My mind is sunshine distilled through a bed of nails, shining but hard to hold, especially also when the skin feels like shifting sands, and the soul and its perceptions seem like a mirage.
What is grounding me and connecting me to the world are lots of artistic projects. There is a new one on the horizon: I will be part of a project, still in its infancy, that hopes to explore unusual mental states and film, which will be launched in March 2013 at the Barbican, where one of my films will be shown.
But the thing at the moment that is stroking and calming my amphetamised wings is making this film of Portugal Prints for Diverse Perspectives, commissioned by DAO and the Royal Academy.
When I researched the film, I went to visit Portugal Prints at one of their bases in Soho. The first thing that hits you is the warmth of the place, you are instantly accepted as family. So I decided to make a film exploring the heart of Portugal Prints. I am very near the end of making the film, just two more days of filming next week. I have already filmed their haiku event at the Tate Modern; I have interviewed Kate Horbury, the ex-access officer of the Royal Academy, about her love affair with Portugal Prints; and I have filmed a linocut printing workshop at the Royal Academy, run by the artist Phil Baird and the amazingly named Becky Jelly, which was attended by Portugal Print members who created some beautiful stuff.
The crux of the film though will be the filming next week, where I will film at the Soho base and interview members about art, mental health, and the heart, which for so many has been told to shrink, but where at Portugal Prints, you see the greenhouse of hearts grow.
On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event.
This is what they say of their event:
The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th October 2012 between 1.00pm and 5.30pm we will be holding a public event at Tate Modern where people can participate in writing their own verse (there will be a selection of beautiful handmade papers to choose from) are creating your own images, which will then be strung to an installation along with some of the best Tweets. There is already media interest in the event so anyone who is intending to join us who maybe photophobic should wear their ‘Free Pussy Riot’ balaclavas.
If you can't attend this free event, you can twitter your haikus to @Haiku_2012
This is my haiku, inspired by the upcoming event:
On Mental Health Day
I capture the poetry
Of Portugal Prints
I will be exhibiting at the Within Without You Exhibition, as part of the the Bath Fringe Festival. The exhibition was the brainchild of Brian Robert Gibson, whom I met at some Outsider In training, and with some other artists who are part of Outsider In www.outsidein.org.uk/, plus a few from further afield, this exhibiton and blog came about to explore what it is to be an outsider.
As Brian says himself, this event is 'a space to explore where we are placed and where we place ourselves within any given spectrum.'
The exhibition with be at: The Pet Store, 7 Upper Borough Walls, Bath, Avon BA1 1QR
25th May-10th June 2012 - 10am-6pm
Private View: Fri 25th May 6-9pm
The blog for the event, which showcases art and words from the outsider artists themselves, is at withinwithoutyou.info/
Here is an example of one of my poems from the blog:
You say my sun shines too bright,
but if you have had the dark clouds I’ve had,
you could give nothing less.
Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others.
But with it, I can just about see where I am going.
You can turn off the light if you want, you have the power.
You can give me back the dark room.
But once in there, you ask me to leave that too.
1000 watt or nothingness is me, I guess.
You can force the 50 watt on me, but it doesn’t fit the slot.
I have tried pushing it in; my soul is torn to prove it.
Until you change your light into one that fits,
one that shines and doesn’t laugh at dreams,
let me shine my way, until I can see where I am going,
and the sun can rest behind the trees.