I’m in North Wales. On a swimming residency. The heat and crowds have been killing me though.
Planning to keep cool with water. Inside and out. But the scenery here is amazing. There’s an ancient vibe to the place. I really get the felling that these mountains have been here for centuries and will be here long after I’ve gone.
There’s a timelessness about mountains which force me to step off the busyness and into the calm and collected stance of stillness.
Just like a mountain. Over the next few weeks, as we ease into the summer holidays, I’ll be here in fits and starts. Not putting any pressure on myself to produce as I’m tired.
I’m tired and need to fall back in love with creativity. And I also need something to say. So enjoy the summer and maybe see you back here. But if not over the summer, see you in Autumn.
It gives me great pleasure to share a virtual exhibition which I’m part of.
Running from May until August 2022, you have the opportunity to visit a virtual exhibition to coincide with the TUC Black Workers’ Conference, 2022.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the beginning of this exhibition which came out from one of the recommendations of the TUC Stephen Lawrence Task Group, the exhibition aims to provide an opportunity for Black, Asian and ethnic artists with a focus on young people, who are marginalised and face discrimination in the arts and culture sector, to showcase their work.
For years, I’m been meaning to submit my work for consideration, however due to other commitments, or not even having the finances in order to ship/ take my artwork down to Marble Hall of TUC Headquarters, London, I’ve never completed the application process.
However, with the pandemic offering a different way of working and exhibiting artwork, this year, due to an extended deadline, I was able to find the time and space to submit something.
The theme for this year’s exhibition is Collective Action for Race Equality. The inspiration for the theme comes from the horrific impacts of racism we face today globally from climate injustice to the disproportionate impact of contracting and dying from coronavirus.
I submitted photography that I felt reflected my connection with nature as well as the work I carry out with Earth Sea Love; to offer opportunity for developing a deeper connection with nature for People of the Global Majority (PGM). I took Community/ Collective Healing as my focus and hope my images offer moments of tranquility and healing, grace and hope.
Yesterday, she went down to the bay and had it all to herself. Taking off her shoes, she sunk her toes into the cold damp sand. What will the sea feel like? she thought.
She undressed before she could register the wind-chill. She ran into the blue.
The water, wind-ruffled, greeted her body with short sharp bites. Her skin turned red and goosebumped. One Mississippi, two Mississippi. She screamed out loud nudging herself to stay within the cold embrace for longer.
Her breaths were shallow as she ducked her whole body under water. She came up, gasped for air, water trickling from her head back to the source, dripping over her wide toothed smile.
fly upon the wind white-grey gull of Spring take space expand your great wings
A poem can start with the sound of water falling onto my body. Allow it’s curious wet teeth to sink into my flesh, to pull out chucks of questions to fuel a conversations with myself, later.
The ability to be present was a luxury my mother never had as she worked 3 jobs with her hand down toilets and fixed smile for the men with keys and brutal laughs.
I claim the ability to be present. To allow my yearning for a past to awaken a future I will imagine, as I salver my arms and legs and belly, housing a familiar homesickness I’m not sure where from, with coconut oil.
Turning cold hard oil, soft and warm against my skin, I reconstruct fragments of history, lost in colluded archives, and turn them into bleeding scars and pickled memories of somethings rather than nothings.
When I’m ready to forgive and understand, I’ll conjure Dad back from the dead, sit him down, and ask why he never ever mentioned love, in all his administering of disciplined care.
Dressed, hair twisted and walking across green fields, and under cherry blossom, I swallow doubts to turn a phase over and over against the roof of my mouth, rewriting with each footstep. Slide stepping cliches, kicking around experimental metaphors.
Or the poem could hit me full force when I walk into the coffee shop. Glasses steamed, journal in hand, eyes on drinks board, but already knowing my order by heart, the table I’ll take – number 13, my lucky number.
Acting like the fugitive from my life, here, I steal time to soften my gaze and repurpose the image of the sea into an open window that will startle you, dear reader, into a new perspective, into a new way of holding your mind and your heart towards yourself.