Sunday, 3 December 2017

Grantium and Universal Credit

It's almost a year since my trip to Norway for Peace Painting. And people think it should be easy for me to continue to work on it. And it should be.
But it isn't. And I'm going to attempt to explain why.

People say "if there's anything you need, let me know", but that never seems to mean any money. 

Sometimes, non art friends post ads for things such as The Big Draw event at The Collection. "It's free!" they say, so "explore your creative side". Only for me, I'd expect to be paid to do that, and any time now, at a time not known to me, Universal Credit could be rolled out here, and that'll be the final nail in the coffin for my career as an artist.

I'm not terrified of it now. I was so stressed out for a while that I couldn't do anything. My nails were so bitten, and I was suffering sleepless nights and indigestion from the stress and worry. 
But since May, something changed.
I spend most of my time now fighting against it, signing petitions, tweeting links to evidence, the same as I have been, and taking care of us with little - no support. I was granted respite funding to go to Wales to visit family there.
I've done my best to prepare for the impact. 
But I'm no longer producing any art work, as I'm exhausted from this, and Grantium applications.

I have a non art job that stifles creativity. It offers some potential - I have a DBS and work with children teaching in schools, but it too is being affected by funding cuts, so whilst I earn money doing it, I have less time for my practice.
I am trying to think of ways to utilise the skills for some kind of art project, but haven't figured out what that might be.

Frequency Festival is still ludicrously claiming some kind of ownership of Lincoln, whilst failing to understand how artists living and working here can overcome the bizarre digital mindfuckery of Grantium. 
Of course, I'm in solidarity with the depressed and anxious, in not bothering to go to see any of it, because I'm not paid to do that.

This week, Stranger Things 2 was released on Netflix. I've come to realise that I am Joyce Byers. The Upside Down is where children with mental health issues disappear, and the Demogorgon is depression, and anxiety, and for others, other mental health symptoms of psychosis or bi polar, or whatever. 

And Oh God, Eleven's Mum.
You can see the role carers play - from Hopper taking care of Eleven and parents doing their best for kids that are going through Hell.
And even if Will's issues were just purely in his head, still he isn't getting the kind of help he really needs.
To manifest it as something real, something tangible that takes the form of the network of neutron-like tunnels that connect Hawkins to the shadow monster, the innerspace adventures of Hopper and the other kids as they try to help Will fight his demons.

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