned paper and pen! In terms of contemplating a theme for a poem I’ll often start with a topic my friends and I have discussed, or something that frustrates me – my poem ‘Naming your ninny’ is really all based on my hatred of the word ‘minge’.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

As a poet I’m incredibly inspired by Dr Seuss. His writing sucks me in every time, even now! As a playwright I’m influenced by the work of Harold Pinter and Sarah Kane. As an individual I’m inspired by my late Grandmother Sheila Cullen, who to me was the very definition of success, and the person I always aspired to be.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

I think the word feminist is hugely misunderstood. To me feminism today is about equality for both genders, that does mean equal pay for women but it also means equal rights to paternity leave for fathers. For me feminism is about no one being prejudged based on their genitalia, a persons gender is far more complex than what is between their legs. I also think trans* issues like provisions of unisex bathrooms should be really high on our list of priorities as feminists. In many ways I don’t feel the word feminist is the best word to use to cover what I feel feminism is…but since gender equalist doesn’t have the same ring then I am very proud to call myself a feminist.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

Having trained in Applied Theatre I’ve always been passionate about the role the arts plays in positive social change. I feel that all artists and creatives should be behind the ASLI philosophy. We all have a duty and a responsibility to use the incredible tools and skills we have for the betterment of others.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

As a woman I have been shocked to realise how much my body apparently belongs to the public domain. People are happy to comment on what I need to do to make it look better and having moved to London I couldn’t believe how many strangers felt completely comfortable making sexualised comments about my body on the street. I do worry that women therefore feel a greater pressure for their bodies to meet certain standards than they do for their minds.

Do you think that women and men are equal in todays societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

I am very privileged to have been born at a time and in a place where women enjoy more rights and freedoms freedoms than at any other time in history. However we are still so far from real equality for both sexes. A world where a woman can earn less than a man for the same job is not an equal world.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc..?

The more I learn about the world the more causes I find I am drawn to. I am passionate about feminism, gay rights/equal marriage, animal rights and anything which helps people steer away from consumerism.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway savedyour life in any way?

Through those turbulent teenage years where I’m sure everyone everyone questions their existence and feels worthless the arts were the place where I found a community of like-minded people. It was in my drama classes that I first felt what it was like to belong and in my graphic design classes where I first learned to be comfortable with my own presence in silence.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I think art has an incredibly transformative power. If my work makes one person more comfortable talking about their genitalia, or changes the way they perceive feminism then I’m honestly delighted.

What are your goals as with your art?

My goal is to create poems that are provocative, entertaining and then make you think when you least expect it.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

My next big goal with my feminist work is to promote an international community art project called the satirical vaginas which encourages participants from all walks of life to submit satirical doodles of vaginas as a way of encouraging discussion about the many different forms vaginas take. You can follow the project on twitter @SatiricalVagina

I’m also working on creating some performance films of my stand-up poetry and on a new play named ‘Made Glorious Summer

 

If you would like to know more about Lilly Garwood-Lloyd  follow these links:

Website 

Twitter

 

 

Durinda Montoya-Cearley has written an empowering children’s book which tells little girls they can be anything they wish to be.

Durinda Montoya-Cearley has written an empowering children’s book which tells little girls they can be anything they wish to be.

 

Durinda Montoya-Cearley
Durinda Montoya-Cearley

 

Durinda Montoya-Cearley, 54, Fresno, CA, U.S. talks to ASLI about her children’s book which has a powerful message; that girls can grow up to be anything they wish to be. Addressing the issue of stereotyping girls at a young age and how important it is to educate boys and girls that gender is not limiting nor exclusive. .

Throughout my childhood, like gypsies, my family moved frequently.  After high school, I joined the Air Force. Four years later, I then served in the DIA, which allowed me to travel & live overseas. Finally, I moved and settled down in San Luis Obispo, where I pursued a career in law enforcement and acquired a 2 year degree in Special Education and a B.S. degree in Anthropology/Sociology and Writing. I now call Fresno home and actively pursue numerous forms of artistic expression, from poetry to visual art and music.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of breaking free of female stereotypes in your art?

I was looking for a children’s book for a little girl that communicated that girls can be whatever they want to be when they grow up.  Being unsuccessful in finding such a book, I decided to create a picture book that expressed to little girls that they “can be anything they want to be, just wait and see.”

Tell us why you chose this submission?

“What In This Big World Can You Be?” breaks female stereotypes by letting little girls know that they can choose a career that would not be considered a typical career for a female.

 

What in this Big World Can You Be? By Durinda Montoya-Cearley
What in this Big World Can You Be?
By Durinda Montoya-Cearley

 

 

In days of yore, long before, a princess you would surely be, but times have changed and for you there are many more opportunities and much to see. For your dreams can take you and your adventurous bear  here, there and everywhere!
In days of yore, long before, a princess you would surely be, but times have changed and for you there are many more opportunities and much to see.
For your dreams can take you and your adventurous bear here, there and everywhere!

 

As a veterinarian, you could help giraffes, monkeys and elephants who may feel a little blue,  because animals need doctors too!
As a veterinarian, you could help giraffes, monkeys and elephants who may feel a little blue,
because animals need doctors too!

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I choose a picture book format to express a positive message in hopes it would be an easy and short book for parents to share before bedtime.  I hope the rhythmic rhyming storytelling style and simple artwork will attract young readers and help them to remember the message.

What is your process when creating?

For writing, the creative process comes in bits and pieces.  I always keep a pad and pen with me, because I never know when the fire of inspiration will spark the creation of the next verse or picture idea.  Then, I look at all my notes and organize them, then re-organize them until the story flows.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am and was influenced by numerous experiences in life and by strong female role-models in history and those involved in current events.  Such women as Condoleezza Rice, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Hepburn, Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Elizabeth I.  Inspiration to create a painting, a musical composition, poetry, and writing comes from an active imagination that has remained with me since childhood.  For me, I must create, as it is who I am.  I have to have and thrive on artistic expression.  My current job and past positions do not define who I am, my art does.  I work a 9 to 5 job in order to create art.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

For me, feminism means being strong and confident and to venture off what is considered by society to be the normal path (for a woman).  And, balancing that independence and strength with a gentler side that does like doors opened for me, despite the fact I can open the doors myself.  Knowing I have a voice, I have an opinion, and knowing that voice and opinion is important and is not something to be ignored or silenced.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

There are so many countries even in today’s world where women struggle to have a voice, and where that voice is silenced by inherent beliefs or cultural influences, which are imposed by male governed societies.  These women are denied a voice.  Also, there are too many animals harmed and destroyed throughout the world.  These animals have no voice.

 

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I feel women do have to struggle to break from social norms and stereotypes, and in some countries, this struggle is tremendous.   I have been fortunate, although I have entered careers that years ago were considered predominantly careers for men, my abilities and knowledge were not questioned and if they were, I was unaware.  But, I know I am an exception.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No, I do not think women and men are equal in a number of societies around the world. My degree in Anthropology/Sociology and Writing taught that there are a number of countries where women struggle for not only equal rights, but fundamental rights as a human being.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc …..?

Issues I am passionate about are environmental issues, as these issues affect everyone worldwide. I am also passionate about children who live in impoverished communities, as their struggle to break free of that environment is great, and children who live in abusive family situations.  I graduated high school at the age of 16 and signed up for the Air Force immediately.  I did this to escape from the instability of a home environment of living with my mother, who was neglectful and abusive or living with my father, where I struggled to fit into a Hispanic community I knew nothing of and avoid the gang influences.  Additionally, I am concerned about saving wildlife and affects devastating ecosystems have on indigenous species.  I believe there exists a false impression that it does not matter to humans if ecosystems and the creatures that those systems sustain are destroyed.  We, earth, cannot lose more species than what we already have.  Even within this last decade, animals have gone the way of the Dodo bird, including the Baiji Dolphin, an intelligent mammal.  It makes you wonder, what did that last dolphin think while it swam alone in the Yangtze River looking for a mate.  Did it die a natural death or from loneliness.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art has always been part of me.  As a young child my imagination and art allowed me to escape the abusive and harsh world around me.  I spent most of my childhood and teen years secluded in my room, a safe haven, where I would draw or write about imagined places and secret worlds.  It saved me from the reality that existed beyond the bedroom door.

Art Saves Lives also means artist can convey important messages to those who may be unaware of certain situations or give encouragement to others to act to change a negative situation they know exists, but have ignored.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I hope my art, whether it is a song or poem I wrote, a picture I painted or a picture book I wrote for little girls can have some positive change or touch someone; to whatever small degree.  Some songs/poems I have written have deep, personal messages about life struggles and overcoming those, maybe someone will look at a painting I created and feel the depth of emotion expressed on the canvas, or a little girl somewhere reads a short picture book entitled “What In This Big World Can You Be” and be inspired to pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist.

What are your goals as with your art?

Regarding creating on canvas, my goal is to one day have a small studio, where not only my work can be displayed but that of other artist who also create to express emotions that  communicate to others.  One series of paintings I am working on centres on Breaking Free; Breaking Free can have many meanings – for one person it can mean breaking free from society norms, for someone else it can be breaking free from his or her past, it can be whatever someone wants the meaning to be.   Concerning writing, I hope to continue to create songs and poetry that conveys a message.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I would like to start working on writing and the artwork for another children’s book that expresses everyone is different and that’s okay.  I also have a concept to write a picture book about feelings and everything, every creature feels, no animal wants to be hurt or experience pain.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

I hope, my creations, whether read (such as a picture book), seen (something created on canvas) or heard (a song or poem), can bring about some positive change, which is what ASLI is all about.  Thank you.

If you would like to know more about Durinda Montoya-Cearley please follow these links:

Website

Facebook Page 

Facebook Profile 

 

 

Photographer Beta Bajgartova “I want to keep capturing emotions and creating short stories in one frame”

Photographer Beta Bajgartova “I want to keep capturing emotions and creating short stories in one frame”.

 

Photographer Beta Bajgartova
Photographer Beta Bajgartova

 

Beta Bajgartova, 39, Dublin, Beta is originally from the Czech Republic and has been living in Ireland for ten years. Woking as a journalist for local newspapers in her home town of Uherske Hradiste and then worked as a reporter for the Czech Radio in Brno, Zlin and Prague and also for China Radio International in Beijing. After seven years in journalism Beta changed her career and started working as a commercial photographer in Dublin in 2004.

I liked being journalist but photography was always a much bigger passion and love of mine. My father is an artist – ceramist and sculptor so naturally my home environment was my art background.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of women and their emotions in your art?

Initially I wanted to create a collection of strong portraits in this stunning location I found in Dublin. But as the idea developed I decided I was going to create not only portraits but also a whole story in one picture. I used long exposures to achieve the ‘ghost effect’ and reveal what people are dreaming about and longing for. The whole collection of eighteen photographs is called Dreams and although it’s not exclusively women matter there is dominance of female models and stories.

 

These are part of the collection “Dreams” that was created in Dublin in April and May 2012. “Dreams” is a series of eighteen photographs about the wishes, hopes and secret desires that we all might have but are too embarrassed to share with our closest friends. I’m trying to tell a full story about the subject of each photograph. The ghost effect, which is achieved by getting the object off the frame in the middle of exposure, evokes something hidden and too personal to share. I would like the viewer to feel that the subject of each photograph has confided in them.

 

 

Tell us why you chose this submission?

The pictures I have submitted relate to women universally. Women in each part of the world dream of love, having a baby, being able to run away from a place that they are not happy in, they dream about having a different body, about a closer relationship with their daughters and about their departed husbands. All of the pictures have potential to communicate with women on a personal level as well as with the audience.

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

Photography is my livelihood. I take pictures for clients almost every day. But I don’t want to burn out so I’m trying to challenge myself with new non-commercial projects all the time. It keeps me warm and loving and appreciating all the commercial jobs I do. Photography to me is an amazingly versatile medium. All the aspects from working with the light and technique through the post-production process to the final print are very exciting to me.

 

Photography by - Beta Bajgartova
Photography by – Beta Bajgartova

 

What is your process when creating?

The beginning is simply an idea, which is settling. During these times, which can last months, I wouldn’t do much, just dream and think of the pictures I would like to see. I would also talk to close people about the idea. It helps me establish details of the theme and the style. The next step is production – organizing the shoot, getting models, getting props, finding location, sorting out timings and logistics etc. Once the production is done and days are set I work efficiently and rationally. I shoot with digital camera and I tend to treat it like the analogue camera. I have the picture in my mind and I know how to get it. The Photoshop post-production is usually quite simple – colour corrections, levels adjustments, white balance correction etc.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

My visual icon is Paolo Roversi. I love and study the work of a Czech photographer Josef Sudek. And I’m a huge admirer of Annie Leibowitz.

 

Photography by - Beta Bajgartova
Photography by – Beta Bajgartova

 

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism to me me means respect to women. Respect in the whole important meaning of this word. Respect, protection, and of course equal rights – these aspects should be part of our lives no matter what age, sex or education we are and in this sense I consider myself a feminist. Women are amazing and I’m convinced it’s women who really rule the world. Unfortunately men get most of the credits.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I love art and I think art is important; I try to enrich my world and my children’s world with art because I do believe they can learn from art and they can express their feelings through art when words are hard to find.

 

Photography by - Beta Bajgartova
Photography by – Beta Bajgartova

 

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Sadly yes in many parts of the world. But I think it’s common in all societies – if you don’t conform to social norms and want to be taken seriously you have to work a lot harder to prove yourself. And women have to work double harder.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Men and women are not equal anywhere in the world. I was lucky I was born in a place where women in the past have fought for our rights and as a result I can vote, I can go to work and nobody has any reservations to me wearing trousers and cutting my hair short. I can choose my life partner; I can choose when I would like to have kids, I can go to college, I can make money and I can be opened about my sex orientation. However I also still live in a society, that doesn’t help me bring up kids and doesn’t appreciate managing, logistic and organizing skills that I have developed as a caring parent, in society that doesn’t support my creativity where women make less money than men for the same work, in a society that is characterised by gender imbalance and in a society that can be very sexist. I am personally always attacked when I come back home to Czech republic and get surrounded by billboards and advertisements with teasing pictures of young women selling tyres, building equipment or stationery. If you really start thinking about it the list of personal experiences of all women would be quite long even if in our relatively comfortable western world, many of us fail to see it.

 

Photography by - Beta Bajgartova
Photography by – Beta Bajgartova

 

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about women’s body perception, about bringing up girls in western societies and about any form of physical or psychological violence against women. I would volunteer for any cause that would make women’s livelihood better in any part of the world.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Yes, I think art can save lives because art can heal our minds or provoke us, art can get people to  talk, get people together, art can motivate us and make our lives better, art can be created for philanthropy causes and art can educate. A planet without art would be a completely different place.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Yes, of course! My submitted photographs can be used as a strong communicator between audience and for example charity organization. I believe they can appeal to audience and get people talk and think.

What are your goals as with your art?

I want to keep trying capturing emotions and creating short stories in one frame. In the Dream collection I wanted to make my audience to get the sense that they are not alone. That there is someone who understands how they feel and someone they can share stories with without talking.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I’m travelling back home to Czech republic and I’m going to be working on a collection called Memories From the Childhood. I don’t know much about other art than photography but I would like to try and create mixed media images. My aim is to create a series of abstract, visually beautiful and emotional pictures which will hopefully make people think about their own childhood emotions, colours and glimpses and which will remind to parents that it probably won’t be the amount of toys or sweets or trips to fun parks and playgrounds that children will remember when they’re grown up.

If you would like to know more about Beta Bajgartova please follow these links:

Website 

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Composer Sophie Paulette Jupillat “I felt strong and happy when I made art, art truly saved my life and was my only hope”.

Composer Sophie Paulette Jupillat “I felt strong and happy when I made art, art truly saved my life and was my only hope”.

 

Sophie Paulette Jupillat
Sophie Paulette Jupillat

 

Sophie Paulette Jupillat, 21, Orlando, FL, U.S. Also known as Phoenix or PhoenixMusique. A French Venezuelan: born in Venezuela but adopted by French parents who moved to the US when Sophie was two. Sophie creates music which speaks to the core of you, it evokes memories and emotions which are hidden deep within oneself. We at ASLI fell in love with Sophie’s music and knew that this artist needed to be heard.

Growing up I was surrounded with books, art and music of all genres, which led to my unquenchable passion for writing and music.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of female stereotypes in your art?

As I was privileged in certain respects when growing up, particularly in the area of education, my childhood and teenage years were horrible and rife with emotional abuse. This opened my eyes at an early age to both the unfairness and the beauty of life. My appreciation for all things beautiful about the human race and the pursuit to make it better through art is a direct product of my environment.

I composed Simmering Soul as a response piece to a man’s comment about women’s emotions and ability to compose. He stated that women are too emotional to be able to compose great pieces on the level that Mozart or Liszt could. In addition, this piece was also a subtle lash out to my family, who thought I was ‘abnormally quiet’ for a girl. Stereotypes like these need to be brought down, and women need to find a place in the arts where they can be respected as much as their men counterparts. A woman should be as quiet as she wants, be able to create art how and when she wants, whether in the face of adversity, or in the embracing arms of nature. Womankind is a simmering spirit!

Simmering Soul begins with strings and piano quietly, mirroring how subdued I felt in my household. As the piece progresses, the strings and piano get louder, gaining a crescendo as the clarinet joins the fray. In the middle of the piece comes the peaceful vivid resolution: a swell of strings and clarinet with the piano in the background. Near the end of the piece a jazzy flair comes into play, and the accordion and horns make their appearance. It becomes a celebration of life, an emancipation of spirit: like I achieved through the completion of this piece, and the pursuit of my art; like the ardent journey women have made, and still have to make to achieve complete freedom.

 

 

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I saw this submission opportunity on Facebook and immediately decided to apply. Many contests for Women’s History Month pop up every year, but the earnestness with which Art Saves Lives promoted the submission invitation and its goal called to me on a personal level. I knew I had something special I could give.

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

There is no specific reason; whether I’m writing or composing music, whatever the heart of the art is, I choose what is best for it. For Simmering Soul and most of my music compositions, I tend to favour orchestral instruments; they give a polyphonic deep voice that I feel best conveys the emotion of the piece.

What is your process when creating?

It is very disorganized most of the time; often times, my music and writing pursue me! Sometimes, a tune floats into my head one day fully formed, with orchestral instruments and all, and I later go to my keyboard and transcribe what I can. Other times, I just mess around on the keyboard and find a melody that I like, then spend months polishing it up. For my writing, usually an idea springs into my head, or a dialogue between characters, or a line of description, and I write an outline of what I think the story or poem will be. It can take from one day to months and months to finish, depending on the work.

 

 

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am influenced musically by big bands (like Benny Goodman and Gershwin) and the great composers (like Mancini and John Williams). I am also influenced by classical music and soft rock from the 70’s. I was classically trained as a pianist and have combined that with my love of jazz to create myself a genre. For my writing, I am influenced by classical French literature (like Hugo, Gautier, or Balzac), English literature, Gothic literature of all kinds, science fiction and mystery. Whether in music or art, and whatever the genre, I love writing about anything of the human condition, the reason for living, the beauty of nature..

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

To me, feminism means equal rights for men and women in all aspects of social, political, cultural, scientific, and economic life. The fact that in the 21st century, women are still lesser than men, if not in the work place (such as having a lesser salary), then socially (such as in all the stereotypes degrading women—the list is endless), is an outrage. I am a feminist, yes, in the sense that I feel we women shouldn’t be treated as property, and are just as capable as men of doing things. However, I am not of the ‘Nazi feminist’ trend that is sadly emerging in our society today due to misunderstandings and unwillingness to face facts on the part of both men and women.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

One hears a lot about various organizations trying to raise awareness during Women’s History Month. Usually, though, these types of organizations look for something very specific, often shunning the many varied issues that Women’s History Month raises by its nature. Some are limited to one form of art. ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL drew my attention because its mission is universal, both to contributors and to the public.  It welcomed all types of art that women can do, instead of selecting just one. The content ASLI called for was about issues that are deeply resonant in our world today: education, violence, stereotypes, equal rights, all very real and very insidious problems that need to be addressed.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Sadly, yes, I do feel we have to project an image in order to be taken seriously, specifically at work and at school. Sometimes, I feel we are discouraged from taking certain paths because ‘men will always do it better.’ For example, for a time, I was a computer science major, and the number of silently or overtly derisive attitudes this evinced was astonishing. The mentality is: women cannot do science. I had a similar experience with music. I’ve been composing since I was 13. I made a male close family friend listen to a few of my compositions one day, and he said they were nice, but it was obvious a woman wrote them. He said it was obvious because women’s inherent approach to music is “daintier and lighter than a man’s. There aren’t female equivalents of Rachmaninoffs, powerful composers,” he said. It made my blood boil.

During interviews, on the other hand, I’ve felt that I’ve had to play up my femininity in order to be taken seriously. The demands placed on women to be a certain way is much more intense than for men. Just taking a look at ads today, the woman has to be curvy but skinny, sexy, all done up, and smart, but not too much because after all, she is to be desired by men, but not be competition. She has to cook, be a mother and be the ‘ideal wife.’ Even women reinforce stereotypes among themselves! My own mother told me to be independent, and yet she insisted I be a good cook, a housekeeper, and always dressed up to the nines no matter where I was.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Definitely not, as you can see from what I’ve stated above, and in Third World countries the situation is even worse.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about equality, for everybody. I am passionate about equal income, about women’s rights, about the education and care of children, particularly adopted ones. I have volunteered at children’s summer camps, art camps, and would do it again. I also would volunteer for anything concerning the arts and/or languages.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

ART SAVES LIVES means exactly what it says. Art has the potential to touch the human psyche in a deep and life-influencing way; it can inspire one to do so much. Art definitely saved my life during my teenage years of emotional abuse. When my own adoptive parents were telling me I would be a failure, and that my art was nothing special, that I could never do anything with it, plunging ahead and creating was my coping method. Being able to write creatively and play music was my own secret garden in my family world of chaos and destruction. If I felt worthless back then, at least I felt like my own person. I felt strong and happy when I made art. Art truly saved my life and was my only hope.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

My music and writing can be used to inspire awareness of the beauty of the world around us, to appeal to the better human in all of us. I like to think that as I always put so much of myself in all my work, people around the world who can experience my art will find themselves mentally communicating and communing with my art. I also think that by the very act of creating art, I can inspire fellow women to do the same, regardless of their background: Whether one was born in luxury, or whether one was born in a Venezuelan barrio (as is my case), one can achieve great heights.

 

 

What are your goals as with your art?

My goal is to keep perfecting my art and touching people’s lives. It is my hope one day to be a published novelist and poet, as well as a film composer.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I have so many I can’t list them all. But a couple of my ongoing musical projects are varying instrumental jazz pieces, a techno piece, and a Russian waltz (part of my three part Waltz of the Romanov’s series). Writing-wise, I am working on a play, several science fiction stories, a Gothic novella, a short story, and poetry.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

No, just that I am very honoured to be a part of this project and would love to contribute more in the future!

If you would like to know more about Sophie Paulette Jupillat follow these links:

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The band Brittle Sun discuss violence against women in their song Last One Standing and use their music to challenge the status quo: ASLI speak to lead vocalist Viki Mealings

The band Brittle Sun discuss violence against women in their song Last One Standing and use their music to challenge the status quo: ASLI speak to lead vocalist Viki Mealings.

Viki Mealings lead vocalist from Brittle Sun
Viki Mealings lead vocalist from Brittle Sun

 

Vicki Mealings is the lead vocalist from the trio band Brittle Sun who are Melbourne based. With a vivid personality as a band and enigmatic live performances Brittle Sun are more than musicians they are artists who use inspiration from spoken word and collaborate with local poets.

The song ‘Last One Standing’ was co-written with my friend Megan, who’s a writer and editor. We’re a small but diverse bunch in terms of age and background. I’ve always loved music. The first song I loved was ‘Alexander Beetle’ by Melanie. I started out drawing and making little storybooks when I was tiny. It didn’t occur to me to play music until much later. I grew up in Melbourne, which is a great place to be if you like poetry and music.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of Violence Against Women in your art? Tell us why you chose this submission?

The song is very loosely autobiographical, but also inspired by the experiences of women we knew. The song was written a while ago, and it will mean different things to different people. We saw the call out, and we thought the song might be what Art Saves Lives were looking for in terms of the subject matter.


 

Submission Song: Last One Standing 

Lyrics by Megan Green and Viki Mealings. Music by Brittle Sun.

Our song ‘Last One Standing’ is very loosely autobiographical, but also inspired by the experiences of women we knew. The lyrics took a long time to get right, as there are a lot of stories in there and we wanted something a bit universal. The final edit of the lyrics is a long way from what we started with, but we kept the basic hook that makes the chorus.

We wanted to keep the music really simple so as to keep the main focus on the words and the voice. So we just laid down three tracks-acoustic guitar, keys, and astbory bass. That’s all.

David Jetson played the bass on the track and Stewart Garrett played keys. The song was recorded and produced by Kim Lajoie at Obsessive Music in Melbourne, Australia.



Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I used to do visual art, but I couldn’t really say what I wanted through it. So I started writing poems and songs. Writing is the most satisfying part of the process. Performing is also a necessary part of the process, but writing is what gives the joy.  

What is your process when creating?

Sometimes ideas will materialise out of nowhere-just snippets. The process is all about having the discipline to write them down and then build on them. It takes work.

 

 

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

There are so many influences-family, friends, enemies, other artists, and well-known artists. Of the well-known artists, Lou Reed was a pretty big influence as is Patti Smith.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

It’s going to mean different things to different people. Enabling equal opportunity is the tenet everyone’s familiar with, but for me it goes further than that. It’s about recognising and addressing the injustices of the past and present and taking responsibility for the future.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

ASLI is inclusive. It provides a voice to the voiceless.

 

 

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

In general, I think women are taken less seriously, whether they conform or not.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s  societies  around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No. The average woman in global terms works as an unpaid farmhand and does most of the work. We’re a lot better off here in the West but there are still issues for example difficulties with balancing home and family life and unrealistic societal expectations in terms of work, parenting and physical appearance.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

It concerns me that children from low income families don’t have the same educational opportunities as those from higher income families. I’m also concerned about Indigenous health, in terms of the scandalously high infant mortality rates, higher rates of poverty, and a greatly reduced life expectancy.

 

 

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and  has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I once witnessed a music therapist working with a young person who had a suffered a traumatic brain injury. That person was agitated, confused, and restless most of the time. Except when the music therapist was singing and playing guitar. The music definitely had a calming effect. Every time the music played, it was as though the former, uninjured personality resurfaced; something that was thought to be irretrievably lost. It was quite a thing to witness.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Art can create change in a number of ways. It can help people to think in different ways about a given situation and it can challenge the status quo. Sometimes it’s a conscious thing, sometimes it isn’t. We want people to enjoy what we do and to feel proud of who they are. I think it’s really important to celebrate diversity and to promote solidarity.

What are your goals as with your art?

To keep on improving and to leave behind a body of work we can be proud of.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

We’re currently recording some new songs for our next EP. I also want to get my poems into print.

 

Viki Mealings - Brittle Sun
Viki Mealings – Brittle Sun

 

If you would like to know more about Brittle Sun follow these links:

Website

Facebook Page

YouTube 

 

 

Malaysian Artist Nell-Lynn Perera “Art has saved my life, it has given me a means to express myself quietly without the need for words”

Malaysian Artist Nell-Lynn Perera “Art has saved my life, it has given me a means to express myself quietly without the need for words”.

 

Self Portrait | 03 - by Nell-Lynn Perera acrylic, charcoal on canvas 100 x 100 cm
Self Portrait | 03 – by Nell-Lynn Perera
acrylic, charcoal on canvas
100 x 100 cm

 

Nell-Lynn Perera, 43, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a self taught artist who started 3 years ago.

I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) and I always go within when I paint. Often times I paint in a trance like state. Hence, the Universe is a theme that I often paint. I am not a student of astronomy so this particular fascination of painting the Universe is really me painting Consciousness, something that I have come to know.

 

What motivated you to deal with the subject of beauty and stereotypes in your art?

The motivation mostly came from real life experiences.

 

Tell us why you chose these submissions?

I wanted to reach more people through my painting and writing. I wanted my voice to be heard. I wanted others to know that they are not alone should they feel the same way as I do. I wanted my paintings to speak of words that I am incapable of expressing.

 

Blog posts:

Voices of Nin: Beauty 1

Voices of Nin: Beauty 2

Voices of Nin: real Women

 

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I mostly paint without knowing what I am about to paint so acrylics work best for me as it’s quick drying and allows me to paint as quickly as there is an energy flowing within me when I paint. There is a calling to paint without knowing what I am painting. I paint from all directions of my canvas/paper until I see something form. Once this is revealed to me, I continue painting in one direction. I take breaks if it is a big piece but not for long as the calling to paint is too great.

 

What is your process when creating?

I spend a lot of time not painting. Unlike most artists who produce on a daily or weekly basis, I don’t.  I rely heavily on how I feel, and this feeling, this urge to paint only arises when I have been still for some time. I don’t paint because I want to. I paint because I need to.

 

 

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am influenced by what lives in me; all that I have lived through. Consciousness, love and  following my higher self’s inner guidance is what inspires and beckons me to paint.

 

 

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism to me means equality and freedom to express and be without judgement or any preconceived ideas from years of stereotyping women.  I don’t consider myself a feminist as I don’t believe in stereotyping myself and try my best at not stereotyping others. I simply am a woman.

 

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I got involved because I believe in the mission of ART SAVES LIVES. I didn’t paint nor write anything new specifically for this project which reflects that I too share and have been involved in wanting to bring light to ART SAVES LIVES mission.

Blossom - by Nell-Lynn Perera acrylic, chinese ink
Blossom – by Nell-Lynn Perera
acrylic, chinese ink

 

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Yes, women mostly have to. We mostly have to live up to how we should dress in accordance to the different stereotypes of what is out there. Even our behaviours are judged.

As a model with tattoos who listens to Trance music (even when I paint), I’m aware that people who think they know me, have perceived me wrongly. They join the dots because of years of conditioned stereotyping and they fail miserably at their perception of who I really am.

 

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No, we are not equals in most societies. The fact that the word feminism is still being used reflects this clearly; we are not equals. We do not have to go far to realise this. Just look at how a couple differentiate their ‘duties’ at home.

When women are assertive, they’re seen as less feminine.

When women show anger, they’re seen as less feminine.

When women don’t wear makeup, they’re seen as less feminine.

I speak from experience about all the above.

 

by - Nell-Lynn Perera
by – Nell-Lynn Perera

 

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

The abolishment of the Death Penalty and all forms of torture, homelessness, the closure of Guantanamo Bay, human rights and prisoners on death row.

 

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I simply can’t imagine a world without art, music and nature.

People don’t take art or artists seriously as they are millions of us and art is all around their surroundings. But imagine a world where there is no art. The world appears a lot less alive. Architecture though is a form of art, remains cold, concrete and lacking of emotion.

Art has saved my life. It has given me a means to express myself quietly without the need for words. My inner world is reflected in my art. I am able to catapult myself to a better place where stillness is alive rather than chaos. I believe the buyers of my art feel the same way.

 

by - Nell-Lynn Perera
by – Nell-Lynn Perera

 

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Street art and graffiti for instance have a huge voice because it is out there. Their impact to create change and a different way of looking at things, is massive.  For this reason, street artist, Bansky is someone I regard highly. He does not seek fame or riches. His main objective is to wake people up from the daily conditioning that people have been misled into believing is the truth through main stream media.

My art hasn’t reached that volume of audience yet in order for me to achieve change. But yes, there is a message if you look closely.

 

What are your goals as with your art?

My goals are simple. I would like to be able to live off sales of my paintings in order for me to continue painting. In order for me to be able to achieve this, I need a wider audience who not only appreciate my paintings but who would purchase them.

Fame is not something I seek. The gift of knowing I could paint came late to me. I only want to honour this gift by sharing it with others and to be in a position where I can live a decent confortable life by staying true to this gift.

 

 

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

My second book “The Rugged Sea” which I have completed writing but which I need to source for funding in order to see it published. Trying to secure a second solo show in a reputable gallery which isn’t easy as most reputable galleries here are only interested at featuring work of famous artists.

 

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Each and everyone of us has the gift of being able to paint.

 

Nell-Lynn Perera

 

If you would like to know more about Nell-Lynn Perera follow these links:

Website

Blog

Shop

Insights of Nin Facebook Page

Voices of Nin Facebook Page

Facebook Profile

YouTube

 

 

Writer Cath Bore “In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms”

Writer Cath Bore “In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms”.

 

Cath Bore
Cath Bore

 

Cath Bore, Liverpool, UK, started as a music writer in her early 20’s then went on to write creatively. Cath has an MA in Creative Writing, and lots of her flash fiction and feminist essays / creative non fiction is published in the UK and the US.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of domestic violence in your art?

Domestic violence is a cause very close to my heart. I find it odd domestic violence victims and survivors are put in boxes labelled “it was their own fault”. The more we talk about DV in its different guises, the better.

 

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I wrote FRIDAY ROSES after I saw a Facebook meme about a woman who received flowers every birthday from her husband even though he died – he’s set up an on going order every year until she herself passed away. Many people thought it a romantic gesture; I looked at it from a different angle, what if he was abusive? What is really she wanted free of him? What if he was controlling her from the grave? What if the flowers every year were another way of belittling her, so she is never free? I think as writers and artists it is our duty to question everything.


 

FRIDAY ROSES

The red roses Brian sends on Fridays are delivered to the house, bound in a tight bundle. The taut rubber band pinks my fingers and thorny stems long and tentacular splice my skin as I unpick the stubborn brown rubber. My fingers cut and bleed but push the flowers into a vase.

‘Have they arrived, the flowers?’ Brian rings up and asks, as always.

‘Yes, they’ve arrived. Thank you.’

‘And do you like them?’ He says this each time too.

‘I love them.’

He makes me say it every week, forces me to lie. Sometimes I think I hate the roses more than I despise Brian. They offer up no scent, shiny plastic petals scratch the end of my nose as he forces me to sniff them and inhale plain air that smells of tap water.

Flowers every week, how romantic, everyone says.  You’re so lucky.

‘Yes,’ I smile. ‘I’m lucky.’

My cracked ribs creak as I force uncomfortable words out from lips stiff and awkward with lies.

In the end, all it takes is a little push. I watch Brian fall down the stairs, arms in frantic circles, hands grabbing air, gob flapping silently. He breaks. I taste copper in my mouth and smell its perfume, realise I’ve bitten my tongue and hold it between my teeth as I watched him windmill downwards. Relief washes through me like a flood but the police believe my tears.

The following Friday roses arrive as usual, red like blood.


Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I love writing and I always have, ever since  I was a little girl.

What is your process when creating?

I write, leave it for a while then redraft, redraft, redraft. I always leave work for at least a week after that and give it another polish before I submit it anywhere.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I love good writing, my favourite author is Marian Keyes, although we write in different genres. Her dialogue sparkles, every word a diamond. I carry a notebook around with me at all times and scribble words and phrases down, making note of what intrigues me. I use them for inspiration; I am never short of something to write about. At the moment I am getting lots of ideas from songs and song lyrics.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism is true equality of the genders. Men and women are different but not the same and I believe we should celebrate our differences, and include men and self-defining women in those celebrations. Get everyone on board!

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I love the message you’re putting out, using art of all kinds to educate, engage and express. It is something creatives do naturally, it’s great we get to do it en masse like this.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Of course we do. We have to look a certain way, not be too loud or be funny – funny women scare people. I’m still trying to work that one out.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Until women and men share things like childcare and housework equally in the home, equality is still a long way off. It’s great that men now do so much more than their fathers did, and they’ve done it without anyone telling them to – worked out themselves that spending time with their children and so forth makes for a happier family life. A 50/50 housework split in most households is still a long way off, though.

I’m disturbed by the new trend to put down men, as if they are imbeciles and can’t cope with domestic tasks on their own. I did a reading away from home recently so had to stay overnight; someone seriously asked me “how will your husband cope?”. I replied, “he is not a child”. We need to give good men more credit.


What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

Domestic violence, women’s Refuges.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

If I didn’t write I’d go bonkers. End of.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

In my writing I create female characters who meet the world on their own terms. I believe that creativity can be used as an amazing and effective tool to promote empowerment.

What are your goals as with your art?

I’d like even more people to read my work and to have my novel published and for it to be successful and critically acclaimed.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am working on a crime novel which I’m madly in love with, and lots of flash fiction. I’m increasingly writing feminist creative non-fiction, which I enjoy so much.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

I’d like to thank you for publishing my short story and for all the fabulous work you do. You’re ace.

If you would like to know more about Cath Bore follow these links or email:

Website  

Twitter

email cathbore@gmail.com

 

asli quote

 

 

Poet Laura Taylor “If I can use my own hard times to make art, and share that widely, then that multiplies the cohesion, makes us all stronger”

Poet Laura Taylor “If I can use my own hard times to make art, and share that widely, then that multiplies the cohesion, makes us all stronger”.

 

Laura Taylor
Laura Taylor

 

Laura Taylor, 47, St Helens, Merseyside, UK.

Laura is from a village called Rainhill, which is located in between St Helens and Liverpool. Having been born into a working-class family Laura has retained the values of that upbringing. Material gain is not a high priority – happiness, harmony, love and equality are.  Laura identifies herself as a Socialist, a feminist, and says she has challenged arbitrary forms of authority all her life.  

I do not believe in hierarchies. I have no ‘art background’ as such, I’ve never studied creative writing.  I just started writing poetry in 2010 for the first time.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of writing for revolution/unsolicited advice in your art?

Write for Revolution’ was about seeing a female poet perform, and being so emotionally overwhelmed by her words that I went away from that experience thinking that I had things to say, too.

The poem starts with dancing alone, and ends with ‘and now there’s more of us’, writing our lives for whoever is reading/listening, and connecting with them.  When I get up on a stage to share my experiences in the form of poetry, I know from experience that there will be other women who will identify with it, and they will feel less isolated as a result.   

‘Unsolicited’ is based on all the unwanted and unasked-for ‘advice’ that I’ve received over the years on what it is to be a woman – or rather, a ‘lady’.  It basically amounts to a list of things you can and cannot do – mainly the latter. Everything in that poem is based on true events in my life.  I have spent long periods as a single parent, and know what it is to be demonised by the media and the government.

I am acutely aware that as women age, opportunities close down. In my life, there are jobs I’ve not been allowed to do, behaviour that I have been strongly discouraged from; I’ve felt the weight of societal disapproval for just being me and it’s suffocating.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I have performed both poems many times, and without fail, I have had women laughing, nodding their heads in recognition, and thanking me for articulating their own experiences.  If I can use my own hard times to make art, and share that widely, then that multiplies the cohesion, makes us all stronger.


 

Write for Revolution  

We danced alone on wooden floors.

Volunteers making noise.

In later days, I heard that you had

swallowed lumps for breakfast.

 

I sat in darkness, closing throat.

Felt my own lumps swimming up.

Listening and wondering

of spun-out olive branches.

 

I went away and thought about

all the sorrow, all the fear,

all the tears we’d shed so far

and wondered,

could I help?

 

Could I stand up to make a change?

To help one woman in the world

feel less alone, less isolated.

Could I?

Well…

 

I tried.

I wrote.

I told about

 

little girls

and bruises,

loneliness and solitude,

rapture and revulsion,

teenage isolation.

Violence, injustice;

politricks, hypocrisy.

Endless fights

for equal rights;

kissing girls and

loving christ.

 

And now there’s more of us.

Northern girls with tales to tell.

We reap and sow the seeds of change

and write our lives for you.

 

We write

for revolution.


Unsolicited (1968 – 2015)

 

You’re Not Allowed

 

to cry,

in here,

this room, this bar,

a pint, on deck,

to fight or sulk,

or answer back,

to join the local snooker team,

to bare your legs

or armpit hair,

express yourself

or sleep around,

to shout or swear,

to wear short skirts,

to wear short hair

 

Grow it, tie it, perm it, dye it, never cut it short

 

to be the boss,

come more than once,

to suit yourself,

to wank, to sweat,

to smell, or fart,

to bleed,

release a stream of pee

outside of

chambered secrecy,

be clever, proud,

sarcastic, loud,

tell dirty jokes or pick your nose

 

That’s not very ladylike

 

to flirt, to age,

to speak your mind,

to even show your knicker line,

bring up a child

all on your own,

expose your breasts,

express your milk

so publicly,

to smoke, get drunk,

get up the duff

without a band of gold.

 

Single mothers are to blame for all the world’s depravity

 

UNSOLICITED!

 


Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

Purely by accident. As mentioned, it was the experience of another woman’s poetry that spurred me to write my own.  I’d never really read any before, and thought I didn’t like it. Thought it was elitist, and ‘not for the likes of me’. It’s hugely addictive though! And I’ve discovered that it’s the perfect art form for me.

What is your process when creating?

I’ll start with a word, a phrase, a memory or a feeling that sparks in my mind. Sometimes that can be just out of the blue, sometimes I’ll deliberately set out to write about something that I feel strongly about, or wish to express.  I will then just sit and type out as many associations with that as possible.  Just let it flow, don’t even think about shaping it. It’s important to squeeze every last drop of what you think, how you think, how you feel, and how you can possibly express that.

Sometimes I’ll do a little research about ideas or words in the poem, which can then sometimes completely change the course of it!  Then I read through the notes and associations, mull it all over, leave for a few days.  Then and only then do I start to structure the poem.  The title is almost always the last thing to be written.  

I will work on the poem a little bit each day, working towards that sweet moment when it just ‘feels right’. When I get a feeling inside that this is the most perfect way to express how I feel.

I can spend ridiculous amounts of time worrying about punctuation too! Because it matters. Every single thing in there – each word, line break, spelling, grammar, punctuation, flow – everything counts in a poem. It’s a condensed piece of writing, a means of communication, so it all matters.  I will spend a lot of time editing, and be quite severe with myself. Then I show my poems to my partner, who is a wonderfully supportive constructive critic and will, without fail, pick up on any tiny thing that I think may need changing.

This is the usual process. Every now and again though, a rare delight will happen and a poem will plop onto the page almost perfectly formed!

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I can honestly say that I have not been influenced by any poet or poem, as such. I don’t write like anyone else or attempt to emulate styles. I didn’t read poetry, didn’t think I would like it, thought it was not for me. As for inspiration – that initial time seeing the female poet perform. That’s what kicked all this off.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism is really quite simple – it is just about being fair, and everyone being treated equally, regardless of sex or gender. There are lots of strands of feminism, with differing ideas about the roots of female oppression and various resolutions to that, but ultimately it’s about fairness and equality. Yes indeed, I do consider myself a feminist. I am not a separatist, I simply want to be treated as an equal. Whilst I recognise that men too are manipulated and shaped by our culture, still to this day women are not treated equally, and so I will continue calling myself a feminist until we are.  It would be lovely not to have to, not to have the same arguments, the same struggles, over and over and over again, but the plain truth is that we do.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I was intrigued by the theme of your call-out for art in celebration of women, and identify strongly with the emphasis on giving voice to the silenced.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I don’t think women can win either way to be honest! You can conform, you may gain approval, but will that mean you are taken seriously? No, not in my experience.  It just allows for more opportunities for continued oppression. Conform and you will be treated as the type of person society thinks you should be, ie, passive, submissive, and second-class; more concerned with minutiae than the state of the world. Rebel and you’ll be a ‘troublemaker’, or worse. All you can ever do is keep yourself strong inside and out, and stay true to yourself and your beliefs. Educate yourself, keep your own counsel, and connect with others. Strive for equality.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No. 

Yes, I realised very early on that men and women were absolutely not treated equally. I was constantly reminded that my behaviour and clothing were ‘unladylike’, that there were a whole raft of petty rules that only applied to me and not the boys around me.  

When I was growing up, I was told in no uncertain terms that I should not try to get the job I wanted, as a long-distance lorry driver, because I would be ostracised and given a hard time by the male truckers. I wanted to join the Royal Navy to travel the world like my Dad had done, but was told that women were not allowed on board ships – I could have a ‘nice office job’ in Germany if I wanted to travel. Constantly asked who I was going to marry when I grew up – not ‘was I interested in the idea of marriage’, just presented with that assumption, aged 5!  I was not allowed to join the local pool team because I was female, despite being as good as the other players. I was refused drinks served in a pint glass and given two half glasses instead. I have been asked if I was pregnant in job interviews and whether I planned to get married.  

I have been physically intimidated in working situations, disregarded in others in favour of a male colleague, and inappropriate and offensive suggestions made to me by male colleagues and bosses. I have been inappropriately touched on countless occasions – this is still considered ‘normal’ behaviour by many in our society.  

I have been told how to dress, what to wear, how to wear my hair, what to put on my face, how to sit, walk, speak, and what to say/not to say.  I am often referred to as ‘feisty’ – a term only applied to women with strong beliefs, never men.

There are lots of (derogatory) words for women that have no male equivalent.  I see double standards and inequality etched into the very core of our society.

I continue to experience casual sexism on a depressingly regular basis, with the odd high-impact encounter.  And that’s the tip of the iceberg, in the Western world only.  I am painfully aware that for women in other parts of the world, life is so very much more unequal, difficult,  oppressive, and in many cases physically dangerous and life-threatening.  

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

Domestic violence, Socialism, political apathy, social inequality.  I have recently joined the Green Party, as their policies are people-centred, striving for equality.  I’m committed to standing as a candidate for them in the upcoming local elections.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

It means connecting – people, thoughts, ideas. It means strength in unity. Art can do this and you don’t even have to be in the same room, never mind the same country. Once it is documented in some way it can then be shared.  As a deeply unhappy teenager, I found solace in the words and music of Janis Joplin. It felt like she was singing directly to me, for me, and expressing how I felt. In the pits of depression, I felt that I was not alone. And that’s a really common experience, in all art forms. That moment when the light-bulb flashes and we think “Oh! It’s not just me!”.  Humans are sociable beings – even when we’re introverted, we still thrive on a certain amount of contact, of identification with others. Art is a way of doing that.  

Music is invaluable in the care of people diagnosed with dementia. Research shows that the experience of listening to music stimulates all areas of the brain simultaneously. People who no longer communicate will smile, stand up, waltz around the room, loving the music, remembering words and melodies. It’s quite astonishing the impact this art form has on people’s lives.  

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I perform my poems regularly, at various venues and locations, and I’ve been widely published – see my earlier comment about documenting art, so that it can be accessed by all. I write about a number of issues, and know from the reception of my performances that my words have touched people, made them think, feel, cry, laugh, get angry.  They have CONNECTED with them. I also know that I have inspired other people to start writing, or start writing AGAIN after a long break, raising their own issues, and sharing them with others to identify with.  Art creates unity, solidarity.  One of my poems about the effects of Thatcherism on our household was published in a magazine, the proceeds of which go to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, which is working to get justice for miners who were the victims of police brutality, lies, and cover ups at Orgreave in 1984.  

Do I want art (mine or others’) to create change? Yes, absolutely I do.  It’s one of the best forms of awareness-raising that I know of – it creates change via this process. I believe the arts to be as essential to our understanding of the world as the history books, politics, and the media. Let BOTH sides speak, not just the side with power.

What are your goals as with your art?

To keep writing, keep performing, keep reaching out. To keep enjoying what I do, and to give pleasure and comfort to others. Simple as that.  It would be nice to scratch a living from it, but extremely unlikely!

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I’m in touch with a publisher who is interested in publishing a collection of my poems next year, which is very exciting. I’m also working on publishing a book of ekphrastic poems with some friends.  One of them is a talented photographer, and 3 of us poets have been so inspired by his images we have been writing poems based on them. We’re hoping to bring out a quality ‘coffee table’ book of the poems and images, as well as an exhibition of them. We’re all from working-class communities – poetry wasn’t ‘for the likes of us’.  Except that it is, and more people like us need to know that.  

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

I believe that engaging with the creative outlet/s of your choice brings a wealth of benefits – mental stimulation and stability, pure joy in the incomparable experience of the creative process, the connection to other human beings.   

Art doesn’t ‘just’ save the lives of others, it can save your own too. The often-cathartic processes involved make it your very own personal therapy, and one which I wish everyone would try at least once.  

Bang a drum, pluck a string, sing a song, have a dance, write a verse, paint a picture, and enjoy.  And when you find something you love doing, that stokes your soul and makes you smile, just keep doing it.

 

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Chelsea-Anne Hipwood “I wrote “Delphine” to focus on a woman’s fragility and to remind myself as well as readers that we should never be too proud to ask for help.”

Chelsea-Anne Hipwood “I wrote “Delphine” to focus on a woman’s fragility and to remind myself as well as readers that we should never be too proud to ask for help.”

Chelsea-Anne Hipwood
Chelsea-Anne Hipwood

 

Chelsea-Anne Hipwood, 25, London, was chosen to be featured by us at ASLI as we felt Chelsea was an inspired writer who needed the boost of being selected so to ensure more confidence and hopefully for her to engage in more creative writing. As someone who is only starting to build their portfolio of work and their on-line presence and profile we saw Chelsea as a must. A powerful voice from a young woman who we believe is going places. Here is our interview with Chelsea:

My mother is Indian and my dad is mixed with Indian, French, English, Scottish & Italian, he’s a real cosmopolitan. In school I enjoyed all of the creative and expressive subjects i.e. Performing Arts, English Language & Literature; Media Studies. I then did Media for my bachelor’s degree and shortly after I tutored English students briefly for their GCSE’s. I have always exercised creative writing in my spare time, mainly poetry, but this is the first time I have decided to put my material out there. I’m quite shy and critical of my work and I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read it.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of Severe Post Natal Depression in your art?

When I started writing ‘Delphine’, I didn’t actually have a clue where the story was heading. Initially, I envisioned her as a bitter woman scorned by an ex-lover. With this said, as I started to develop her character I realised that she was an extremely fragile and lost soul and that her discontentment with reality was far more complicated and tragic than a mere breakup . I had to ask myself, as a woman, what the most painful loss in life would be and the answer of course, was a child.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

Admittedly I was looking at on-line e-competitions where you can get paid for your work or receive some kind of physical reward, but I had put off submission because I felt that ‘Delphine’ needed to be edited at least twice more before it reached my level of satisfaction. Not sure whether it was fate or coincidence, but a week later a friend of mine posted the ASLI Call for artists link and it was the last date to apply.  As soon as I saw that it was “Celebration of Women’s Month” I knew that Delphine had found a suitable home. Delphine is all about a woman who is lost in despair, her character longs for acceptance and understanding around her deepest and darkest mistakes. I know a lot of women who put on a brave face and feel too embarrassed to ask for support where life is getting on top of them – I wrote Delphine to focus on a woman’s fragility and to remind myself as well as readers that we should never be too proud to ask for help.


 

Delphine

By Chelsea-Anne Hipwood

Delphine felt plagued with fatigue. Her body refused to hold her upright – her shoulders slumped, her back curved. It had been two months since she had last heard from him and she was grateful. He had left her in a numb state and her thoughts were now illogical, more a mesh of suppressed images and feelings, damp smells and a stomach churning repulsion. The memories of his depraved ways scathed her like the hot steam which danced towards her from the door ajar – bath water running; it invited her in. Delphine wondered how much water and pearl scented soap she would need before she would be a clean girl again, perhaps she’d have to exfoliate so that a full layer of skin came off, leaving her body raw and pink. Standing up, her body swayed like a dandelion in spring, her prominent spine and rib cage bulged beneath the white of her dress; it had been days since she’d last eaten.

She used the tip of her foot to tease the surface of the water; she gasped, but felt that she could suffer the heat.  Edging herself gently into the pool of fire, she sang softly, to distract herself. Once in, she began to relax. She admired the ivory lace curtains, parting with perfect symmetry and mirroring her hairline. The soap on her skin felt pleasing; it slid gently along each limb and reminded her of him. She pondered the affectionate and gratifying times – the careful times, before he lost himself in her. She let the soap fall in to the bottom of the tub and prayed that it would melt. Outside, the sombre sky seemed lonely, with neither a star nor a cloud in sight and just a vast, empty vacuum of black. Delphine identified with such a sky completely.

Over the next few days, Delphine found herself examining every corner of her home. Some days she would stare for hours high at the high ceiling, examining the accumulation of cracks and cobwebs and accepting that, besides her, they may be the only signs left of life. Whilst she preferred to forget, memories reminded her of when the house had been vibrant and full. The sound of laughter, orchestrated music, clinking glasses and scraping cutlery to plates hounded both her reality and her dreams –they were the leftovers of what had been her normality. It had never dawned on her that she was once so privileged and possibly even contented. Albeit empty; without a family portrait in sight, her home was astonishingly rich. The floors were glossed and marbled, windows stood taller than trees and velvet-plum curtains draped before spiral-golden staircases. Delphine found it ironic, that her safe haven of luxury had now become a burden, too enormous to bear.

It had been several weeks since Delphines families’ disappearance – an encounter of mysterious devastation which she knew nothing about. She had no inclination of why or how it happened, just that it happened, and that she was alone. Delphine pondered and grimaced, had it not been for him, constantly whining and whining, along with her tireless efforts to placate him and love him, then perhaps she too could have disappeared. Delphine breathed deeply; the scent of cloves and boiled milk passed through the air like a brief visitor. It made her want to heave.

For the first time since the tragedy, Delphine allowed herself to think about food – though she did so with resounding guilt. She remembered being a fuller and flamboyant seventeen year old, with an appetite for life and all its accompaniments – she had spent her weeks in gluttonous indulging.  The first man she’d ever brought home had been surpassingly nervous, his eyes focused mainly on the floor and his hands shook, to her greater amusement. Nevertheless, they sat devouring the fine spread set in front of them and then he proceeded to devour her.

Delphine flitted through her cupboards in anxious desperation, as if weeks of self-neglect would magic up something edible. Aha! She thought, lifting herself heedlessly onto the counter and grazing both knees. She reached towards the back shelf, sweeping the dust with her palm as she went, and managed to find one rusting can of condensed milk. This typically, he would have ravished. Delphine scowled and hesitated, but as her stomach moaned like frozen wind pipes she convinced herself to drink. Jumping down from the counter, white dress greying, she removed a fork from the rustic draw. SLAM!  She pierced the can with an unknown force, just missing the crescent of her hand and watched the liquid seep from the lid like water rising from a blocked sink. Delphine held the can to her lips and began to guzzle; initially she choked, but drank anyway. The thick, fluid yellow escaped the corners of her mouth and trickled past her ears, finding its way to her locks of entanglement. The sight was repulsive, and it was clear that the lady once so refined and demure was as absent as the pictures which hung on the walls.

At 4 o’clock that afternoon, Delphine found herself on all fours, investigating a red spec on the floor.  She licked her thumb and exasperatedly tried to remove it, but a faint brown stain still remained. With much frustration, Delphine began to pick at the marbled floor, hoping that her long fingernails would be strong enough to chip the solid floor. Her nail broke, and a drop off blood fell onto the white shiny surface – defeating the object of her intentions. “Ah!” she exclaimed, placing her finger in her mouth. At that moment, there was a faint knock at the door. Delphine’s head darted up, wide-eyed and startled, and she scurried towards the front door like a frightened field mouse. Listening intently, it knocked again, a bit louder, making her flinch in unknowing fear.

Delphine opened the door very slightly, revealing just the darkness of her iris and looked down. Standing before her was a small child, a girl, with a round face and ginormous eyes. “Yes?” asked Delphine, surprised to hear the softness of her voice having kept silent all these weeks. The girl showed hesitation, pouting her mouth and quickly darting her eyes away from Delphines.  “May I help you?”  “Umm….” The girl replied, clearly frightened by Delphines’ savaged appearance. “Excuse me, Miss Deveux. I’m locked out of my house, my violin class was cancelled and my parents are not home. I live at number seven”.  A paranoid Delphine squinted at the girl, she had never seen her before, but widened the door as if to say “come in”.

“I’m Gabrielle” said the girl, walking ahead of Delphine and into the lounge. Having seemed to be invited in, she felt bolder. Gabrielle felt that Delphine was far from a threat as she appeared so frail; she could probably blow her over in one swift breath. Gabrielle plonked herself onto a cream chaise longue and began to open and close her mouth in boredom. Delphine watched the child as if she were an extra-terrestrial, but sat on the floor a few feet in front of her, ignoring all available seating. Gabrielle looked about seven years old; her cheeks were plump and she had short brown hair which cupped her face with precision. She wore a gigantic white ribbon, which was practically the size of her head. Delphine found the sight of her rather ridiculous.

“I’m hungry” said Gabrielle, now flicking the base of her chin. Delphine stared vacantly, feeling neither guilty nor ashamed, “I have no food”.  “My mother says that in order for a house to be both practical and welcoming – the host must always feed her guests”. Delphine blinked. Her mother – who had always been house proud and hospitable – would have thought the same thing. Gabrielle spotted something crawling along the floor and gasped; she leant over, pressed it with her thumb and popped it in her mouth. Delphine just stared. “My father told me that in the most exotic countries, where they walk without shoes and all sleep in one room, the people will eat anything without so much as a single complaint.” Delphine’s head began to throb, she wondered if all parents repeated the same spiel and whether any of it was true.

“Miss Devaux, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but your house smells rather peculiar. Have you thought about opening the windows? I’m suffocating”. Delphine sighed and lay on her back; she outstretched her arms and legs and lay there like a starfish. “Don’t be angry, Miss Devaux. It’s not that bad. If you ever need a window opener – I’m the girl from number 7! I don’t charge much. I’ll even give you the first session free!”  Delphine straightened her whole body and sat up fast. Without warning, she threw back her head and began to cackle in a somewhat demonic frenzy. Most people, in particular the superstitious, would have hidden in fear or summoned a priest. A little startled by the whole spectacle, Gabrielle cupped her hands over her mouth and protected a shy smile. Her smile then erupted into a burst of laughter and before she knew it, her tears were hitting the ground like a holy water blessing.

Upon a return of calmness, Gabrielle proceeded to ask: “Where are your family?” Delphine jutted out her bottom lip, her eyes kept to the floor she offered a lazy half-shrug. “If my mother were here, she would make you change your dress immediately. She would brush your hair and make you a nice hot soup. Do you like hot soup, Miss Devaux?”  Delphine remembered her supper of condensed milk and gagged. “Oh Miss Devaux, I don’t think you are well. You should get back into bed and just sleep for a while”. Gabrielle stood up; the setting sun was a good time indicator – her visiting hours were finally up. Edging towards her, she leant over and threw her arms around Delphine. It was an unexpected embrace, and though un-reciprocated, Delphine’s whole body relaxed into hers. “I like you Miss Devaux” said the girl. “I like you very much”.

That night as Delphine slept, her subconscious re-encountered many of the faces she’d seen over the years. In reality, she was unable to accept their conformist views and ideals, meaning her own personal boundaries had left her isolated and ironically, rejected. Her explorative thoughts were suddenly awakened by a faint sound of rustling and, in a startled haze; her thoughts returned to him. Delphine sat up, her pale legs dangling from the bed like frozen icicles and with a gripe in her chest which twisted and turned she could hide from him no more. Her body left the bed in a beckoning spell and she found herself at the door of the cupboard. Turning the handle she was greeted by a high pile of linen: white and cream mounds which she had used to cover up own denial, as if they could truly hide her conscience. One by one she began to remove each sheet, growing increasingly manic with every forceful tug and toss. She looked down. One thin layer of sheet left, delicate enough to provide a human shield for the body of an infant child. Delphine kneeled before the sight and prayed that if the floor were to crack in half and drag her into the depths of hell that it’d grant her at least five minutes with her son. Tenderly, she removed the sheet, hushing her own sobs and questioning her negligence. The stillness of his tiny, bluing body made her weep in despair as she kissed the ends of his fingertips and pulled him to her chest. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” she whimpered, her body shaking violently. Delphine clung to her child in desolation and without the intention of letting him go; she cradled him into the lounge and purred lullabies, until the sun came up.

By 6am the sky was a picture, depicting shades of violets and blues.  The forgiving sun radiated a faint orange hue into the room of Delphine and her child, where she had swayed him tenderly all  night. As opposed to the sky, tiredness dawned and she took her boy back to the bedroom  for them to rest. With no intention of returning to her bed, Delphine entered the cupboard and held her child with weightless arms,  pulling the door in on them both. Delphine acknowledged that amidst her heinous crime, she had loved her child more deeply than her heart could ever withstand. She knew that the world would never forgive her; after all, she was just an abandoned young woman who’d had a child out of wedlock – what did they care she was unable to cope? Delphine leant her head against her babies soft hair, she welcomed his stillness and gave into the comfort she’d struggled to provide. Knowing very well that the world would continue to revolve beneath them, Delphine kept her baby as close to her as physically possible and with closed eyes they slept…and they slept…and they slept.


 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

At present, writing is my main creative outlet. I feel like it is the best way for me to process negative thoughts, disturbing dreams, moments from my past etc. In a way, it’s like a form of therapy. Writing poetry often gives me the closure and clarity I need regarding various personal matters, whereas writing stories allows me to create and explore fictional settings and characters.

What is your process when creating?

I tend to create when I feel most inspired – usually I’m falling in love or intensely sad about something – I allow myself to process these feelings through written imagination. Sometimes my work is factual and sometimes it’s fictional but it’s always combined with elements of truth. Very rarely do I have a plan, I don’t use a standard format of “beginning, middle and end”, I just start writing and see where things take me – often I surprise myself.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Whilst we’re on the subject of women I think it’s safe to say my biggest influences and inspirations are the women I’ve grown up with; my mother, my stepmother, my grandmothers and my closest friends. I think everyone has a story to tell – when I compare my mother’s upbringing  to my own I am left in awe. I won’t get too much into it, but the physical and mental suffering she has endured in her lifetime (based on social taboos, differences in culture, feelings of shame etc.) leaves me utterly speechless. Sometimes I find it hard to comprehend how much pain and suffering a person can withstand and still have the ability to work on themselves and grow into a strong, stable and loving human being. Even my best friend inspires me, having a baby at a young age and going from a care-free party animal to a responsible, nurturing, hard-working and doting mother. These are the women who influence me and I feel lucky to call them my own.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism for me is a movement (ongoing) where a group of remarkable and brave females have fought for our equal rights and continue to make sure that we do not go unseen or unheard in a world which is not on always on our side. The Western world has travelled leaps and bounds in terms of a woman’s rights, we are entitled to equal pay, we can live independently, we can push the boundaries as far as we want and people are less reluctant to see such change. With this said, other parts of the world have barely budged an inch regarding a woman’s treatment; in some places women are believed to be breeding machines: here to give birth, work like slaves and receive no pleasure. I want to say that I’m not a feminist and that I’m in favour of the human race as a whole, however this is difficult with the knowledge that women are in fact quite vulnerable. We have female mutilation, human trafficking, young sex workers, children being forced in to marriage, unsolved rape cases, unreported sexual and domestic abuse cases and it happens all over the world – if I think about it too much I want to weep. With this said, amidst these frequent and devastating occurrences,  I have to accept that we are magical beings – our bodies can physically carry, protect and nurture a child; we are all that child knows for the first 9 months of its life. Whoever decided that this is a “man’s world” is obviously confused.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

Probably being human; thinking about the world and worrying about the world. Education is so important and really is the best tool to eliminate ignorance and start to spread awareness. I always feel guilty for being too complacent to help with humanitarian matters – I feel this is a tiny step in the right direction.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I remember my mum telling me to sit with my legs crossed at the dinner table and “eat like a lady” – as I got older this was a concept she completely abandoned and said “Chelsea – I was wrong – so long as you’re in trousers – sit how you want”. Perhaps physically I conform to a female stereotype in the sense that I am extremely image conscious and try to appear as “feminine” as possible in order to not be labelled as “ugly”, “fat” or “undesirable”. I’ve worked in places where the men have completely ignored me with my hair up, looser clothing, no make-up and then the moment I’ve spruced myself up I’ve been asked how I am,  whether I’m enjoying the job and what my future plans are. In this instance, it was as if I was only worth engaging with being a depiction of media-based femininity and “beauty”. On top of this, his interest was probably only led by ulterior motive…such a shame.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

I don’t think men and women are equal in today’s society. I think there is a significant improvement in Western parts of the world, countries which are privileged enough to have an educational system. However poorer parts of the world tend to have more stereotypical and dangerous views. Sexist views are culminated by environmental upbringing, so it really does depend on the “teachers” knowledge and how they raise their sons and daughters. I am fortunate because the “inequality” I have experienced living in London has been far from unpleasant; for instance, men often offer their seats, hold doors open, occasionally insist on buying the drinks. I understand that by accepting such gestures I can’t really call myself a feminist, I am also fully aware that some men feel more self-gratification with the belief that a woman is dependent on them in some way.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I’ve volunteered for Hounslow Disability Network & attended Interpals ‘Freedom for Palestine’ event which helped me gain some insight and awareness around very painful and sensitive issues. This June I’ll be going to Thailand and I’m planning on visiting some orphanages and spending time with the children. In the future I wish to help young girls abroad who have been forced to work in the black-market sex industries, as I feel this is a subject where I would help to my highest ability and offer whatever support that I can. It’s a reality that I cannot comprehend or accept, and therefore I feel very strongly about it. Even if I can help to educate them regarding safe sex and provide them with that extra bit of precaution I will feel like I am doing something small to help aid a problem which is insufferable.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

I think the benefit of Art works in two ways; the audience experiences pleasure and/or receives education from the artist’s material and the artist is able to express themselves by having a creative outlet. I read books and watch films mainly for pleasure; however personally I find there is no medium more empathetic than music – music can really relate to whatever mood I am in. I wouldn’t say it has “saved” me but in times of need it has certainly helped.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

Hopefully my writing will offer an understanding and awareness to its readers. Also, I want the people who read my work to find it engaging and interesting – the last thing I want to do is bore readers to tears. With ‘Delphine’ my intentions were simply to spread awareness regarding young women who find themselves in situations where they cannot cope. Human nature can be cruel in that we judge people who behave differently compared to our social expectations. I think when we don’t experience something ourselves we don’t always know how to relate to the sufferers and as a result give them little support and understanding. Again, it comes down to a lack of education. I didn’t want readers to judge Delphine; I wanted them to feel for her and try to understand her erratic behaviour.

What are your goals as with your art?

In an ideal world I would be working as a broadcast journalist and writing poems and stories on the side. I am very interested to learn about the different people of the world and would like to contribute in exposing and celebrating their differences. For now, I will continue to write and eventually build up a portfolio big enough to take to appropriate action and find my way from there. I am only at the start of my journey and still deciding where I would like to go.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I found writing ‘Delphine’ really extremely upsetting and I had to take a break from writing when I’d finished it. I questioned my “dark” imagination but then I realised that the world is full of pain – we need to give as much love and support to the people who need it in order to prevent more tragedies from happening. I plan on building up a series of short stories, potentially with a running theme i.e. mental illness, however I feel like my next story needs to be a bit lighter otherwise I’m going to drive myself into depression!

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

That I’m extremely grateful and excited to be featured within your organisation and that I’m also looking forward to assisting you with future projects.

If you would like to know more about Chelsea please follow these links:

Facebook

Instagram

Singer song writer Jai Malano addresses stereotypical roles forced upon women in entertainment with her song ‘You Made Me Love You’

Singer song writer Jai Malano addresses stereotypical roles forced upon women in entertainment with her song ‘You Made Me Love You’

Jai Malano
Jai Malano

 

Jai Malano, 33, Austin, Texas, US. A Roots Blues/Rock & Roll Vocalist and song writer.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of female stereotypes in your art?

I was motivated to become a part of this project after a Facebook friend, who is also a writer, shared the info via her Facebook status. After looking over the details, I knew it was something that I would be proud to be a part of.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I chose this submission because the song was written to address the stereotypical roles that are forced upon working women, especially women working in entertainment.

 

 

‘You Made Me Love You’, is a song about a woman who wishes to forgo all the societal norms of what it means to be a woman. She is living free with no responsibility other than herself until she finds herself in a relationship and expecting a child with someone she was never interested in longterm. She is angry that she now has everything she never wanted (house, husband, dog, and a child), and feels like the man made her love him in order to get what he wanted. She feels trapped and she wants him to leave so that she can get back to her life of traveling and being a free spirit. The sad part is that she begins to do all these unattractive things so that he will leave, but he never does. The song leaves you wondering if he really loved her or just used her to get what get what he wanted for himself. In doing this, the song begins to play on the idea that men desire more of a traditional family setting but force it on the woman who is able to nurture and sustain a life, because of womb envy and male stereotypes they might be coming to terms with as well.

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I chose singing and song writing because that is the medium of art that I most I understand am able to relate to.

What is your process when creating?

I hear a melody and tempo, and I record that first, using my cell phone or Garage Band software. I then work with that melody and attempt to write lyrics. After the song is done, I listen to it. And if I find myself singing it, like any other song on the radio, I know it’s a keeper. If not, I go back to drawing board and change the melody or lyrics, or toss it and start from scratch.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am influenced by other singer-songwriters. So Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Sam Cooke, Lionel Richard, etc.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism to me means that I am able to be the woman I choose to be with no fear of backlash from other women, or men, about my choice. I could be a homemaker, a CEO, or an exotic dancer. I could believe in marriage or not. Having children could interest me or I could reject the idea of procreation entirely. Feminism is recognizing what your choices are, and being free to make whatever choices you decide, however often you decide.

 

Jai Malano
Jai Malano

 

 

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I believe in what the organization is doing. Simple as that. I want to be apart of things that I believe in.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I believe some women choose to because they don’t know otherwise. I don’t have that problem. Granted, I don’t leave the house without makeup, or always looking my best, but that has more to do with self preservation and esteem, than it has to do with societal norms.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No. We wouldn’t need nonprofits like ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL if that were the case.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

Children’s rights and LGBT youth.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art is one of the few things you can create that only feeds on emotion. As does love and hate. For me, art is that splitting of the difference between the two. It has been a form of therapy for me for as long as I can remember.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I am not sure if my goal is to create change in the world with my art, so much as it is to touch another human life with my gift; but it would be nice if I could. Most of my songs are personal truths of mine. I have learned to take the things that people are ashamed of, and wear them like a badge of honor. If I can inspire other people to do that, it would be amazing.

What are your goals as with your art?

My goal is to touch as many lives as I can, inspire as many artists as I can, and just share my voice and all my stories with as many people who are willing to listen.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

Well, I don’t usually share that type of information but it’s about a woman who was broken, and met a man who wants to build her up to his liken. I have this motto that I live by; “Never let a person tear you down just to rebuild you to their standard”. It’s coming along but it’s deep. And when it’s sunny outside, I try to avoid going too deep with my writing.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share one of my stories. I am so grateful and humbled to be apart of this.

 

If you would like to know more about Jai Malano please follow these links:

Instagram 

Facebook

Twitter

Sonicbids EPK

 

Jai Malano
Jai Malano

 

Lorraine Nolan re-imagines Lucretia and creates a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim in her film Lowly Lucretia

Lorraine Nolan re-imagines Lucretia and creates a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim in her film Lowly Lucretia

 

Lorraine Nolan
Lorraine Nolan

 

Lorraine Nolan, aged 33, based in London. Originally from Ireland but based now in London for several years. Initially trained as an actor and has worked in theatre, before returning to college to study Film-making. Lorraine’s move to London was to pursue an MA in Film at Goldsmiths University of London, where she specialised in Directing. Currently working as a Creative in TV, but also making time for personal projects under LOR Create, most recently making a music promo for the artist Warsnare featuring Russian Doll.

 

What motivated you to deal with the subject of RAPE in your art?

When I was studying my MA in 2009, a census was published exploring UK university student’s attitude to rape culture. The report included questions such as:

When is a woman not/partially/fully responsible for being raped in a list of scenarios such as walking down a dark alley late at night, or wearing revealing clothing?

I was really disturbed to discover the large percentages of students who, in a western culture in 2009, perceived that a woman is partially or fully responsible for her own rape in any of the given situations.

Upon further research into rape and violence against women, I discovered the insanely low convictions for the crime and indeed that most rapes are committed by a person close to the victim.

This led to my re-engagement with Lucretia, a classical figure that has appeared in art through the ages, painted by a wide range of artists including Titian, Botticelli, Rembrandt and Artemisia Gentileschi. She has also featuring in literature and music; Benjamin Britten has composed an opera about her. Lucretia was a Roman noble woman whose rape by the kings nephew Tarquinius, and her consequent suicide, caused the downfall of the Roman monarchy in 509BC and the establishment of the first Roman Republic.

This reaction to that crime in 509BC leaves me dumbfounded at the rape culture that still prevails today and I decided to re-imagine Lucretia’s story in a modern setting where victims mostly carry their burden alone, let down by society and government.

 

 

Lowly Lucretia:

Lucretia was a Roman noble woman whose famous rape and subsequent suicide in 509 BC caused the downfall of the Roman Monarchy. Lowly Lucretia is a modern day domestic rape tragedy where the only downfall is that of the victim.

16mm Film, produced at Goldsmiths University of London.

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I moved from acting and theatre to film-making, which I think is a natural progression. I have always loved film, music, and particularly drama and working as a writer/director means that I get to work across a multitude of roles from working with actors, developing ideas and stories, to edit and sound design. I enjoy being across all the creative elements that bring moving images to life.

What is your process when creating?

It varies from project to project, in my TV Creative role I usually work to briefs. In my personal projects I start with the idea and research around it. I then spend time writing, and developing and flesh it out with friends who I collaborate with. Collaboration is key! Once I have a script ready to go, I then rely on the specialist talents of all the people I work with, from cinematographers to production designers. I assemble a crew of skilled people, and have been very lucky to work with such talented people again and again.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

It is not an exhaustive list; influences are everywhere! I am inspired by the visual arts, music, fashion, literature and design. Currently I am very much inspired by the beautiful film Ida, and just discovering the work of artist Marlene Dumas.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism to me means equality and freedom. I am definitely a feminist. How can seeking equality across all areas of my life be a thing I wouldn’t want? Why would any person want their daughter doing the same job as a man to be paid less solely because she is female? It’s a serious issue that still needs a lot of fighting for, and to me being a feminist is inclusive of men, women, and the LGBT community, it is equality for everyone.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

The celebration of women across the month of March captured my imagination, and again I felt it was the perfect home for Lowly Lucretia.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

In the work place, a woman that knows what she wants can be seen as being aggressive, whilst a man displaying the same tendencies is seen as a go-getter. And female stereotypes in film are perpetuated by a mostly male dominated industry.

In terms of female directors there are so many agencies in London without any female directors on their books, which I really find sad. Recently a cinematographer that worked with me commented that the agency that hired him was surprised that he had worked with so many female directors!

There are plenty of women directing but not enough industry support. Things are changing but slowly and I am hopeful that more women will work across the industry as a whole to enrich female representation. But this problem not only extends to women it is also a challenge faced by ethnic minorities and their representation in film and TV both on-screen and off.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

There are equality issues in almost all societies globally; women can’t drive a car in Saudi Arabia, women have no reproductive rights in Ireland as the government refuses to implement abortion rights even in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities, women in UK are not represented equally in government and so on; there is an endless list of global inequality. I once worked with a woman who had the same skill-set and experience as her male colleague but found out her pay was 10K less than him when they were both doing the same job! Insane!

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about female representation and I like writing stories for strong female characters.

Also Ireland has two issues to deal with that are close to my heart. There is a referendum in May to vote for Marriage Equality, which I am hoping that Irish people take to the polls in support of.

And previously I mentioned abortion rights in Ireland, which are non-existent and resulted in the death of Salvita Halappanavar, who died from septicaemia from a hospital’s refusal to terminate her pregnancy after it was discovered she was miscarrying. She was told by the hospital that they could not carry out the termination, as it was the law, that Ireland was a Catholic country. Truly awful that a dying foetus was given more rights to life than the life of a woman. How is that Pro-Life?

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

All civilisations have made art; it is an extension of what it is to be human. The inner-self expressed through all kinds of wonderful, creative ways. I believe art has the power to save lives, if a child has been through a trauma psychologist’s look to the art they create to discover their inner feelings and help them overcome distress. Art can make people laugh, forget their woes, provide escapism, and enrich imagination. It can challenge people to think, raise anger, cause controversy, educate, divide people and bring people together. For me it provides fulfilment and I become anxious if I am not working on some sort of creative project.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I just want to be a good storyteller and make engaging work.

What are your goals as with your art?

I hope to one day direct a feature film, and would like to have the opportunity to eventually work full-time on my own personal projects.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am very excited to be collaborating on a female led comedy sitcom with two very talented women, writer Rhiannon Carr and writer/director Ciara Kennedy. I am also developing a short fiction film that is part animation, which is a new area for me, but I am very excited to get both projects off the ground this year. A dream is to get some music projects happening too if I can find the time. I need more hours in the week!

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Only to say thank you so much for connecting with my film and for the opportunity to reach to a wider audience.

If you would like to find out more about Lorraine Nolan please follow these links:

Website 

Films page

Twitter

Facebook

Warsnare promo

 

Directed by Lorraine Nolan
LOR Create: https://www.lorcreate.com
WARSNARE: https://www.facebook.com/warsnare / https://soundcloud.com/warsnare
Russian Doll A.K.A. Swirlesque: https://www.facebook.com/RussianD0LL /https://soundcloud.com/emilyrosechansonnette

Slavka Jovanović “my art creates change by connecting people with their own difficult thoughts and experiences”

Slavka Jovanović “my art creates change by connecting people with their own difficult thoughts and experiences”.

Slavka Jovanović
Slavka Jovanović

 

Slavka Jovanović, 50, London. Born in Shipley, West Yorkshire, to Serbian parents,  art has always featured strongly in Slavka’s life in a variety of ways with the support from her incredibly creative family. With her father a poet in his spare time who she remembers would sit at his typewriter tapping away into the night. A mother who was a craftswoman who was always working on a new project – whether it was dress-designing, embroidery, cake decorating. Slavka and her two siblings inherited a talent for art, however as children of immigrants it was not seen as a serious life choice so were all discouraged from pursuing their dreams as artists and designers. After training to be a teacher (at her parent’s request), Slavka ran away to London to join the theatre and has been working in theatre and arts education for much of her life, her career as a visual artist took off about 12 years ago.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of women’s issues and identity in your art?

I see that there is a tremendous pressure for people to conform to society’s norm, whether male or female. As a woman, I have observed this on many occasions.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

“Falling Apart And Keeping It Together At The Same Time” is a 1 minute stop-frame animation which succinctly demonstrates the monotony of being a house wife and the desperate need to keep up appearances as her world falls apart. On first viewing it’s a humorous piece but the more you watch it the more poignant it is.  I chose this film because I am fascinated by the compulsion many of us have to hide our feelings, to tell everyone that we are “fine”, when, in fact, our world might be falling apart.  We are terrified of letting the outside world glimpse any aspect of our interior selves. This film  has moved people who have watched it in the past and opened up discussion around themes of isolation, well-being and expectations.

 

 

“Her Story” is a 5-minute stop-frame animation telling the story of a young girl who has trouble sleeping and has to get to the root of the problem.  On the surface it’s a simple story and it’s narrated in a story-book style, however there are powerful themes within the tale that have resonated strongly with people.  On the surface themes of insomnia and hyper-sensitivity, moving to isolation/loneliness, and even more deeply to depression and schizophrenia.  I like this film for the very reason that it has the power to connect with the viewer in different ways and is entertaining as well as thought-provoking.

 

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I have chosen the medium of filmed animation for these two pieces of art because it helps to portray the message in a clear and effective way.

What is your process when creating?

My process involves collect thoughts, experiences and feelings from a number of sources over many many months.  I tend to work on several projects at one time, exploring themes connected to each project in different ways/media.  For example, “Falling apart and Keeping it together at the same time” is a theme that I had explored through collage and through sculpture in the 3 years leading up to making the animation film.  I keep returning to the theme of façades and keeping up appearances/wearing masks/adopting persona’s/containing oneself.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I love the work of Louise Bourgeois, Annette Messager, Tracy Emin, Hannah Hoch and Frida Kahlo.  I also like the animation work of Lotte Reiniger and Jan Svankmajer.  I like live animation presented by Nic Rawling from The Paper Cinema, and Matthew Robbins.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Feminism is about choice.  As a woman it is the right to choose one’s own way in life and being respected by those around you for that choice.  It is also about education and awareness.  It’s about you, as a woman, having the knowledge and learning from which to be able to make choices. It’s also about choices being made available to you.

By Slavka Jovanović
By Slavka Jovanović

 

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

Art is a powerful medium and a perfect way to put across a message or express deep emotions.  I admire the ethos of Art Saves Lives International in supporting the artists voice and sharing important work.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I feel it’s a tough world all round – whether you’re a man, woman or child.  I feel that society places extraordinary demands on the individual to conform to the norm.  I also think that the so-called norm is becoming more extreme, whether it’s in politics, religion or advertising.  We are all being controlled and told what to think, what to wear, how to look, how to behave. Social media and the media at large don’t help the situation as both are tools that are used to indoctrinate us, formally or informally.

Personally, I haven’t been overtly affected and am able to live my life in the way that I wish, making the choices that I want to make but I am very aware that many women do have a much harder time than me.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

No women and men are not equal in today’s societies around the world. There are inequalities in every country – of pay, of opportunities, of status (both within relationships and at work)

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about disability issues, especially around autism.  Much of my time is spent campaigning about this and making positive creative opportunities for people on the autistic spectrum.

I am also passionate about mental health and well-being.  I campaign against stigma relating to mental health.

Finally I campaign for equality, especially around opportunities for women.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art Saves lives means that art is a lifeline.  It can connect you to others who have similar experiences, it can give a strong message easily, it can allow you to express your self (either as an artist or as a viewer).  Art allows me to explore difficult thoughts and feelings.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

My art creates change by connecting people with their own difficult thoughts and experiences.  It also puts women at the centre of the narrative and gives them a voice.  I didn’t set out overtly to create change on an international level but I do know that my work has affected people on a very personal level and has opened up channels of discussion.

By Slavka Jovanović
By Slavka Jovanović

 

What are your goals as with your art?

My goal is to share stories that will resonate with others and make them feel less lonely and isolated.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am continuing to explore women’s roles (through collage and paint) by creating religious icons and “beatifying” women that I admire or archetypes that I feel deserve to be elevated to a higher status through representation in art.  I am currently working in collage, found objects and paint.

In another project I am working with puppeteers, musicians, storytellers, and dancers to animate a sculptural piece of work that consists of a dining table with cracked and broken crockery. We will explore the story within the story.  What would it say if the table could talk?

 

If you would like to know more about Slavka Jovanović:

Email:  Slavka.j@googlemail.com

Click here for Slavka’s Facebook page

Laura Ann Brady creates the song “Perform Your Rights” in response to abortion law in Ireland and the death of Savita Halappanavar

Laura Ann Brady creates the song “Perform Your Rights” in response to abortion law in Ireland and the death of Savita Halappanavar

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

 

Laura Ann Brady, 30, Dublin, Ireland. Laura’s main area of interest was initially theatre and acting, having studied Drama and Spanish at degree level as well as working for a number of years in stage management. Playing live music is something Laura has been involved in for the past three years, although her love of music has always been a huge part of her life.

What motivated you to deal with the subject of women’s rights in your art?

At the time when the whole Savita Halappanavar case happened, there was a huge emotional response from people in Ireland to it, and I wanted to try and capture that mood in a song as best I could, and maybe make people think a bit more about the subject.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

I felt that it was suitable in terms of the fact that it deals with issues surrounding a woman’s personal experience of herself and her world, and how women are very often sidelined in society, even a supposedly forward thinking country such as Ireland.

Listen To Perform Your Rights

 

Perform your Rights

Lyrics:

The bus will often pass

The place where she was born

But she won’t often think back

To that early afternoon

When she was coaxed and warmed into the world

Well when did words finally become words?

 

Lost evenings home from music school

and I remember the cold metallic steel of the spool of your thread

The way you emboss me on your jacket

You emblazon you perform your right

Well you were always at it

And it was just a habit

But you were always at it

 

You force her hand

You lead the way

Because she wouldn’t know

Where to go without you

 

She’ll trickle in

She’ll apologise

For everything she says

Was she always that way?

 

It’s not the way we do things here

It’s not the way we do things here

It’s not the way we do things here

 

She’ll trickle in

She’ll apologise

For everything she says

Was she always that way?

 

She’ll weigh it up

How much is it worth?

To be broken, to be bruised, to be her.

 

She’ll perform her right

She’ll perform you’re right

She’ll reform your rights

We’ll reform you’re right

Don’t conform you’re right, don’t conform your rights, we’ll reform our rights.

 

This is a song I wrote in response to the current laws pertaining to abortion in Ireland and the issues that correlate directly with these laws, such as having a child and giving that child up for adoption, travelling overseas for a termination, and teenage pregnancy.  Abortion is illegal in Ireland where a pregnancy has occurred by means of rape, incest or foetal abnormalities. The Catholic Church’s dwindling but continuing influence on Irish culture has a huge part to play in this. There are organisations in Ireland that actively campaign against safe and legal abortion for women in Ireland, something that is a basic human right,that is for a woman to have control over her own body and for her womb not to be seen as an incubator.

The song also touches on a woman’s perception of herself and the relationships she has with the people around her. The idea of ownership is also explored within the lyrics, the suggestion of men laying claim to a woman in a relationship, “the way you emboss me on your jacket.” and also the feeling that the woman’s voice isn’t being heard effectively;

“When did words finally become words?”

“She’ll trickle in, she’ll apologise for everything she says, was she always that way?”

The line “It’s not the way we do things here” is related to the response Savita Halappanavar

received when she requested a termination in Ireland in 2012.

http://www.rte.ie/news/health/2013/0410/380613-savita-halappanavar-inquest/

The song ends with a refrain asking women not to conform, and to keep on the campaign to try and reform the situation in Ireland.

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

This is the medium that I use to voice myself on any issues affecting me. My music is a form of therapy if you will! Writing a song about something helps me figure out my thoughts on an issue.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

 

What is your process when creating?

It depends but when something strikes me I will try and work on it straight away  if I can before it gets lost . The song usually comes first, with the lyrics taking longer for me, I find lyrics a challenge and there are usually many drafts of songs.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

I am influenced by the people, places and events that I encounter everyday. Everything inspires me, subconsciously and consciously.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

 

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

For me, yes of course I am a feminist as I believe in equality for women in every sense of the word. Feminism simply means to me the championing for a world where women have exactly the same rights to be entirely themselves in a society where very often we are unfortunately still expected to conform.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

A friend sent me on the link to your call for submissions and I wanted to get involved as I feel that art can help spread a positive message, in terms of opening up new ideas to people and giving a perspective on something that might not have been explored before.

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

I think people generally feel pressure to conform to social norms and stereotypes and I think it’s something that is difficult to avoid in modern society, where we are constantly barraged with other people’s lives, be it on the internet or TV. We all want to be accepted and loved. In certain countries I think women have to conform to social norms or they risk being shunned by their families and communities. This is something that is unfortunately prevalent in many parts of the world. It is a difficult topic to discuss in such a broad sense and the cultural context has a huge amount to do with it also.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Women and men are not equal in all societies unfortunately. The fact that in Ireland in 2015 women still don’t have autonomous control over their own bodies is an example of how inequality is still something that women have to campaign against, even in supposed modern “forward thinking” countries.

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

I am passionate about freedom of speech, campaigning for positive body image and body acceptance, equality for all, equal marriage rights for all.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art Saves Lives is a positive affirmation in the fact that art really does save lives in my opinion. Art helps those who create it and those who experience it to deal with and work out issues in their lives, and is a hugely healthy way of releasing and unburdening yourself from an experience that you have had and may have affected you without even knowing it.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I would love for my songs to inspire positive change in the world. Who doesn’t want that! I will keep writing songs and hopefully they will touch the lives of the people that hear them. We are all writing our stories together and helping each other.

Laura Ann Brady
Laura Ann Brady

 

What are your goals as with your art?

My main goal with my music would be to touch the minds of the people that hear my songs and make a connection with them. If I can make one person feel less alone when they listen to my music I feel like I will have achieved my goal.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I am currently in the process of recording my debut album which will be released in the autumn.

And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?

Just that I hope to keep making art,keep talking, keep trying, keep going!!!

If you would like to know more about Laura Ann Brady follow these links:

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Twitter

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Brazilian performance artist Agatha Brum tells us how art helps her understand her place in the world.

Brazilian performance artist Agatha Brum tells us how art helps her understand her place in the world.

 

Agatha Brum

Agatha Brum, 22, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Você pode nos contar um pouco sobre você? De onde você é, seu fundo de arte?

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, your art background?

Eu sou o que chamamos aqui no Brasil de “mineiroca”, nasci no Rio mas fui criada em uma cidade muito pequena no interior de Minas Gerais. Em 2009, com dezesseis anos fui morar sozinha, nesses seis anos vivi em varias cidades, algumas extremamente artísticas… Por exemplo: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro e Ouro Preto, maior acervo barroco do mundo. Nessas idas e vindas, estudei Teatro e Dança Contemporânea por um curto período.

Atuei como atriz por um ano em uma Cia de teatro carioca, também trabalhei com produção cultural e fiz parte de dois Coletivos de artes integradas que me fizeram vivenciar muitas manifestações artísticas.  Após, contínuas crises com as linguagens do espetáculo, me aproximei como autodidata da performance art. Depois de cinco anos flertando com as ações do Palco,  em Junho de 2014 nasce o meu primeiro videoperformance “Explode Coração”, ação performática para vídeo, na obra abordo a fragilidade dos laços afetivos e seus conflitos.

Nesse experimento, a partir do momento que ele sai do meu imaginário e ganha vida própria  deixa de ser uma obra. Explode Coracão, é ritual, declaracão de amor, a bilie do meu amor romântico. Seguindo essa linha de arte/vida, sigo produzindo meus outros trabalhos. Todos são retratos  das minhas questões pessoais. Uma tentativa de me libertar do que me atravessa e sufoca.  Minhas ferramentas são meu engajamento, minha subjetividade orgânica e as forças inconscientes. Sigo em busca das emoções da vida, do inesperado, de expressar a minha interioridade e acima de tudo: transformação.

 

I am what we call here in Brazil “mineiroca”, was born in Rio but I was raised in a very small town in Minas Gerais. In 2009, at sixteen I went to live alone and in those six years I lived in various cities, some extremely artistic … For example: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Ouro Preto, with the largest baroque collection in the world. In these comings and goings, I studied Theatre and Contemporary Dance for a short period. I worked as an actress for a year in a Cia de Rio theater and also worked with a cultural production and I was part of two integrated arts collectives that made me experience many artistic events. After, continuous issues with the languages of the show, I approached as an autodidact of performance art.

After five years of flirting with the idea of acting, in January 2014, I did my first video performance « Explode Coracao », (Heart Explosion). This work is about emotional ties and how hard and complicated they are. In this experiment, from the moment it comes out of my imagination and builds on itself ceases to be a work.

Exploding heart, is the ritual, a declaration of love, the antithesis of my romantic love.

Ensuing this line between art and life, by producing my other works, which are all portraits of my personal issues. An attempt to free myself from chocking was made. My tools are my engagement, my organic subjectivity and the unconscious forces which drive me. In search of the emotions of life, the unexpected, to express my inner self and above all: transformation.

O que o motivou a lidar com o assunto da Santa Ágata em sua arte?

What motivated you to deal with the subject of Santa Ágata in your art?

A convite do Coletivo Ágata, composto por três mulheres artistas, Luciana Dal Ri, Juliana Biscalquin e Camila Martins.  O videoperformance Santá Ágata é uma reflexão pinçada sobre a historia de Ágata, a Santa protetora dos seios. Essa mulher, hoje santificada pela igreja católica, após recusar um pedido de casamento, foi perseguida, torturada, acusada de pertencer a seitas fora da lei da época . Esticada na roda, marcada com ferros em brasa e finalmente seus seios arrancados.

“Eu sinto que em meu gesto existe o teu gesto e em minha voz a tua voz”.

Essa frase do poeta Fernando Pessoa me ajuda a explicar o meu mergulho no universo da Santa Ágata. Uma tentativa de se fazer ouvir a voz que foi calada, a voz da mulher que carrego o nome, a voz de todas  as mulheres que foram caladas.

 

The collective of Agata is composed of three women artists : Luciana Dal Ri, Juliana Biscalquin e Camila Martins. The video performance Agatha is a small reflection on the history of Agatha, the saint of breasts. This woman, now sanctified by the Catholic Church, after refusing a marriage proposal, was persecuted, tortured, accused of belonging to sects outlawed at the time. Stretched on the wheel, marked with red-hot irons and finally having her breasts cut off.

“I think that in my gesture there is your gesture, and that in my voice there is your voice.”

This phrase from the poet Fernando Pessoa helps me explain why I have plunged myself into the world of Agatha. An attempt to make the voice that was quiet, the woman’s voice that carries the name, the voice of all women who were silent.

 

Performance Santa Ágata.
Performance Santa Ágata.

 

Conte-nos por que você escolheu esta submissão?

Tell us why you chose this submission?

É minha forma de tentar entender meu lugar no mundo e o significado da minha existência. Procuro achar respostas no âmago do meu universo pessoal.

 

It is my way of trying to understand my place in the world and the meaning of my existence. Seeking to find answers at the heart of my personal universe.

Por que você escolheu o meio que você usa para a sua arte?

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

Me identifico com a performance art por ser a arte viva, do agora. Utilizar o vídeo como forma de registro e objeto artístico me interessa por da autonomia ao trabalho. Digitalmente consigo ser onipresente.

 

I identify with performance art by becoming the living art in the now. Using video as a way to record an artistic object interests me and the autonomy to work. Digitally it can be omnipresent.

Qual é o seu processo ao criar?

What is your process when creating?

É importante para mim expressar a minha identidade através do trabalho. Essa expressão pode ser conseguida de muitas maneiras, que ainda não consigo verbalizar. Ainda estou experimentando métodos de processos criativos.

 

It is important for me to express my identity through my work. This expression can be achieved in many ways, it still can not be verbalized. I’m still experimenting with methods of creative processes.

Quem você está influenciado por? O que você e sua arte inspirada?

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Eu sou influenciada e inspirada por pequenos ou grandes acontecimentos, por tudo que leio, escuto, assisto. Minha arte é inspirada no espetáculo da humanidade;

 

I am influenced and inspired by small and large events, everything I read, listen, watch. My art is inspired by the spectacle that is humanity;

O que o feminismo significa para você e você se considera ser uma feminista?

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Hoje, no meu país e em todo o mundo existem várias formas de militância dentro do feminismo, com posicionamentos diferentes. Me considero feminista  por acreditar e buscar  direitos iguais independente de gênero. Eu sou a favor da mulher, do empoderamento feminino, da libertação dos padrões. Sou contra  generalização e qualquer tipo de opressão.

 

Today, in my country and around the world there are various forms of militancy within feminism, with different positions. I consider myself a feminist because I believe and seek equal rights regardless of gender. I am in favour of women, women’s empowerment, the liberation of current standards. I am against any kind of generalization and oppression.

 

O que fez você querer se envolver com a nossa arte sem fins lucrativos ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL 

Vou parafrasear Mario Quintana para responder essa pergunta.

 

I am going to use something Mario Quintana said to answer that question :

Emergência
Mário Quintana

Quem faz um poema abre uma janela.
Respira, tu que estás numa cela
abafada,
esse ar que entra por ela.
Por isso é que os poemas têm ritmo —
para que possas profundamente respirar.
Quem faz um poema salva um afogado.

Emergency
Mário Quintana

He who writes a poem opens a window.
Breathe, you there in a cell
sweltering,
this air entering through it.
This is why poems have rhythm —
so you can breathe deeply.
He who writes a poem saves a drowning man.

Você sente as mulheres têm de estar em conformidade com as normas sociais e estereótipos para ser levado a sério? Você tem experiências dessa?

Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?

Claro que não, o certo seria que nenhuma pessoa independente de gênero ou sexualidade sofresse discriminação ou impacto na vida profissional/ pessoal …

Se eu já passei por isso? Quem não?!

 

Of course not, the right thing would be that no independent person gender or sexuality suffer discrimination or impact on their professional / personal life …

Have I experienced this? Who hasn’t ?!

Você acha que as mulheres e os homens são iguais nas sociedades de hoje em todo o mundo? Você tem alguma experiência?

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?

Homens e mulheres nunca serão iguais. Mas sim, devem ter direitos iguais. Nós mulheres ganhamos algumas batalhas mas o caminho para a igualdade de direitos, o fim do sexismo, entre outros direitos como a escolha de ser mãe ainda caminha a passos lentos.

 

Men and women will never be equal. But, should have equal rights. We women have won some battles but the path to equal rights, the end of sexism, among other rights as the choice of being a mother still has far to go…

Quais as causas e as questões do mundo que você está apaixonado, a campanha para, voluntário para etc …..?

What causes and world issues are you passionate about,campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

Tudo que me desassossega.

 

All causes that trouble me.

Quais são seus objetivos como com a sua arte?

What are your goals as with your art?

Acho que no momento eu tenho o objetivo de trazer boas reflexões.

 

I think at the moment I have the objective to bring about good reflections.

Agatha Brum
Agatha Brum

 

Qual é o seu próximo projeto ou peça que você está trabalhando?

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

Atualmente estou engajada na questão da gordofobia. Já passou da hora de  abordar esse tema. A forma cruel e preconceituosa que  a sociedade enxerga e trata quem não é magro, está  causando efeitos crueis na vida dessas pessoas. Minha pesquisa especificamente fala da questão corpo feminino, um assunto delicado pois até mesmo as feministas possui dificuldade para compreender…

 

I am currently engaged in the issue of gordofobia (fear of fat women). It is high time to address this issue. The cruel and judgmental way that society views and treats those who are not thin, is causing cruel effects in their lives. My research specifically speaks of the female body issue, a sensitive issue for even feminists who too have difficulty in understanding this issue …

ASLI QUOTE

Se você gostariam de saber mais sobre Agatha Brum, siga estes links:

If you would like to know more about Agatha Brum follow these links:

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Artist Deborah Brommer “Without art our world would be a cold and silent place”

Artist Deborah Brommer “Without art our world would be a cold and silent place”

 

Artist Deborah Brommer
Artist Deborah Brommer

 

Deborah Brommer,48, from Columbus, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Deborah has loved art since she was a child and has been involved in theatre and applied art her whole life.  Deborah went to college at Ohio University in Athens, to study acting and ended up bouncing from major to major within the art school however by her father’s urging finally graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art’s in Art History.

Here is our interview with Deborah:

What motivated you to deal with the subject of Empowerment in your art?

This piece was actually inspired by the Chelko Foundation which supports women’s freedom around the world and is on a mission to end their suffering.

Tell us why you chose this submission?

This piece is about the age old dichotomies of woman as goddess/slave, mother/whore, beauty/untouchable.  The stone age relic of the Venus of Willendorf is painted on the torso of the model representing the ancient reverence for women as creators of life, yet in our “advanced” modern times women are still expected to be the ones taking care of the home, hence the classic yellow rubber gloves.  Our society wants our women to have a lovely face and figure, to wear sexy lingerie, yet in some places they are still expected to keep their mouths shut when the men are speaking.  My piece shows our heroine wearing fishnet stockings yet her face is painted as though she’s wearing a “reverse burka”, where only her eyes are covered.  Her mouth is silenced by a bumble bee with the wings of a moth; the bee represents hard work and dedication and the moth is representative of transformation as well as the subtle meaning of always flying to the light which shows undying optimism.  Covering our model’s sex organs is a beautiful flower (an homage to feminist artist Judy Chicago) which is lovely and beckoning, yet from that same flower flows rivers of blood which shows our lunar biology which has kept women separated, and shunned, and proclaimed “dirty” in many societies, but is actually the literal life blood of our species.

Venus By Deborah Brommer This body painting shows the many dichotomies of women in the modern world and her place as goddess/slave, mother/whore, beauty/untouchable.  The Stone Age “Venus of Willendorf” is a reminder of the age old reverence of woman as creator of life, yet throughout time women have been virtually slaves to the men in their lives as is represented here by the yellow rubber gloves of housework.  We want our women to have a beautiful face, and a sexy demeanor, yet they must, in some societies cover up in public and keep quiet on matters of importance and we see that here with the strip across the eyes painted as a “reverse burka”.  Her mouth is silenced by a bumble bee with the wings of a moth; the bee represents hard work and dedication and the moth is representative of transformation as well as the subtle meaning of always flying to the light which shows undying optimism.  Covering our model’s sex organs is a beautiful flower (an homage to feminist artist Judy Chicago) which is lovely and beckoning, yet from that same flower flows rivers of blood which shows our lunar biology which has kept women separated, and shunned, and proclaimed “dirty” in many societies, but is actually the literal life blood of our species.
Venus By Deborah Brommer
This body painting shows the many dichotomies of women in the modern world and her place as goddess/slave, mother/whore, beauty/untouchable. The Stone Age “Venus of Willendorf” is a reminder of the age old reverence of woman as creator of life, yet throughout time women have been virtually slaves to the men in their lives as is represented here by the yellow rubber gloves of housework. We want our women to have a beautiful face, and a sexy demeanor, yet they must, in some societies cover up in public and keep quiet on matters of importance and we see that here with the strip across the eyes painted as a “reverse burka”. Her mouth is silenced by a bumble bee with the wings of a moth; the bee represents hard work and dedication and the moth is representative of transformation as well as the subtle meaning of always flying to the light which shows undying optimism. Covering our model’s sex organs is a beautiful flower (an homage to feminist artist Judy Chicago) which is lovely and beckoning, yet from that same flower flows rivers of blood which shows our lunar biology which has kept women separated, and shunned, and proclaimed “dirty” in many societies, but is actually the literal life blood of our species.

 

Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?

I love the medium of body painting because the movement and emotion of a living person is added into the art, giving it a special kind of life.  I am attracted to body painting because it combines the colour and expressionism of my painting with living sculpture; it is applied art, sculpture, and theatre all in one.  I also find the impermanence of the art appealing, the fleetingness of the piece makes it more precious in a way, like a beautiful sunset, it is all the more sweet because it will soon fade away.

What is your process when creating?

I usually work with a theme of some sort, something I want to say, or a feeling I want to convey and I will research some visual ideas that I want to include, sketch out where the different elements will go on the body, and then the painting begins.

Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?

Because I have a background in Art History, there are many artists that inspire me, I especially love expressionism and I love to incorporate a lot of colour in my work.  I am often inspired by nature, by music, by performance, and by cultures from around the world.  One of my biggest influences is the performances of Cirque Du Soleil.

What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

I do think that I am a feminist, but I don’t know that feminists would agree.  I am a strong minded, confident, and outspoken woman and I believe in equality for all people, but I really love the feminine side of womanhood, I like being a girly girl at times, I enjoy the trappings of being a female.  I embrace the differences between men and women, I think that makes us interesting.

What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?

I live in such a progressive country and was raised by a family who empowered me to be who I wanted to be, that I never considered for one moment growing up that there was anything I couldn’t do, and when I am faced with the reality that that isn’t the norm for all women it is a shock and a disappointment.   I think it’s important to show the world that every woman has the right to be who she wants to be.

Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world and do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously?

I know for a fact that women and men are not equal in many areas around the world.  I am a prolific traveller and I have had experiences in countries where there was a severe double standard for men and women.  The experience that stands out most to me was a time in Morocco where I left a public bath and was forced to wear a scarf over my hair because it was wet, when I asked about what the reasoning was it was explained to me that wet hair means that you’ve just bathed and if men were to see my wet hair they wouldn’t be able to refrain from imagining me in the bath which would arouse them and then I wouldn’t be safe.  I have been to a few countries where if men cause harm to women it is almost always considered the woman’s fault for somehow instigating it merely by her appearance.  The beauty of women should not be hid or feared it should be adored!

What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?

My biggest issue is the lack of education on the importance of breastfeeding around the world.  A great disservice has been done to women and children in developing countries when they are given formula to feed their babies.  This formula has to be mixed with clean water, which is often hard to come by, and once the mother stops nursing and her milk no longer comes she has no choice but to continue giving formula, and the supply may now be getting low so it gets diluted even more with precious water and the babies suffer from malnutrition.

What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?

Art reveals emotion and ideas and desires in a way that words cannot.  Art can communicate to your core the feelings it’s creator wants you to experience. Without Art our world would be a cold and silent place.  There are many people in the world who have no voice and Art can be a way to speak when everything else is telling you to “shut up”.

How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?

I think my art in particular can create change because it is painted on the naked body.  It forces many people out of their comfort zones yet helps to show that the human body can be admired as a work of art without being a sex object.  It allows for beauty and soulfulness without shame.  Also, because the art incorporates the human body it is much more expressive and emotional which can really speak to people in a way that other art forms may not.

What are your goals as with your art?

I want the world to fall in love with body painting and want to place it in their homes.  I want people to feel so intrigued and enamoured that they want to have themselves body painted, and then they will find the art and beauty within themselves.  It is amazing to see the transformation in people when they are painted for the first time; the timidness and discomfort are always replaced with pride and awe.

What is your next project or piece that you are working on?

I’m currently working on some ideas for pieces inspired by the American Southwest, I have recently started to spend quite a bit of time out here and the vast landscapes and amazing colours are quite an inspiration to me!

If you would like to know more about Deborah Brommer:

Links:

 

Release date for ASLI’s first ever E-magazine

Don’t forget to look out on the 7th of April for ASLI’s first ever E-magazine issue featuring artists from all over the world who through their art communicate important issues.

This issue is focused on women around the world as it was launched in aid of International women’s day.

ASLI E-MAGAZINE

All artists who were sent a confirmation that they will be in the E-magazine will be sent a link to the magazine on the 7th of April

 

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If you are an artist of any ability or discipline please subscribe to this blog so you can get the quarterly call for artists for the E-magazine, blog features and international art project opportunities.

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ASLI Exhibition at The Art House – Event Photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

THE EVENT – IN PICTURES

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

 

The Art House - Southampton - THE VENUE
The Art House – Southampton – THE VENUE

 

 

Mural and story board of the project - created by Lisa Reeve and Charlotte Farhan
Mural and story board of the project – created by Lisa Reeve and Charlotte Farhan

 

 

 

Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition – Art By Charlotte Farhan

 

 

 

The creative zone - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
The creative zone – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

The Art House - Southampton - http://thearthousesouthampton.org/
The Art House – Southampton – http://thearthousesouthampton.org/

 

Photography

By Anna Bispham

The ASLI Photo Booth

 

Mohammed - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Mohammed – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Lesley and John -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Lesley and John – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Bex -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Bex – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Matthew and Ann -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Matthew and Ann – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

Becky -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Becky – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Lisa -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Lisa – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Charlotte - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Charlotte – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

Thank you for looking please follow this link 

to view the exhibition by the children of Bursledon House

 

PLEASE DONATE 

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

YOUR SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT

THANK YOU FROM EVERYONE AT ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL
THANK YOU FROM EVERYONE AT ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL