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Richard Downes - disability arts online
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I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Signs: Truth

20 March 2016

Blog

The sun goes down in the west I walk towards it The sun shines long on the Debden I walk along it The sun goes down darkness in time I walk amongst it The sun has gone It was 2014. There is a river walk in suffolk I like to do. Not too long, not so hard. There is a good time to do it. Late or early when the sun is low and the tide is likewise. Little riverlets form strange shapes in the mud. I love to photo into the sun. I like it because it works well. I like it because they say don't do...

Comments: 1

Signs: Inducement

28 March 2016

Blog

Beneath a Waterloo arch I spied an empty Billboard. Fill it with your own message. A sign for your own making. The sign is bordered by bright lights. I couldn't get far enough away from it to get the vertical lights in. If i did the words Prime Sight would have been clearer. The sign backs onto a wall. Invention, building, design. Is it a contradiction of capitalism that even where there is no capitalism that capitalism is every where; not just elsewhere. My signs read; 'My life is the...

Comments: 1

Signs: Sold

30 March 2016

Blog

If we could sell our day what would we be bid who would want to buy we who were always sold who would profit from our debiit what would be our lot who would take our benefit Found this new sign today a short distance form the Swale. It amused me. Today is what I have. Today is what i've done. All the thoughts thought during the hours. Experiences. Sights, Sounds, Dreams, Emotions. I took a whole tranche of photos of the Short Brothers creators of amazing flying machines. Close. Together....

Comments: 1

The Green Man Walks

8 April 2016

Blog

The Green Man steps out. Ginger. Late for the Vernal, early for May the red orange Beltane fire. Vapid grey skies pierced by blue Cannot deny the yellow hue of the daffodil, the snow of the drop nor the vivid darkness of the bell. The ginger man steps out. Green The rain, the cold, the winter shroud of hearth, quilt and blanket kept him home but not alone And the black tar, scarred and shadowed pleurositic lung raps at a lack of confidence Keeping the green man; ginger This green man went for a...

Comments: 0

Signs: Read Em, Write Em, Weep and Vomit

15 April 2016

Blog

Sitting on a train from Harpenden to Kentish Town I see a blue panel with 5 characters on it. A wheelchair user, a woman, a man, a baby and a carer. I think that's the correct order. So i start telling their stories in my head. Photograph the panel as I'm leaving and cut and paste it here. My stories feel true today. Austerity claws on and attitudes stink - worse than you think. So here in reply are my two profound moments Scenario 1. Baby comes into the world, grows up to be a man,...

Comments: 0

Signs: Float On

25 April 2016

Blog

Why for the choice to live in bubble floating high in Dreamland encapsulated, ensconced and apathetic untouched, unloved, unwanted unengaged but separate and untroubled too cut off from pain and hurt refusal and rejection Why for the choice to live in bubble when bubbles burst and lose their life as soon as contact with earth is made Why for the choice to live in bubble and not to raise the stick or roll forward to prick and break free of depressive thought numbed by convention bricked off by...

Comments: 0

Signs: Shrinkage

1 May 2016

Blog

The Old Garden is fixed in my mind forever. There is no getting away from the system. Out there its inside too - internalised. The work house is industrial red brick; portioned out in millions with millions separated by cement but morticed tight together as if a full soul lock in of lost, forgotten names.   Though we spent our lives together behind the walls we never learned each other's names. In fact the number ruled.  I was 21 as I've said before. 21 cotton stuck to...

Comments: 0

Impairment Haiku

9 May 2016

Blog

Chest cooed like a dove A Cardio-vascular Expression of love Walking up a hill, feeling weary, I thought my chest had started up again. But no it was a dove. Or a pigeon. Probably a pigeon actually given their current predominence but I thought it was a dove. So, the words were basically there; a given. I wrote it down on an envelop somewhere. It was on the table. Then it wasn't on the table. Now its not on the table. Probably in a cupboard somewhere. The cupboard is still there. So is the...

Comments: 0

Signs: Discrepancy

22 May 2016

Blog

Standing by your locked gate My inner core is iron My outer shell is tin Hit me with a hammer To let my past times in I turn to drink As I try zinc To get my red corpuscles moving For being here Beside you As left me totally still I return to the institution. It's different. Still for kids. Kids lost in activity. It feels right and pleases me as much as anything ever will. The gate is iron. Visitors press 0 for reception. Code words are not needed, no special numbers, no secret signs. Just...

Comments: 0

Signs: Juxtaposition

29 May 2016

Blog

We the people of Gritsalt
Are free to stand
On little yellow boxes
And exclaim
About the shame
For we have grit
And we have salt
And we will cut
And we will sear
With little fear
For we are the people of Gritsalt

Comments: 0

A Day For The Lords

17 January 2012

Blog

black and white photo from the action of a protestor behind a placard which reads 'Stop Welfare Reform Bill. Zacchaeus 2000 single mothers self defence'

I'm unqualified to talk Welfare Reform. I know the government takes steps to hurt us because we are in this crying game together. I'm unqualified to comment on the Lords. I believe they place safeguards on bad legislation, taking action to stop the government hurting the people it serves. So, i find myself on the streets, aiming my gaze at the Lords, psyching them into supporting us. I'm concerned about the turn out. What activism is this? Why do so few people in our movement turn up to help...

Comments: 12

What could the Southbank's 'Festival Of the World' be to me and you and us and them?

6 June 2012

Blog

photo of an installation as part of Southbank Centre's Festival of the World. The installation consists of a series of extra large alphabet cubes.

I am here. You are there. Different, diverse, separate, apart. Can I share your world? Can you get into mine? I cannot speak for you. Except for those things we share. I cannot tell you what unless, in making this approach, I give you clues about what things I have myself. Clues. Games. Treasure Hunts. Learning. Sometimes in leaving my world I find other worlds I think I could make my world if I would give it a try. Snowdon. I look at the mountain range through a camera lens. I see it change...

Comments: 4

Cutting up the Lucinda Williams Experience

14 November 2012

Blog

Lucinda Williams performed old songs, new songs, covers, her songs, herstory at the London Jazz Festival in the Royal Festival Hall on 11 November Take the image, steal the vocal, remove the backing band. All that is left are the songs and moments captured from the lives they reflect on. It is the easiest thing to tell you how much the words of Lucinda Williams mean to me, how real they seem, but that just leaves hagiography. So take the lines that spoke loudest to me - the ones that crashed...

Comments: 1

On folkie Spiers & Boden’s and their current Back Yard Tour.

29 May 2013

Blog

I am interested in community gigs and caught up with Spiers & Boden in my own back yard at Cecil Sharpe House in Camden Town - hoping to learn about making connections. 

Spiers and Boden, long established folk duo, founder members of great festival band Bellowhead, are in town. They will play twice today in the same but changing venue of Cecil Sharp House – the home of English folk music. First a ceilidh. Then a concert.
 
The floor is cleared for the dancers. These people...

Comments: 0

Rock God, Pop Star and the ideal gift for Christmas

9 December 2013

Blog

I attended a book launch for the first time last night. Bob Stanley of St Etienne, and regular music columnist in the nationals, has just had ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Modern Story of Pop’, published. I went for a number of reasons. The launch was local, at Fab Records, Bob is a neighbour, I’m reading the book and its great, but mostly because one day we stopped in the drive way and had a chat about the communication difficulties we share. So, I wanted to support him and I...

Comments: 0