In January I attended the Creative Connections Arts and Disability Conference in Galway. The event, organised by Art and Disability Ireland, involved presentations panel discussions, performances and top class international speakers. Travelling to the venue and surviving a two day conference with my chronic pain/ fatigue/ anxiety combo was a big concern but when I heard that Jess Thom was going to be one of the speakers that sealed the deal…I was going. I had seen the live performance of...
In early 2013 I received a grant to buy an Ipad. Since then my Ipad goes everywhere with me from bed to sofa to hospital waiting rooms as I document my adventures, real and imaginary, at these exciting locations.
Going all the way to Galway Bay
Letting in the light.
Letting in the light. I am well chuffed that my piece Bats in the Belfry was selected for the Letting in the Light Exhibition now showing in Stratford, London. Bobby Baker's Daily Life Ltd has teamed up with Outside In and Bethlem Gallery to showcase work by 35 artists with personal experience of mental health issues. I love that the exhibition took its name from the Groucho Marks great line: Blessed is the cracked, for they shall let in the light. The video below was made by my...
The worry box.
Earlier this year I attended a group CBT course for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Years of chronic pain and the associated depression and fatigue has taken its toll and I am now what my older neighbours might call 'Bad with the Nerves'. That description, old fashioned as it, pretty much nails it. Keeping on top of it is a work in progress. One of the techniques we used on the course is 'Worry Time' where you sit for 15 minutes every day, write down all your worries and...
Waiting Area 6.
Since joining the ranks of the chronically ill I have spent way to much of my time waiting. Waiting for appointments, waiting for test results, waiting for treatments to take effect, or not, as the case might be. The main waiting I do is in the waiting rooms of the various hospitals and health centres my bits and pieces, from my brain to my belly, my arse to my elbow are being treated in. One bit improves for a while just as another bit starts going on the blink....at this stage its a...
Chronic invisibility space.
I have been thinking a lot about the standard wheelchair disability symbol lately and how there is still no equivalent for people like myself who have a invisible disability. There are lots of jokey tee shirt and badge slogans but nothing that has the universality and gravitas of the wheelchair symbol. I have taken to standing in disability parking spaces on my occasional trips out to see if I get inspired to create a symbol that represents me.......knackered, in pain, terminally bewildered and...
I have been sidetracked from my blog this last few months as a result of getting involved in the Vote Yes For Equality campaign in the Referendum on Same Sex Marriage in Ireland. I made some work around the issue which I posted online.... it's the best I could do as a militant armchair activist. Being part of a winning vote in Ireland is a new and wonderful experience for me.... a sensation so strange that it may take some time to get used to. All manner of nonsense and sour grapes continue...
Give us this day our daily meds.
Specimens on the road to nowhere.
I am making an inventory of all the dust gatherers in my studio which, like myself, are on the road to nowhere but just cant be thrown out.
I just keep moving them round, from shelf to table and then back to shelf again... not so much work in progress, more rearranging the chairs on the Titanic as the ship goes down.
The brain that wouldn't die.
New Years day pain relief.
Happy to be even half right for Christmas.
Reasons to be cheerful.
My niece sent me this comprehensive list of conditions that would be reasons for admission to a Lunatic Asylum in the late 19th Century. She thought of me when she saw it.....I know I am inclined to have dissipation of the nerves, uterine derangement, brain fever, time of life, women's trouble, occasional gathering in the head and feebleness of mind and much more but I have never been a decoy in the army, shot my daughter or been kicked in the head by a horse.....yet....
The last of the Judson's gold.
I think I just bought the last 5 boxes of Judsons Gold paint in the whole of Ireland. I have been using Judsons gold since forever as a cheap substitute for gold leaf. It seems while I was dozing it went out of production. After much searching online and in art shops I discovered these 5 boxes gathering dust in good old fashioned country hardware store. The precious: it's little things like this that brighten my day. ...
Of all the things I've lost, its my smile I miss the most.
Jane Mccormick Not half right. Face book page.
I have taken the plunge and lost a few brain cells setting up a Facebook page for my work called Jane Mccormick Not half right. Hope to share lots of information about disability arts when I get up and running. If anyone has got any helpful tips or advice about managing a page just for my own work please let me know and maybe more importantly any pitfalls I can avoid also. Input from DAO artists and other visitors to DAO with Facebook pages much appreciated. Attached link...
Pussy Riot dreams.
Jenny Murray interviewed 2 members of Pussy Riot on woman's hour this morning. If you didn't catch it you can listen to it on BBC Radio 4's playback from this link. Absolutely amazing women to have lived through the brutality of Russia's Justice system (or lack therein) and still will not be silenced. My protesting days may be over but I can still dream. ...
Reliquary. Artist book in a box.
Too sick to come out to play today.
Life is a cabaret
For some bizarre reason when I am sick in bed my brain tends to throw up jolly 'look on the bright side' soundtracks from from movies like Cabaret, Song of the south, and even, god help us, Mary Poppins. The worse the pain the more persistent the 'cheer up and be brave in the face of adversity' the song. A spoonful of sugar does not help my medicine go down. Not now, not ever. Let me make this clear, these songs arriving uninvited on my internal iPod do not cheer me up....
Look what came in the post today
Having a bed day today and was a more than a bit miserable and then this came in the post.....what a wonderful surprise. A Liam Gallagher is not my grandad badge and a bonus profile image of Her Very Very Highness herself. Cheered me up no end. I had forgotten all about my meagre contribution to Scottees Liam Gallagher is my grandad Fund it project back in May. He was planning to turn his grandad into a contemporary artist. I can't find anything about the project online... does anyone...
Desperate times, desperate measures.
I made this image on a trip to Saint Dympna's well not far from where I live in Count Cavan. The well is said to have cure 'nervous afflictions and mental illness' so my husband drove me there to take the waters on one particularly bad day in August past. The shrine is in a beautiful glade that looks like a deserted Hobbit village. Along side the well is a shrine to Saint Dympna, patron saint of nervous afflictions, and the ruins of a ancient church. We had to get permission to...