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> > Gini

Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

Rainbow Bridge

24 April 2011

Blog

View from the train which takes you out over Tokyo Harbour on the Rainbow Bridge

The level of the river has been rising, and today there is a swirl of something that looks like seaweed. The weather is back to hot and sunny  and we will repeat the roll into Tsukiji, but going on to Higashi Ginza, Ginza and Shinbashi where we will take the Yurekamome line will take us, via an unmanned train, out over the Rainbow Bridge to Daiba. We are both surprised to be met in the station by a uniformed member of train staff as this line is supposed to be unmanned. It turns...

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The homecoming.

26 April 2011

Blog

Japanese food, raw fish and Japanese style cooked egg

I didn't want to leave Japan. I didn't want to say goodbye to the nifty little wheelchair with the skinny wheels. I certainly wasn't looking forward to using my manual wheelchair; to re-engaging with its dual personality. Yes it offers the prospect of movement, but then it is also a cage that restricts me because I do not have the necessary physical attributes to move myself any significant distance. I feel sick to the pit of my stomach at the thought of surrendering all the freedom I...

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Reflections

4 May 2011

Blog

photo of a powerchair with a heart design in the back rest

Everything about my life here feels so strange now... I miss so much. Don't laugh, but a warm loo seat just has to be on the list! Like the freedom, it took me a while to get used to, but now the shock of the cold feels even stranger. I miss the food; so much fresh and delicious fish and wonderful wasabi;  I miss the noises I found so distracting when I arrived. "The noises tell us that everything is functioning normally" I was told and it wasn't long before I came to appreciate them too. And...

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A book launch for Kingfisher poets

11 July 2011

Blog

Words are keeping me sane. They have been my life-line to creative expression while all the admin stuff of life has demanded more attention than I feel capable of giving. The visual embryo glows; gleams in suspended animation. I am just glad it lives. The words continue to tumble forth with such generosity. Today is the book launch: "Kingfishers", a first anthology of poems by the Kingfisher poets and I have poems in it. The launch precedes an end of year performance by Jigsaw, a talented youth...

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Digital reinterpretations...

10 June 2011

Blog

portrait

Frustration eats away at me. The limitations on my mobility cage me. I need to to make journeys, touch materials, experience texture and lighting effects for my embryo artwork to grow. But I am confined to the radius of my powerchair; and the psychological effects are depressing. I hide in words. And I revisit artwork. Reinterpreting work digitally means the basic stuff is accessible, if only I wasn't working with a crip-computer. I see oceans; creative depths amazing beneath me; taunting,...

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On the creative process

11 May 2011

Blog

purple text against a black background reads 'poeple'

Picking up threads; resuming the tapestry that is my life here without repeating old patterns: that is my challenge. Looking back on stuff I wasn't detached enough from, or brave enough, to translate into artwork seems like a way of moving on without ignoring or denying the past. I do feel very inspired. Words tumble out of me; this sense of creativity simmers and explodes. The variety takes me by surprise; the words giving birth to the children of my inspiration as the broody wordsmith in me...

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Strange 'washing up'

2 August 2011

Blog

like

I was sitting in the grass looking at "Folly" - a Sean Henry installation/sculpture in the Close of Salisbury Cathedral. Sean Henry was there talking about his work and tiny snippets of sound caught my attention; I wrote. And thought about Ems being waylaid by washing up. There are parallels here; responding in words to other peoples' artwork makes me feel as if I have done something worth-while and puts my frustration on hold. Words are so brilliant. Here they are, just waiting to be...

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Self actualization.

11 September 2011

Blog

you

North begins to whisper and sing to me at this time of year. It is a powerful influence on my work, but defies adequate expression. I don’t often try to research or explain this longing to travel north in winter and south in summer; I think of myself as a migratory being with an inverted compass, and I’d like to find a unique way to express it. Years ago a reference to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” set me seeking and finding authors and poets who were trying to...

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Elusive artwork

8 September 2011

Blog

portrait

The artwork is biding its time. My mood needs to improve. I call on my muse to little effect. My day out is taking its toll. I would have shrugged it off if not for the disparaging emails that followed up my initially tentative criticism. Memories of fear and oppression have been awakened. Brown, with a slight bend like painfully produced turds, strategically placed fir-cones provoke instant hilarity; my laughter is unrequited. An anxious frown follows my slow rolling progress. If I did have...

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Dancing dresses and do I take sugar...

7 June 2012

Blog

a photograph taken from high up looking down on to a modern shiny plaza

'Does she take sugar' seems to be a question foreign to most Japanese; I am always spoken to directly. When I travel, all help, questions or instructions are directed at me - even if I have a Japanese companion who knows the way. And if my companion  presumes to comandeer the guiding process, I am usually asked if I am ok with that. Of course they do tend to presume that I need help, but then most times they are right. I always feel the intentions are good, the attitude is right....

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Gothic Lolita and Princess Trees

7 June 2012

Blog

a photograph taken at night of a tower which can be seen only because of its lights

Googling for occasion clothes, I discover that the kind of frilly baby-doll outfits mentioned in 'Symbolic clothes and Kimono' are in a style labelled Gothic Lolita. Mmm; says it all, I guess. Sun sets early in Tokyo, and the warm night air lights up with city living. The Gothic Lolitas who have prowled in packs by daylight, melt away; daydreams insubstantial. Groups of Suits gather, fill the streets with contained anticipation. Negotiating space to pass 'Gentlemen's Clubs'...

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Snake poison and affordable tans

8 June 2012

Blog

photo of a bustling street in Yokoama's chinatown

Yokohama gets a rough deal from me. She's always squeezed between other places, other attractions, yet  evening Yokohama Chinatown lures me with some excellent dim sum in a quiet first floor restaurant, with windows looking right at the elaboratly carved and decorated Chinese temple opposite. Kamakura is the day's first destination, the site of the giant Buddah I visited last year, it also has a small, but excellent art gallery showing works from the Kamakura collection of...

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Created geography and spatial justice

9 June 2012

Blog

a photograph of an old ship sailing in front of an old Japanese building

If nothing else, being in Tokyo has served to clarify my ideas about spatial equality;  to crystallise my thoughts about some of the negative psychological effects of historical Greek and Roman architectural practice on European urban design, to ponder  the power of hegemonic places and to begin to formulate further ideas about created heterotopic spaces. I am quite lazy about following up on even my most important ideas and although my blog intro states that my work 'engages...

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