Here’s an experiment with combining poetry, performance and art.
It’s for a poem “who will I be” about the anxiety I face meeting other men. It was inspired by women talking about their feelings when meeting strangers, specifically men. The thing that is scary and that seems overlooked is that actually the vast majority of men in the west (at least) are very polite to women they don’t know and that women should be more worried about men they know, than strangers. While for men violence is more likely to come from strangers. In both cases alcohol is most likely to be involved, though ‘Ice’ seems to be becoming a more common contributor, but still no where near as dangerous as alcohol or as expensive to our economy. Interestingly most of the other illegal drugs only contribute to violence as a result of their illegality, because it pushes people to associate with criminals.
The majority of violence in the world is between men. It doesn’t get reported because it is so natural as to be invisible. It only gets noticed when the violence is “dishonourable” that is an ambush punch, or the victim is considered weaker. This is the same source of the shaming that goes on with domestic violence and rape. The other types of violence, or maybe part of violence that gets notices is when there is no consent. “Combatants”, that is soldiers, are consenting participants in violence while “civilian” men, and automatically children and women haven’t consented to participate in the “war”, the most extreme violence. This is a common theme of my poetry, and other writing. There will be more on this site.
Today thanks to St George TAFE School of Fine Arts and especially Thanks to Chris Casali a group of us got an intro to an amazing and beautiful project that acknowledges that being in hospital is tough and that art can help.
Arterie@RPA uses art therapy and art projects to help at least distract people from difficulties of their discomforts, pain and powerlessness of being in hospital. They do this in a number of ways.
The art is used both to provide direct therapy in the sense of art helping people with their healing process. For example helping stroke victims with redeveloping fine motor coordination. Or to help re-establish (or slow the deterioration of) thinking and problem solving from acquire brain injuries, dementia and stroke.
Then they have Artists in Residence (AIR) who do art on the walls and share their process in public for three weeks. This helps break up the boredom, providing interesting experiences for patients, carers, family and staff. And a beautiful environment for everyone including staff.
There are the travelling art helpers as part of “Carterie”. Volunteers and paid staff take carts around with art supplies and a variety of themes and materials that spark conversations and collaborations that also distract, but also help patients and carers manage the stress of the hospital life.
There are workshops in a central area for patients, carers and staff that basically allow them to socialise and feel empowered and supported emotionally. Some also help people to communicate across the whole range social backgrounds.
This project and its processes is such a beautiful modern and advanced health practice. It acknowledges the importance of mind in the healing process in away that goes beyond older ideas of psychology as separate to physiology, as individuals being separate to their environment.
On this visit we were given presentations by staff of the information above, then we were taken on a tour around the hospital showing displays of the results of various Artists In Residence projects and some of the carterie collaborations with patients and carers. Then we participated in a project to create 150 canvas tiles to decorate a rehab exercise area in blue, green aqua and white.
This site will be a place for me to show explorations, experiments, works in progress (WIP), finished creative works. If I can say it out loud I’m a polymath.
I sometimes hate, but always finds it hard to to be stick to genres, techniques, subjects but I do try to live by an ethical code and philosophy, that of exploration, seeking meaning and understanding, being respectful of others and creativity.
I write, I draw, I paint, I make videos, I make sounds, some of it traditional and some digital. I sit around thinking and feeling and celebrating.
My subjects are sex, politics, violence, philosophy (in the sense of asking who am I, how do I know what I know, how/why do I behave the way I do), everyday crap, and sometimes I have nothing to say at all I’m just playing.