Re-coil

Ro-coil image

Re-coil ia a flash fiction works written by Alison Little, the events and people are not based on real life.

Tired and exhausted I sit beside a woman munching crisps loudly as she crumples the cheap multi-pack packet, it has been a really long day and it is only just after one in the afternoon. Awaiting a local train after paying a ridiculous fair, strike action being declared through the screen projections. Surrounded, everyone else seems to be inhaling nicotine, the friends of the Station flower planter devoid of sprays of colour or foliage, omitted of community attention. Quite simply a large soil filled communal ashtray, the only real benefit being after a downpour the soil retails the water and distinguishes the cigarettes quickly. A gruelling wait, the tin block modular train jerks its way along the platform, the others and I enter choosing between the front and back carriage. I select a seat convenient to the door to save walking further, away it pulls then crawls snail’s pace towards its destined city. As my rear end settles into the lump filled, once public sector owned upholstery, I gaze out at the former mill and mining towns.

Night previous spent sleeplessly tossing from edge to edge, flipping over and returning while checking the timer on my phone to repeatedly determine that only a further half an hour had passed. Mind anxious as it worked its way through lists of debts, teeth grinding back and forth as I tried to decline from vomiting over the bedroom floor a stain still present from an earlier regurgitation. Eventually, I managed twenty minutes of shut-eye only to be awoken sharply by my alarm as ‘Hello Moto’ consumes to the deadly silence of the pre-day brake.

No time to lye in, or catch up on sleep missed, a day filled to the brim from start to finish. Backpack loaded, breakfast wrapped, onto the bike, to the Central station. On time, thank you, no hold ups.

To follow a morning of adjoining crammed local journeys, short distances taking long periods of time. At last at the meeting and only ten minutes late, appearing to be on time. Only marginally behind over the three and a half hours the distance of under one hundred miles had taken with local trains.

My thoughts gallop stringently toward the thought that I simply don’t want to do anything today, but then I know I will be back on form in a few days, I will push off this tiredness, this drench on my enthusiasm.

The train screeches into a midway town, jerking in full motion against the platform. I look around the station, a girl on the other platform tries to calm her boyfriend as he angary pull his shirt from his torso repeatedly. As the journey progresses my eyes glance around the passengers in my carriage. Bleach blond but too old, bald head but too young, child loving but downtrodden by bad behaviour. An assortment of motleys joining my journey as my thoughts contradict the artistry of my heart.

I visualise my intentions from the meeting, piece and my interventions. I will want to function again, contact and respond, direct and decipher, moderate and deliver, but not till tomorrow.

Simply re-coil home.

Small Steps and Art Activism

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Last Thursday saw Small Steps events take over Make on North Liverpool Docks.

Small Steps runs events to highlight social issues through the arts. Last Thursday saw an eclectic mix of performance, a breathtaking visual arts exhibition and engaging workshops drawing attention to Mental Health.

Cork-based artist Ann Mechelinck showed us how craft-based practice can highlight mental health issues with several pieces she exhibited at Make. Mechelinck spent many years living and working in Belgium as an administrator. On her return to Ireland, she decided to re-engage with her creative passions and began a body of study Crawford College in Cork. The most prominent of her works in the exhibition was ‘Release’. In this, she explores the restrictions we face in life by materialism, relationships and expectations. Using a knotted structure which she allows this to
‘Release’ free onto the floor. An exceptional fibre artist using structuring techniques to explore mental well-being.

Rebecca Hancock brought some intensely scratched text art to the exhibition. Hancock is a recent graduate from Central St Martins in the Capital. She uses her work to express; fantasies, hopes and dreams, but equally, vulnerability, anxieties and fears. The work exhibited ‘March 2016-Present Day’ presents hand scribed re-writing of eight months of diary entries. The period covers changes in medication and severe depressive episodes combined with panic attacks and anxiety. Raw, unmoderated, expression of coping and not coping with evolving cerebral turmoil.

We were taken on a journey by Moscow based film-makers Diana Galimzyanova and Artem Gavrilyuk-Bozhko. Galimzyanova’ rapidly expanding collection of award-winning short films have been shown at more than sixty festivals and fifteen countries. ‘Painting the Abyss’ came to Make last week stunning its audiences. The actor begins to paint his face with a light reflection of a cross central to the screen. As black is added the face paints formate into a type of warpaint, a kind of camouflage. As this progresses, old-dated, black and white train travel scenes are superimposed onto the footage. The narrative climaxes as the actor drops his head back and looks towards the ceiling. He marks a cross on each side of his neck indicating where to cut was an assumed knife. This progresses into the removal of the paints from the face. Powerful use of moving image which confronts us with the grim realities of ending one’s life.

Painting the Abyss

Not forgetting the painted works of Philip Chandler identifying with long-term depression. Gender roles were challenged by the embroideries of Jonathan Beavon. The floor space was occupied by another showing of Alison Little’ SV: Sex by Violence in Liverpool.

A remarkable exhibition, a fully engaging evening and evidence that art activism can make a real difference.

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Small Steps

Make

Ann Mechelinck

Rebecca Hancock

Diana Galimzyanova

in the woods

carved squirel cover

‘in the woods’ was a commision proposal for a nature trail to be sited near Alder Hay hospital by Alison Little.

in the woods….
Trail, Woodland Walk, Springfield Park, Knotty Ash

Specifications

The trail looks to present a selection of 15 signs based on an element of nature, wildlife, insects and local history relevant to Springfield Park.

Each signpost to measure around 150meters high in Oak. The top section of posts to be hand carved with either a creature, plant or feature related to the specific sign presented. The services of a woodcarver to be engaged, the finish to be left rough, not finely polished. On the first appearance, walkers may get the impression they have been carved randomly not commissioned craft-works. This is to be complemented by a matt lacquer giving the forms a natural woodland finish.

The signboards are to be A2 and landscape in design. Printed directly to Dibond with an enamel coating to ensure they remain graffiti free. The ‘in the woods…’ logo to be drilled directly into the Dibond then to incorporate the use of small prisms to reflect sunlight either within the holes or on adjacent nature growth structures. The logo has an interactive potential for visually impaired visitors, place braille panels to be added to the lower section of the signs.

Each sign to focus on a different element of the ‘in the woods…’ trail, the design shown has focused on wild garlic. There is great potential to work with local schools and community groups in workshops for slogan generation, image production and using recipes with wood foraged from Spring field park. The results of these workshops to be incorporated within the graphic design of the signage.

carved squirel copySign Board copy

More about Alder Hey in the Park