In Honour of Slow ( a quiet protest)

Patreon Page Facelift

I’m Creatrix: she who makes.

”The speed at which we do something – anything – changes our experience of it.”
The Tyranny of Email, John Freeman

Over the last few years, I’m been practicing ::SLOW:: within my creative work, homelife, movements, relationships, thoughts and feelings. I’ve been turning away from the speed of 21st century society and the urgency of others to embrace my own pace.

This pace is ::SLOW:: which is not laziness or tardiness but is all about embracing balance, calm and sinking deeper into the creative process.

When we slow down and get off the carousel of productivity, perfection and quantity there is #radicaljoy to be experienced. There is a less is more mindset. There are richer moments of attention and awareness and connection. There is quality over quantity.

I’m Creatrix: she who makes with her hands, heart and soul.

My practice manifests through poetry, storytelling, image, walking, zine-making, mending and stitching, and the unfolding histories of black people. I engage audiences around black women’s voices and bodies, black feminism, ecology, trauma and memory, nature and connection, anti-racism, healing and joy.

I’m working within the system to challenge White Supremacy Culture and all it’s many guises. Dismantle and destroy. ::SLOW:: by it’s very nature is a quiet protest against this system of brainwashing and oppression and destruction.
At the same time, I’m re-centre-ing myself and creating outside the system. I’m exploring my own ways of working with me at the centre. Not marginalised and never minoritised. Doing my own thing on my own terms. I’m becoming whole through taking back my power and refusing to jump to other peoples demands, expectations and perceptions.

The underlining principle of this revolution is the practice of ::SLOW::

The ‘Slow Movement’ leans into the pleasures that are to be enjoyed by slowing down the process of everything. This connects me to my true nature as well as nature herself along with sustainability, simplicity, reflection and my rich multicultural ancestral traditions, rituals and practices.
Slowing the pace of how I live my life and create my life in the process is taking/ making a deliberate decision to do so. It’s a philosophy which embraces the local and seasonal rhythms and leaves room for and values thinking and feeling time. As well as REST.

::SLOW:: celebrates the process of bringing about work which has reflection at it’s heart and the time it takes to develop and nurture the necessary skills to create. There is being present throughout the journey and recognition of the becoming all along the path.

Funds from Patreon will go toward supporting – this quiet revolution of the practice of ::SLOW::

Your support is helping me to stick two figures up at the establishment, stating that there is another way of being.
We’ve all experienced it during the last two years of a global pandemic.

It has been shown that capitalism can be brought to a standstill and life can be lived at a slower pace. That we can connect with ourselves, each other and nature on a deeper level. Why can’t this be the ‘new normal’ instead of reverting back to the old ways of working and producing and exploiting?
Your support will help me to continue to embrace the practice of ::SLOW:: as I bring into the world my creations through word, text, fabric, film, audio and movement.

What you get for supporting this quiet revolution is a shining example of someone who is working on her own terms to bring about changes within herself and everyone else she serves and touches.

You get to share in the musings, and happenings, the breakthroughs and the heartbreak. I’ll be sharing my creations and developments here along with the resources and readings I’ll be exploring to lean into the practice of ::SLOW::

I hope with that you are inspired to take a stand against White Supremacy Culture in your own small and slow ways. As you have the power, we all have the power in our own way, to make a difference, to bring about changes in our lives and the lives of others.
And it starts with ourselves, with who we choose be, as we all have a choice.

I’m here now, sharing who I be with you.
Thank you for being here.

“The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word: balance […] Seek to live at what the musicians call the tempo guisto – the right speed […] Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.” In Praise of Slow, Carl Honoré

Storm Coming

Storm Coming by Paula Dunn

After Paula Dunn

based on the weather
handing over a landscape like a veil,

a limited palette
to keep things simple

but storm coming on, clouds layered,
winds textured

and dark low lying land brushmarked
and glazed for atmosphere

the yellows, oranges and browns brood
within depths of time and place

searching for a flick of white
to rest and breathe

Old Memories/ New Strategy

Old Boat/ New Money by Lubaina Himid

After Lubaina Himid

Worn timber, cowrie shells,
currency and shoreline,
you sound like waves
and the creaking hull of death.

I try to imagine, she said, what it would be like to be taken from all that I knew, moving in a stinking wooden vessel over something I knew not what to call but it swallows our bodies whole. See sea, sea see. Propped against a white wall to suggest a wave in motion, the angle of pleasure, as I witness it, from the other side, here and now, I rumble with displaced memories. Memories that traumatise but hold onto me like seeds buried within my hair, bearing into my flesh.

Colour is Mine

Van Gogh, 1959 by Althea McNish

After Althea McNish

Sunflowers

big and bold

inspired by Van Gogh’s

brandished

across a

yellow and white

striped field

black lines

outline floppy leaves

and dozing closed heads

bright colour carried to

this grey isle

not a luxury but a necessity

for survival

for blooming

another time

uprooted

sunflowers

National Poetry Month 2022

It’s April!

Happy Poetry Month.

I know March was all about me diving deep into The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022 Project.

But now it’s April, I’m going to focus on my poetry writing.

April has traditionally seen me taking up the the NaPoWriMo – 30-poems-in-30-days challenge. So why change something if it isn’t broken.

Of course you’ll still be able to get your seas fix on the blog for the rest of 2022. But now I must turn my hand to poetry.

These last few days of March saw me take a much anticipated trip to London. It’s been a time filled with walking and creativity, taking in exhibitions and musicals and nature.

I plan to start off the poem a day practice with a review of the images I’ve taken of the artworks I’ve visited since down in London. So ekphrasis poetry is the order of the month.

Ekphrasis is a device used in poetry or even a type of poetry which takes a piece of artwork as it’s starting point. It involves a detailed description of the work of visual art as inspiration and then who knows where the inspiration will take the writer. But the piece of art was the seed and that recognition is credited usually with the phrase ‘ After such and such.’

I start today and I hope you will join the journey.

The Healing Properties Of The Seas, 2022


The new creative project which has been knocking around for a while now is exploring my love of the sea. The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022.

I’ve been living with this project for about five years now; whenever I’m near the sea, or any body of water, taking a moment to breathe it in and then capturing 10 seconds of it.

I’m not even sure where the idea came from or why 10 seconds. But I know I have thousands of these little films.

To go through them all and post them online seemed a daunting task. But I know how much joy being with the sea brings me and I’m always trying to find ways to share this joy.

So to make it happen, to make this project happen, I’ve taken 2022 as my year to share, The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022.

The task is simple. Share 10 second videos I create in 2022 of bodies of water I see, visit, get close to, get into.

You’ll find some clips in blog posts but hopefully all of them in the portfolio. Enjoy.

Cullercoats Bay, 01 March, 2022, 14.49


Dry January – Coming Late to the Party

If you receive our Studio Notes, then you would have read that the beginning of 2021 did not go as planned. Miss Ella got sick, real sick, having to go into hospital for a few weeks to recover from an infection. We didn’t know what was happening and it was worrying.

At the same time, our local hospital trusts brought in stricter restrictions in terms of visitors to hospital. They brought in the rule of one parent per child, 24/7. So swapping out of parents to give some respite and relief. No sharing the load.

It made sense that Miss Ella’s dad stayed in hospital with her as then I’d be available to run around, bringing in food and changes of clothes, as I drive while Miss Ella’s dad doesn’t.

Not being able to see her, cuddle her and tell her everything was going to be alright was so frustrating and painful. For a few weeks there I was self medicating with wine and binge eating crap just to numb the pain and worry. For a few blissful hours each night, I could switch off and forget everything. But the worry and fears were still there to face me the next day.

We’d decided that when Miss Ella was discharged from hospital she’d come stay with me to recover. I hadn’t been with her for so long and it also gave her dad a break after his hospital stay. I needed to be there for her, be switched on and watched her like her hawk. Therefore, alcohol was out of the question.

I’m so pleased that I’d made this decision because within 24 hours of being out of hospital, I had to rush Miss Ella back in with the same symptoms as before. This time, I was the parent to stay in hospital for a few days while they worked out what was wrong and treat Miss Ella again.

By the time we got home again out of hospital, I was 5 days into not drinking. And even though we’d been on another rollercoaster of a ride and alcohol was offered as a means of unwinding and forgetting the recent health scares, I abstained. Again I wanted to be alert and on standby just in case of another emergency with Miss Ella.

So that’s the long story. The short story is Dry January is happening and it wasn’t on my radar. And I’m not really following it as I’ve said, I’ve been drinking this month. But today, I’m 8 days dry.

Sobriety is something I tried last January and completed the month. This year, I’m planning on going beyond the month.

I think my drinking became an issue for me in terms of my behaviours and actions and go-to during 2020 lockdown, marriage breakdown, separation and new home period of my life. It became easy to reach for the wine bottle and forget my worries and concerns. But I just can’t accept the excuses any more. It’s not really worth it as our recent health scares and hospital stays have illustrated.

Throughout, 2022, I intend to share my journey with sobriety here as I realise writing about my struggles is part of the cure. I

have a choice and I chose me, authentic me.

Word of the Year 2022 – OPEN

Every year for the past 6 or 7 years, I’m chosen a word to guide me through the year. A word that I can use almost as a beacon to lead me through the year ahead with purpose, focus and grace.

2021 saw we embracing the practice of ::SLOW:: after 2020 and pandemic forcing everyone to slow down. Once things started to open up again, to some degrees, I didn’t want to give up the space and creativity and peace I’d found in moving and being at a slower pace. So I purposely leant into slow in 2021, and it saw me well.

Each guiding word is not discarded at the end of each year but through practice they become incorporated, embedded really into my way of being moving forward. So 2022, will see me continue to practice ::SLOW:: because I have learned so much about myself and others through it’s adoption. It has changed the way I operate in this world and for the better.

So considering this, the natural progression for me, building on 2021, is to adopt {BE} OPEN as my word of 2022.

For me OPEN means being open to opportunities, vulnerabilities and ideas.

Using OPEN with {BE} is a reminder to go gently and with grace. Using {} around the word ‘be’ is giving me, my state of being a virtual hug. I’m hugging myself through this process of opening up more to opportunities, vulnerabilities and ideas.

{BE} is offering love to myself. {BE} OPEN is offering action to open, even though I know ‘being’ has nothing to do with ‘doing’. Being is just being, just being me. No need to produce or shine. Just be simply open to what is there right in front of me.

{BE} OPEN to opportunities is not to shut down straight away but to move out of my comfort zone if something is offered to me as a possibility.

{BE} OPEN to vulnerabilities is being more of an open book. Showing up more and more authentically me and not being afraid of sharing my emotions, feelings and thoughts. Having my honest heart on display and giving and accepting LOVE.

{BE} OPEN to ideas is continuing to be the life-long learner I’m accepted myself to be and to continue to play and experiment within my own practice. To remain open to new adventures and explorations and not be afraid to take leaps, even when I’m getting older and maybe stuck in my ways.

With 2022, I’m practicing how to keep an open mind, heart and soul to whatever comes next. Viewing being and developing myself not as a chore or battle but as a blessing.

Rest and Creativity

After a really busy November, I was looking forward to a quiet December. It has been a slower pace to last month, but there has still been deadlines and events that I’ve needed to prepare for and attend and reflect on.

So past mid-December already, and I just feel as if I can slow down again now. But I say this but I must have been resting in some kind of way because I went back to my art journaling practice yesterday.

My art journal practice is different to my visual journaling practice only in the fact that I use fewer words and these Black women always seem to show up in the midst of the page somehow.

Here we have another one, who showed up yesterday out of the darkness that was developing on the page. And isn’t she delightful. She’s got a twinkle in her eye and a wish in her heart.

To be in the studio yesterday, playing on the page, I even completing a handmade zine which will be on display in the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, was a joy and much needed. As it signalled to me that I’m back to listening within. That I’m back to creating for me and just for the hell of it. That I’m coming home.

Thank you, Sheree. Now continue to rest. And create.