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Deborah Caulfield's blog - disability arts online
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I'm an inconsistent artist, hugely distracted by life. I create in a variety of media including words, pictures, food and laundry. I do it because I can't seem to not. Sometimes it's fun.

Assisted dying - two poems I wrote earlier

16 January 2015


Poem 1 Retirement in Abingdon UK isn’t like in Oregon USA here we get assistance to live with independence there the doctors help you  toss your controversial life away on the dubious basis that pain removes your ability to die with dignity on google and yahoo the issue is in no way similar to euthanasia for when suffering is terminal and someone kindly kills you say thank you and smile as they put down the lid on you your shoes soon filled  by someone youthful someone...

Comments: 1

Memory: A picture and some words

30 January 2015


The two greatest loves of my mother's life were the colour green and dancing. She dressed in green as often as possible and drooled at green items in shop windows. Dancing was an escape from drudge, the hope and potential for wealth and glamour. But it was among the many things my mother took too seriously to enjoy, so it was never fun. She took me to a dancing lesson, possibly just the one because I was in hospital for most of my childhood. We lived in Romford Essex at the time. We...

Comments: 4

The pain game: All blame, no gain.

22 February 2015


Abstract image representing pain

body says that fucking pain is back I wish I wish I wish I wish I wish it would just I just wish it would just I just wish I wish it would go just go just go away just go oh you you you you you have nothing at all nothing at all nothing to gain by complaining because you you you are to blame for the pain brain opines to spine who’s rather shy and rarely smiles and whines and sighs and cries and you you you you you know nothing at all nothing at all nothing and if you had...

Comments: 2

Our Tales Unveiled: Worth writing and fighting for

7 June 2015


A picture in two halves

Over the last three months I did three Our Tales Unveiled workshops at Salisbury Arts Centre. These began with an excellent performance earlier involving Penny Pepper and Liz Porter. Penny's a writer; Liz is a story teller and singer. In Liz's workshop I reluctantly 'performed' a story about Clara who crochets a lot. This was based on someone I know (not me). I haven't asked 'Clara' if I can use her words so am uneasy about going public until I have...

Comments: 2

I'm all wrong. Or is it just a bad poem?

9 June 2015


Line drawing

When depression hits, I can't go out or speak to anyone. It's a moment by moment existence. I have no energy. I want to sleep (but don't). I make myself do basic chores. That's all there is. And food. This time (today) I decided to write and draw (fuck work) something, attempt to represent or express my state ('mood' it's called nowadays, which sounds OK). I don't smoke and I can't afford to drink alcohol (anyway it's a depressant) though I love the...

Comments: 3

Worth Fighting For: The Rehearsal

26 June 2015


Photo of Link Up Arts poets after the rehearsal

I've taken part in two writing/performing workshops run by Link Up Arts at Salisbury Arts Centre, as mentioned in my last-but-one blog. As a result and by way of follow up, I was invited to take part in Salisbury Arts Centre's Homegrown Performance showcase event this coming Wednesday 1st July. We had our first rehearsal this week; it seemed to go well. I wasn't nervous then, but I am now, and I will be on the day. The showcase consists of the Homegrown exhibition as well as...

Comments: 0

Distraction, dissatisfaction and not enough art action.

11 October 2015


Pots and pans on draining board

I haven't posted to my blog for months and months.

This picture helps to explain why. Taken today.

Not that I haven't had ANY art action. It's just that I haven't written about it here. Because it's mainly rubbish, to be honest.

Or maybe I'm lazy. No, that's not it.

Or maybe I lack committment. That's probably it.

And I like eating.

Comments: 1

Artist is as artist does.

15 October 2015


Self protrait of Deborah Caulfield

I'm too old (or too/not enough something else) to get a job, so I'm trying to focus on the art side of things. It might come to nothing, or it might come to something. The main thing is I'm doing it. Wake up! City Arts is an interesting project that's recently started. It's local, near to where I live, in West Berkshire. I went to see their little exhibition a couple of weekends ago, talked to the people involved. I'm looking forward to their upcoming Mighty...

Comments: 0

Not going out. A poem for peace.

27 November 2015


Soldiers lined up

I used to campaign against war and in favour of peace. It seemed important and I felt useful.  I feel too tired and achy to protest now. Or is it that it doesn't seem to be worth the effort? I don't know. I really don't. So, I wrote this rough and ready poem to go with this picture .Then I posted them to this blog and thought, now what?   troops are on the loose sniffer dogs follow leads so their noses know where I live   they'll be along soon telling me...

Comments: 4

And now for something completely silly and totally other than what I should be doing.

17 December 2015


Screengrab of my computer desktop with small selection of pages open.

I went to an exhibition yesterday. In typical form, I approached the task of writing the review back to front. Today, due to my ostensible need to verify and justify each and every word I write, I am not writing. I am researching; seeking, digging, poking, unearthing all manner of info, items and opinions, endlessly clicking and link after link after link. I only ceased (paused?) site-hopping because of the of the silly festive season and the very real threat of me and my guests sitting down on...

Comments: 1

The consequences of praise: Bafflement, weirdness and wondrousness.

6 January 2016


me standing with bike

Today I received praise for my writing. It felt good. And weird. I wonder why ... My earliest memory of being praised was a teacher congratulating me for passing the eleven plus exam. I was baffled. I didn't even know I'd taken it. Then I remembered the strange test we'd all been made to sit. However, I still didn't understand. Why had I passed and others not? It was a mystery. It also changed my life, and not for the better. Bafflement was followed by weirdness. The first weird...

Comments: 6

Tribute to David Bowie, whose music I didn't much like.

12 January 2016


Self portrait with zig-zag rainbow

David Bowie has died age 69. He had cancer. And by all accounts he stayed strong and cheerful to the end. For this he deserves credit and respect. I didn't rate his stuff much. His voice never appealed to me. I thought I liked Rebel Rebel till I checked the lyrics, now I'm not so sure. I can't relate to them. But what fun we had dancing to it in the seventies. Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo I also...

Comments: 8

So it was. And here it is.

2 February 2016


Still life with teapot and mugs

  Once in a while, every so often, I get the urge to draw. No use fighting it. And so it was, that one day last October, l set the table. Years before, I had set my students a similar drawing exercise consisting of mugs and a check tablecloth. Nothing like a grid for plotting one's place in the system. The scheme of things. Artist is as artist does. Years before, my art teacher had seen some talent in me (he later told me) and set a similar exercise. Six weeks, every Wednesday. How I...

Comments: 7

Back in the day: Now and then.

28 February 2016


CND conference stage and top table.

I had shingles over christmas and new year. Although it was a relatively mild attack, added to the usual impairment shit, its effect on my energy levels and states of mind has not been altogether positive. I keep thinking any day I'll be better and back to where I was.  But then, where I was wasn't exactly a good place. I took on too much, hardly notice when I over-reached and didn't really take enough care of myself. These days I'm more passenger than driver. It feels...

Comments: 0

Bad things are happening. I did a picture to cheer myself up.

8 March 2016


Symmetrical and abstract pattern

The idea for this picture came from a recent post on Facebook by Tom Cox. It was a sketch of a cat with the caption: 'One day things will get better. Until then here is a drawing of a cat.' This seemed to sum up how I feel about my art practice: The complete failure to articulate or address, let alone resolve, the problems in the world. There's an argument that says art doesn't have to achieve anything, it is what it is and there's an end to it. Leave us alone...

Comments: 4

At home and horizontal.

6 April 2016



There's this idea that life gets better - improves - as we get older. I'm 66 and I still tend to believe this, but less so, because time doesn't mean that much to me. I'm gonna stay here till I soothe my soul ... Then again, I tell myself: If you live for a hundred years, you'll never ... I don't have a hundred years. I never had a hundred years. No one ever had a hundred years, not even people who lived for a hundred years. Then again, I tell myself: things would...

Comments: 3

Words and pictures

20 January 2012


Drawing of a church

These days I draw without passion or compulsion. I do it with complete acceptance and absolute commitment. I don’t have to do it. It’s not a problem. Drawing is a conversation between me and the world. Everything I see is a potential picture. When I’m drawing (I sometimes use water colour and coloured pencil) I feel I’m connecting with the subject, and with the space around and between us. These are moments of being. Drawing is handy when not much is happening. There...

Comments: 3