Able in This Diverse Universe writing competition – Call for Creative Writers

Able in This Diverse Universe writing competition

ASLI Managing Director Charlotte Farhan has been selected as one of the Judges for the Able in This Diverse Universe writing competition alongside Karrie Higgins, Professor Dr. Kwame Brown and Jacqueline Cioffa.

Winning essays will be featured in ASLI magazine following first prize winner’s publication on A True Testimony and 2nd and 3rd prize winners will be featured too, alongside over a 100 of our ASLI artists from around the world.

 

Find out about the other judges of this very important competition by clicking the link: Meet the Judges for Able in This Diverse Universe

Able in This Diverse Universe Essay Competition

So how and what is this all about?

“Established essayist and word-mage Karrie Higgins invites you to participate in a nonfiction writing competition on the themes of ableism, disability, access and overcoming. All submissions fees benefit the training and care of Noah Ainslie’s future Autism service dog, Appa. This competition will also serve to raise awareness of invisible illness and ableist bias.

Noah’s neurodiversity often manifests as sensory overwhelm. He has been learning coping mechanisms for six years, but still visibly struggles when it comes to conforming to neurotypical standards. He is high function on the spectrum which means he doesn’t “look like” he’s disabled. He is subjected to ableist expectations, often very aggressively and in public.

With Appa’s help, Noah will have access to the public spaces his anxiety prevents him from entering. More importantly, Noah will have a companion who loves him for who he is and does not judge his inability to conform to ableist public standards. To learn more about Noah, visit his GoFundMe page.”

Thank you from Appa and Noah.
Thank you from Appa and Noah.

Follow this link to enter the competition:

https://honeyquill.submittable.com/submit/50077

To enter this competition, please use the following guidelines for all submissions.Your work should be:

  • nonfiction
  • no more than 2,000 words
  • in PDF or docx format
  • without identifying information in your document as judging will be blind 

This competition is open worldwide!

All entries are require a $15 submission fee which will directly benefit Noah and Appa. You are welcome to enter as many times as you want.

This competition will run from December , 2015 – February 29, 2016. Winners will be notified March 31, 2016.

The winning essayists will receive $250 cash, and publication on Karrie’s website, A True Testimony. Winning essays will also be featured in ASLI magazine following first prize winner’s publication on A True Testimony and 2nd and 3rd prize winners will have a full featured articles.

Four Paws for Noah
Four Paws for Noah

We at ASLI urge you all to get involved, in whatever way you can.

You can:

enter the competition

donate to the GoFundMe page

share this post with friends and family via social media or email

This is such an important cause and the issues we are asking you to address, affect so many, including Charlotte Farhan.

Who is also in the process of getting a service dog for her agoraphobia and PTSD.

Charlotte Farhan says

“I live in an able world where I too have been rejected and expected to “fit in” or expected to accept defeat, so please for people such as myself and Noah, support this with an open heart and mind.”

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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/

 

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

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

CALL FOR ARTISTS – GLOBALLY

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

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

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

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

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

 

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 

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

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

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

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

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

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 Submission Guide Lines:

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

Submission Deadlines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selection process:

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

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

A select amount is chosen from each topic

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

 

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

Tweet us @ASLInonprofit :

Your images and videos of your work add #artsaveslivesinternational

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

Or you can do this on Instagram the hashtags @artsaveslivesint

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

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

Check out our #artsaveslivesinternational Gallery on our website

 

 

 

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

ASLI President - Charlotte Farhan
ASLI President – Charlotte Farhan

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

Take a look at last month’s:

ASLI Magazine

ASLI Blog

Issue One Campaign Gallery

 We can’t wait to engage with you all!

ASLI info-graphic by Charlotte Farhan

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

Chelsea-Anne Hipwood
Chelsea-Anne Hipwood

 

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

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

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

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

Tell us why you chose this submission?

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


 

Delphine

By Chelsea-Anne Hipwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

What is your process when creating?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your goals as with your art?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ASLI Exhibition at The Art House – Event Photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

THE EVENT – IN PICTURES

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLOTTE FARHAN

 

The Art House - Southampton - THE VENUE
The Art House – Southampton – THE VENUE

 

 

Mural and story board of the project - created by Lisa Reeve and Charlotte Farhan
Mural and story board of the project – created by Lisa Reeve and Charlotte Farhan

 

 

 

Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition – Art By Charlotte Farhan

 

 

 

The creative zone - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
The creative zone – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

The Art House - Southampton - http://thearthousesouthampton.org/
The Art House – Southampton – http://thearthousesouthampton.org/

 

Photography

By Anna Bispham

The ASLI Photo Booth

 

Mohammed - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Mohammed – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Lesley and John -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Lesley and John – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Bex -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Bex – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Matthew and Ann -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Matthew and Ann – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

Becky -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Becky – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Lisa -  Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Lisa – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

Charlotte - Art Saves Lives International - Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition
Charlotte – Art Saves Lives International – Launch Night for the Bursledon House Project and Exhibition

 

 

Thank you for looking please follow this link 

to view the exhibition by the children of Bursledon House

 

PLEASE DONATE 

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

YOUR SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT

THANK YOU FROM EVERYONE AT ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL
THANK YOU FROM EVERYONE AT ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL

 

 

ASLI ART PROJECT IN COLLABORATION WITH BURSLEDON HOUSE

Art Saves Lives International is excited to announce its first collaboration and art project with the young residents and staff at Bursledon House Hospital in Southampton, UK. The project was inspired by ASLI’s Charlotte Farhan. She is now leading the project, helped by our talented Artist in Residence, Lisa Reeve.

Bursledon House provides a lifeline to young kids and teenagers with severe, complex and chronic medical problems. Using a caringly structured programme of treatment in a relaxed, non-medical setting, Bursledom House supports, cares for and manages the treatment of its vulnerable young residents (aged 0-16). The NHS-run organisation places paramount importance on residents’ physical, psychological, educational and social needs.

ASLI has been invited by Bursledon House to perform an inclusive and inspirational art project with its young residents. ASLI Artistic Director Charlotte Farhan and ASLI Artist in Residence Lisa Reeve were inspired to perform this project due to their own personal struggles with mental illness. They believe art has played a restorative, vitally important role in helping them manage Borderline Personality Disorder.

For Charlotte, this project is especially close to her heart. At the tender age of fifteen, Charlotte was placed in an adolescent psychiatric unit and attended a residential school in an NHS governed centre similar to Bursledon House. She remembers how scary this chaotic period of her life was for her, and how school was the last thing on her mind.

But institutions like Bursledon House are essential in providing structure and routine for sick and vulnerable young children and adolescents during a difficult, traumatic time of great need. Charlotte found being able to still attend art, English and History classes a real release from her daily treatment. She relished the opportunity to learn these subjects, which provided relief and inspiration, instead of purely focussing on continuously feeling unwell.

This ASLI project promotes holistic creative healing through art therapy. Each child is being encouraged and motivated to produce their very own ‘Personality Portrait’: an abstract style of portrait that reflects the inner core of a person: their energy, vitality and individuality, which forms their root personality, based on experience, fears and desires. Celebrating individuality is especially important for children who have perhaps already identified themselves as “sick children”. Art therapy takes children outside of their comfort zones and transient realities, helping them shape the futures they want.

As a skilled SFX make-up artist and photographer, Lisa is also relishing painting the children’s faces for drama, poetry and dance performances, as the photographs below beautifully illustrate.

The project, lasting several months, is leading to a public exhibition of the children’s personality portraits in July 2014. Charlotte also intends to create a large mural painting at the hospital and Lisa will create a storyboard of photography documenting the entire experience. The exhibition will include talks about the work of Bursledon House and ASLI. We also hope to have a band, spoken word artists and an art auction.

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BURSLEDON BLOG: PART ONE

As ASLI artists Charlotte and Lisa arrived at Bursledon House, both were nervous and eager to make a good impression. They first met with one of the teachers, Holly. Her warmth, empathy and enthusiasm instantly made our artists feel at home and welcomed to the Bursledon family.

After meeting most of the staff, including teachers and nurses, the young residents trickled into the classroom to greet Lisa and Charlotte. They played an introduction circle game involving a ball. Charlotte and Lisa, who both share Borderline Personality Disorder, frequently struggle with social situations like this. But in Bursledon’s supportive environment and inspired by the bravery of the young people they met, Charlotte and Lisa were able to quickly overcome these fears and felt very privileged and grateful for the opportunity to be there.

Next, they visited the hemodialysis ward and met an inspirational young girl who was a keen artist herself. Charlotte and Lisa sat with her for a while and discussed her interests. The girl was delighted to hear about Charlotte and Lisa’s reason for being there and how she had an opportunity to create her own portrait. When they mentioned her work would be included in a gallery exhibition, the young girl’s elation was overwhelmingly moving.

As the visit drew to a close, Charlotte and Lisa were sad to leave, but excited to get the next stage of the project underway.

 

BLOG: PART TWO – THE PROJECT BEGINS!

During Charlotte and Lisa’s subsequent visit to Bursledon House, they explained the concept of a personality portrait, providing examples. Artists have always been fascinated by the concept of creating self-portraits as a means of better understanding themselves – the fusion of the outer and inner self. Our artists stressed to the children that there is no right or wrong when it comes to art. Art is THEIR opportunity for self-expression. Charlotte had also pre-compiled a list of thought-provoking questions to encourage the children to focus on their individuality and inspire them creatively with their own personality portraits:

1. List your 4 favourite colours and any colours you dislike. Ask yourself why you picked these colours?

2. Consider your best and your worst features – and why?

3. How would you describe yourself in two sentences?

4. Who are your idols and what do you admire about them?

5. What is your favourite style? What do you like in design, fashion, décor and graphics, what visually stimulates you?

6. Pick 3 (of each) representing you: animals, places in the world, food and books.

7. What are your passions and hobbies in life?

8. What are your fears and dreams?

9. When was your best day and worst day, what happened?

10. How do you think others see you, and how is it different to how you see yourself?

 

“In self-portraiture the artist does not have to be concerned about pleasing anyone but him or herself. Self-portraits can allow the artist to be open and receptive to the self, which is an important component of therapeutic growth.”

–Professor Simone Alter-Muri

By now, the children were utterly engaged and very eager to get started. Creativity flowed out of them and their ideas were incredibly powerful.

Finlay (6), the youngest in the group, was movingly frank. When asked why he had drawn a face with tears, he simply answered, “It is because I am very sensitive.” This kind of honesty was refreshing and insightful.

Charlotte sat with a young girl called Bethany (11). Wise beyond her years, Bethany displayed a determination that could take her wherever she wishes to go in the future. She told Charlotte, “I want to draw a light bulb above my head, because I love to think and question things. I love science, I also love art and thunderstorms.”

It’s important when doing this kind of exercise to analyse why we represent ourselves the way we do. Charlotte encouraged these ideas and spoke to Bethany about why she enjoyed these things.

Lisa spoke to a boy called Travis (13). She helped him to identify his own emotions related to the answers he gave on his personality portrait questionnaire. This helped him to generate fresh ideas and use them for artistic inspiration.

The children were also encouraged to produce a piece of creative writing to accompany their portraits during the exhibition. It’s while doing this that they can truly unravel and explore the emotions that form their individual core identities – the human beings behind the masks.

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Lisa Reeve is one of ASLI’s first artists in residence. ASLI’s Bursledon House collaboration was her first art residency project and she handled it admirably. This is what Lisa had to say on her experience:

“I am so proud to be working with ASLI. Not only is it a wonderful way to support and inspire a diverse variety of people and children to be creative, art can also help with emotional healing. I myself struggle with social anxiety, among many mental health problems, and using art as a form of self-expression is very therapeutic for me. Art can allow oneself to express turbulent inner emotions that can often be hard, or impossible, to explain in humble words. The children at Bursledon House are such strong, brave, amazing individuals and we are so lucky to have the chance to work with them on creating their own personality portraits. The staff and pupils have welcomed us with open arms and it is inspiring to see how a hospital school operates. The staff at Bursledon House are particularly lovely, caring and open-minded. Helping others is always good therapy for the soul: ‘If you light a lamp for somebody it will also brighten your path.’ (Buddhist quote!) Thank you to ASLI for giving me the opportunity to give opportunities to others.”