Monday, 30 November 2015

Cyber Monday / Financial Abuse

Today is Cyber Monday. Today, like Friday, in theory I could get a very good deal on a new iMac, but I can't. 
This is because since 2013 I have unwillingly become an unpaid carer for my son, who is suffering from depression.
This is the other reason why I refuse to work for free, and why people working in the arts that do want me to work for free go off to whisper about their unpaid "opportunities" in a corner, and now know that if they even try as much as to paint a clown smile on their "opportunity", they know I can see right through it.

I can't even contemplate purchasing a new iMac, as we're currently awaiting a reconsideration of my son's ESA assessment.

Employment And Support Allowance is meant to be available to help people that can't work. My son can't work. He has a doctor's note to prove this. Yet we were "advised" to apply for JSA.
The letter refusing his ESA payments is dated the day of Granny's funeral.

Last week was a bad week for my son. He became very ill and said he wanted to die. Although he never tells me this - he rang Mum (who is busy enough - she has all of Granny's stuff to sort out, is grieving - again - and has largely been left to do it all on her own.) 

And while we're fighting to get my son the help and support he needs, we can't help her either.

Two weeks ago I applied for two jobs that I didn't get, and finished an illustration competition project.

I could get an Apple Imac for £425 but I'd have to use my overdraft, and I need to keep that for the time being in case the decision goes the wrong way and I'm forced into abject financial abuse by the DWP - AGAIN!

I mean, I'm glad the abuse regarding Tax Credits was reversed, but I'm under attack from all sides now, and still there are those that will say that cuts will happen elsewhere. But there is lots of money for war and poppyganda in the castle that I will be forced to avoid.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Je suis vraiment désolé

Last week I had some time off due to another funeral. (Granny)

I then attended a meeting at BGU with St. Hugh's Foundation for the Arts and met up with representatives of 1215Today, with mention of upcoming projects for next year that I hope to be involved with, either as an artist, an illustrator or with the LAN as a group that has had the Magna Carta at the core since its inception.

Then I went to bed on Friday night to spot murmurings on social media about Paris, and watched the news unfold that seemed so familiar for Oslo a few years ago, only this time it was at a gig, it was music fans, and other terrorist attacks around the city aimed at innocent people just out enjoying the culture of the city.
Je suis vraiment désolé.
The merch stand guy Nick Alexander was killed, (my sister's married name is Alexander) the band Eagles of Death Metal had no idea what had happened to all the band and crew.

On Saturday, the Cathedral said there would be a service for Paris for Evensong, so heavy hearted, I went up to the Cathedral and lit a candle for the victims and their families. 

I wasn't sure how appropriate it would be, but as I'm currently hoping to win a trip to Oslo, I took a selfie outside the Cathedral and posted it to Instagram.

I've never done Instagram or selfies before the competition by Visit Oslo, but this seemed somehow a poignant thing to do as an artist. It could be crass. I went alone, I wasn't with anyone, and others posted photos of flowers at the Nobel Peace Centre, and French embassies around the world, so there was only myself to document the moment.
It could be regarded as vain or selfish, narcissistic perhaps, that's how I think if Instagram anyway, but if I win the competition to see A-ha perform live at the Nobel Peace Centre, it would be the perfect way to create something - the Onochord Bicycle Bell Choir should've accompanied bicycle piano player Davide Martello playing Imagine outside Bataclan theatre where the tragedy happened.

I really think it's important more than ever to create work for peace.
In thoughts are all the places affected by disruption and terrorism, including Beirut, Baghdad, Syria, and others #PrayForWorld

All I could think about was that:
Muslims would've been at Friday prayers, so it wasn't them, that world leaders would be provoked into retaliating like braindead numpties, and in the dark echoes of Anders Breivik, the terrorists should be arrested, put on trial and jailed, not killed - two wrongs don't make a right.
Something Andrew Graham Dixon said in his lecture at the University of Lincoln about the church destroying art and thoughts about iconoclasts - the destruction of culture, the writings of Borges, Guy Debord, and Baudrillard.

There are no words, just keep on rocking, Paris. Guitars not guns!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Onochord proposal

As mentioned in my last post, the Onochord proposal is a project I'm seeking funding for, and there's a competition being run by Visit Oslo to win a trip to Oslo, with front row tickets to see A-ha perform at the Nobel Peace Prize giving ceremony coming up in December.

This would be an ideal opportunity to not only see A-ha, which is an opportunity I'll never turn down(!) but Magne exhibited work at the Nobel Peace Centre before, and it might give me the chance to find a way for the Onochord project to happen!

It involves uploading a selfie to Instagram. I don't normally do selfies, or Instagram - I've never fathomed the purpose of it unless you're a complete narcissist - which I'm not!! 

Wish me luck!!