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.

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 

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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 
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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

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 

 

 

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:

SoundCloud

Facebook

Linked In

 

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

 

 

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:

Facebook

Twitter

SoundCloud

 

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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ASLI Exhibition at The Art House – Event Photos

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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