Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Recovery Space

This week, Carers UK are campaigning for Recovery Space - to highlight the financial impact of caring for someone with an illness or disability.

Most carers comment that we would prefer to be paid - many cite the living wage, in my case, it should still be a 30 - 40k salary.

Many arts organisations should be doing more to safeguard artists against the abuse we're left to suffer.

Monday, 15 January 2018


New Years Day meal
Here you can see how I cleared away all work and set the table for our New Years' Day meal, with food bought from supermarkets, not from a food bank, champagne, fresh flowers, and candles. 
This is my lifestyle choice.
I'm a bit of an old romantic, bohemian, but not a freeloader.

Last week's Carer's Meeting after the New Year focussed on safeguarding.

Here's a really good blog about how artists can safeguard against exploitation within the arts.

My sister got me a Sketch-A-Day sketchbook, but how on earth do I draw every day whilst on too low an income for my role as a carer?
Realistically, it's financially unviable without a regular wage.
I've started to illustrate what MY lifestyle choice would be. A keyring given as a present from one of my trainees acts as a metaphor - a glass slipper - Chromeo wore orange stilettos in their video, so do they fit this shoe?
I ended up colouring in this hand with a highlighter pen.
My dream house
In my carer's assessment, I was told that this house is adequate for our needs. But it isn't. We need a spare bedroom for family to stay when visiting, so they can help us out more often. My depressed son isn't able to go and visit them, as his anxiety makes travel impossible considering I don't drive. 
If I look at most houses to rent, the sort of house that would be adequate is above the LHA rate for Housing Benefit, so I would require a good salary for part time work to be able to afford it. So I decided to speculate - if I wasn't subject to the constant financial abuse of the welfare system and the arts world, what would be my ideal home?

I'm thinking about lifestyle choice here. The house I currently rent was the last place I could've chosen before we would've become homeless due to a previous rogue landlord. It isn't ideal. And our circumstances have declined since we moved here. 
So I broadened my search to look for 4 bedroom houses for sale in Lincoln.
As it isn't my lifestyle choice to rent privately - if I had a choice, I would be earning a salary as an artist and I would be able to afford to buy my own house.
With a separate studio space, a contemporary kitchen and bathroom, not one that hasn't been replaced since the 80s.

It's good news that Labour have finally upheld renter's rights to protection from rogue landlords, but that's just the start of the end to the constant financial neglect and no wage / low wage economy.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Carer's Rights Day

Carer's Rights Day event at Lincoln Golf Centre - apparently we have rights, I have yet to discover any more about them.

How cute. Unfortunately, this value is apparently available as slavery, in unpaid labour, for some inexplicable reason, set at £62.70 per week

That's if you're "eligible", which I'm not.


The energy bill keeps changing. I can't cope with it. It's affecting my mental health, as I no longer believe any of the suppliers are telling the truth any more. With respect of price increases. I think I'm paying for usage, then they arbitrarily increase the price. My income is not increasing to reflect the increase.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Turner Prize


Fancy Footwork custom converse #womanspreading at Feren's Art Gallery in the Turner Prize exhibition.


I really wish Ferens Gallery staff were paid, instead of working for free as "volunteers". They were very friendly, and full of recommendations, advice etc, but I didn't feel compelled to go and see everything, and it's because I know they're not paid, and are part of the slave economy exploited by the creative industries.

Unpaid work.

My favourite to win the Turner Prize

Article 27 of the Human Rights Act

Lubaina Himid's work, formerly seen at Nottingham Contemporary

Absolutely no irony here - artists are now the slaves.

The audience is also a slave. 

"Comment is free" - although it isn't if you're an artist.

The slavery of looking at an image of Thatcher - this is costing me £322.39 in cuts.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

BBC 6 Music #ArtIsEverywhere - except in Grantium applications of course, and Universal Credit.

This week, I won a ticket to attend BBC6music's #ArtIsEverywhere Breakfast Show recording with Mary Anne Hobbs live at Feren's Art Gallery in Hull.
So amid organising things for Birds Yard for the Christmas Market (see Illustration blog), I frantically booked a train ticket and a last minute hotel, and headed the long way round the Humber to go.
(Of course, if I were paid properly, I could afford to run a car, it would be an hour's drive across the Humber bridge).

Arriving in Hull, UK City Of Culture
It was an early start after a sleepless night, up before 7.00a.m. to arrive at Feren's Art Gallery, where this year's Turner Prize nominees are exhibiting work in anticipation of the award. I've never actually been to the Turner Prize exhibition before, it's a wonder if I catch it on TV, so it was a good excuse to go and visit.

Gold signs are all the rage, apparently.

This breakfast was not free, it was £1 for some #juice

I got the Juice! #Chromeo

My Turner Prize entry.

Maryanne Hobbs doing her live radio broadcast

Maryanne Hobbs with artist Sam

Maryanne Hobbs interviewing Dominic Wilcox

The Feren's Art Gallery team provided us with some materials - a piece of paper and some charcoal, although there was a shortage, so the audience were asked to break it in half to share around.
Banana Legs
My live drawing of Dominic Wilcox - he got up just as I was about to draw his legs, so he got banana legs instead, unfortunately. I'm sure he could invent a way of walking with them!

Maryanne Hobbs tweeting and interviewing Nick from Blast Theory
Here is Maryanne Hobbs interviewing Nick from Blast Theory, whose work I haven't had the luxury of seeing in Hull, as I've been busy doing non-art things, such as attending Carer's Rights Day and earning money in non-art jobs where I'm not allowed to take photos or anything creative.
I remember meeting Nick when Blast Theory had their Frequency Festival piece in Lincoln, before I realised that Frequency Festival is a total failure for artists here in Lincoln.

charcoal, not all that good for drawing faces!

Just did this to see what it looked like!

At the coal face, I should be on strike #JeremyDeller

When all the poor artists have been eradicated by austerity, most probably.

That's Nick from Blast Theory and Jason Bruges, both male digital artists.
Women digital artists are priced out of even contemplating doing any work nowadays, by funding organisations that reject proposals, and failure of things like Frequency Festival. Those that do, are often just doing it for free, or worse, paying to do it.

A discussion with David Bowie's photographer. Again, he said that he got to work with David because he was a bit cheeky and asked. Easy to do if you're a healthy white male with no caring responsibilities at all, and you get paid to do it. Not so easy if no one wants to pay you, and Universal Credit.

You can't see him, he is hiding behind Maryanne Hobbs!

There he is!

Philip Selway of Radiohead about to perform some live music

A girl drawing a unicorn

Nick Tandavanitj and Dominic Wilcox
Nick Tandavanitj from Blast Theory and Dominic Wilcox plotting world domination or something. I'm just behind them, but with no funding.

Perhaps they should get together and sort out the Grantium application so that I can get funding.

A live doodle of Philip Selway performing music for BBC 6 music breakfast #ArtIsEverywhere

Selfie with Maryanne Hobbs :-)

Radiohead's keyboard #TheFunkLady
How I left without stroking Radiohead's keyboard is a mystery - mainly that I hadn't really had any breakfast, and needed to go and get some food!