Convict Blanket

Blanket 090

Convict blanket is the latest art activism works from concept-based arts practitioner, Alison Little. A sensation to shock and stand against rape, rape culture and the authorities put in place to tackle sex crime within our society.

Convict blanket confronts us with the homage style of using material available, in this case, the humble scratch provoking woollen coverings of the bed. The use of blanket stitch and appliqué reminiscent of techniques used in prison protests where all resources must be reclaimed from the sparse provisions available when incarcerated. The blanket is floor-based, slightly raised to one side. The text and images locate with the nearest edge in which they are placed, allowing the viewer to read the statements as their paths encircle the form. The use of hand-embroidered text reminiscent of the marker pen on corrugated card portrayals commonplace throughout activism. Texts vary in scale, case and font in regards to the emphasis placed on the statement which is being presented. Large bold statements often present definitive assertions, small joined-up style wording is often examples of dialogue and opinions of the minority. The black text looks to address how to reduce the numbers of sex attacks by convicting more rapists. In opposition, the red highlights issues within society and the authorities put in place to tackle sex crime which are failing at every given opportunity. Although male rape is equally as relevant, this identifies with female rape which is statistically committed in greater numbers.

The first of the black text presents a printed abbreviation, ‘HMP‘. This is commonplace within the UK, ‘Her Majesties Prisons’ being the full term and the title for units of incarceration. The larger appliqué fonts present ‘Convict‘ and ‘Rapist‘, indicating an intention for more sex offenders to be serving custodial sentences. This is emphasized in greater detail by a well-defined corner based statement:

We must press for the conviction of more rapists.’

A powerful sentence, stating the motivation behind the activism, the use of the second person to engage the viewer with the protest.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is common among rape survivors is raised within smaller statements. Dressing down as a result of being raped is proposed, backed up by an image of a ‘Hide under’ hoodie. Larger texts draw attention to statistics:

‘1 in 10 rapes are reported to the Police, of these only 1 in 10 lead to a conviction.’

Due to current changes within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) this figure is currently much lower. The statistic highlights how rape is one of the most under-reported crimes. The statement is reinforced by the pie chart indicating that only 1% of rapes committed lead to a conviction.

Patriarchy is addressed, male supremacy being a factor in why rape is not being tackled effectively. Police apathy over sexual assault cases is presented. Demands towards the recruitment of ‘Strong, capable women,’ are made, requesting women who will prioritise rape over trivia to be brought into the Police Force. Drawing attention to the vulnerability of the rape survivor, showing how there needs should be prioritized. The black statements concluding with the most vital statement of them all, the rapist being ‘100%‘ to blame for rape.

The red text looks to highlight why our society is failing to reduce numbers in terms of sexual assault and punishing more sex offenders through the penal system. The large appliqué terms read ‘Rape Culture’ and ‘Victim Blaming’. Across the blanket, we have statements which highlight examples of victim-blaming, itself a factor within rape culture. Projections of low morals, promiscuous clothing, the rape survivor being presented as ‘The Whore’ and extreme example of ‘Slut-shaming’ are identified. Misconceptions around PTSD are given, many are still not aware that this condition is commonplace with rape survivors. The second delusion of rape being unusual is also stated. Narcotic and alcohol use are presented, suggestions that mild cannabis inhalation could result in hallucinations an example of ignorance. Again, blaming the victim through alcohol consumption, the concept of consenting to sex being overlooked.

Patriarchy being stated, showing the focus of the law to be on protecting men from being falsely accused of rape. How the Police Force is male-dominated, the notion of many of these ‘Men’ having little intentions of acting against rape, in this, recruiting weak, feeble women to actively fail rape survivors. This is developed by drawing attention to the actions of many Police Women, their sole contribution to a rape enquiry to be establishing what happens when they get dressed up, thus providing the opportunity for them to reflect on their superior beauty. The trivial nature of operatives, examples of attire being copied being prioritised as opposed to communicating the nature of the sex attack. This is matched by their counterparts, Policemen, many are only interested in their prowess, continually falsifying reports on how the rape survivor is attracted to themselves. Looking at the attitudes of Police personnel, those who feel that they are not expected to do anything in a rape case, the extremities being the role of the rape victim to protect and shelter vulnerable officers.

Ultimately, the saddest statement of all:

‘It was my fault I was rapped.’

The victims who blame themselves, a factor in why so many crimes are not reported to the authorities.

‘Convict Blanket’, innovative works, at the helm within the spectrum of art activism. Artwork which can challenge misconceptions around rape, concepts which can address issues in society and confront the authorities put in place to act against rape. Ultimately, ‘Convict Blanket’ will lead to the conviction of more rapists, reducing rape crime and proposes a safer society.

Convict Blanket will be exhibited from spring 2020.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I must be Miss Liverpool!

Miss Liv image copy

I must be Miss Liverpool!

We are seated, lined up, eventually at the final of Miss Liverpool. The seats of the room arched around, judges desks empty for now. They have demobbed to a side room, making the final, ultimate, life-changing decision.

I must be Miss Liverpool!

It’s taken me four years to get here, I am twenty-two now, applying since eighteen, each time getting a little further, this time to the final. The extra cash borrowed for botox being the bar heightener. Four years of casual work to fund; hair, make-up, nails, extensions, tanning, designer brand gear and finally botox.

I must be Miss Liverpool!

When Daniel Lloyd won it she really became someone. She got Miss Liverpool, Miss GB and even got put in the Miss World contest. She did FHM, Playboy and even bagged the Face of Ladbrooks. She should have won Celebrity Big Brother, if it hadn’t been for that Shilpa ‘Shitty’. And then after having three kids with Jamie O’Hara, I bet the divorce settlement was massive. That’s want I want, a line of footballing boyfriends to make me the ultimate WAG.

I must be Miss Liverpool!

Then there was that Christine that got married to Paddy McGuinness, she was only eighteen and him in his forties. I wouldn’t mind being with an older fella if you got all his money and the celebrity lifestyle. She even got to go on ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’.

I must be Miss Liverpool!

Lots of the winners get signed by Impact modelling agency. There the best glamour agency around, on your page you model in just your bra and knickers and they list your vital statistics. Image, everyone who wants looking at you, men wanting you and women wanting to be you.

The judges are coming now, I look down and chant:

I must be Miss Liverpool!

Through my teeth, I repeat the words as the third then second placed are revealed. This is my last chance, I will be too old next year at twenty-three.
I must be Miss Liverpool.

I recoil as the winner is read out. No, not her, barely eighteen, a bookworm at college, a bore. Actually looks like she let her hair dry naturally and it’s not straightened or dyed or anything. Her heals are only three inches high and that’s not even a designer dress. I cannot believe it, with the title she wants to go the Alder Hey and visit the cancer ward as she has promised her Aunty who is a nurse there, ridiculous!

No night club openings, no botox, no boob job, simply visiting boring sick kids. What could have been, I could have been a leading WAG, I could have had my own line of product, gone on ‘Celebrity Love Island’, I could have married a footballer…. I could have had another boob job….I could of had a maximum divorce settlement.

I will never be anyone!

‘I must be Miss Liverpool’ is a flash fiction works from Alison Little. It was performed at the The Athenaeum as part of the Light Night 2019 festival.

More about Light Night

A Letter to Fat Fiasol’ Mother

Fat Fiasol env copy

A Letter to Fat Fiasol’ Mother is a flash fiction piece from Alison Little. She created the prose as an exercise while writing her novel, Casual Nexus. The piece adopts the point of view of the main character of the narrative: Sal and is directed towards the Mother of an undercover Police Officer who failed her through his role as a detective. The Mother is shown to be deluded in regards to the warped characteristics of her only son and unashamed of his conduct. All characters and events are fictional and not based on actual occurrences.

Explicit Content Warning

Fat Fiasol

A Letter to his Mother

Why your Son was not good enough for me!

So who was Fat Fiasol? He was an undercover copper sent to me to see what he could decipher, to find out, to gain knowledge of and to obtain answers. A rat, a serpent, a man with no boundaries, a man who was not good enough for me. A man who seeks to manipulate women, to lie, to misguide, and to get them to play along to his warped agenda. While all along his real goals are for the respect of men: touching their balls, laughing at their jokes too much and playing the suck up. Overweight, unfit, poorly presented, egotistic, over talked, over domineering and a man who was not good enough for me! A man who regretfully I engaged in a brief relationship with, a minor interlude, a brief fling, a bit on the side, a non-committal affair. Something which I deeply regret to this day, as he was not good enough for me!

So, back to Fat Fiasol’ Mother

Reasons why he was not good enough for me!

  1. He talks to much and he refuses to listen to reason. When we were together for a brief period, a very brief period, he was told by one of the other girls in the year above us at Uni that I had slept with one of his former House Mates Goth. As in the case of all student houses everyone is boxed in like caged hens, one goes and another one comes in. And the chickens collude with who is there and then who comes along after, there is no long-term commitment, no promises are made and the monogamy of adulthood is yet to take shape after your University days. However, in this case, I had not slept with his former room dweller, it has been one of the other girls, Kate, the mistake in being that she also had red hair. When I tried to explain this to your son, he would not listen, take it in, or recognise that a mistake had been made. His head stuck in his idea of what had happened, no notice of my words was taken. Only when Goth had come to visit I had asked him to explain did he actually listen to what he was being told. Finally, I had got through to his thick head.
  1. He is over domineering and he aims to control women. Again, on one occasion there was no reasoning with him and he went over the top using some of the most degrading language any woman should have to endure. In this I walked out in tears, found by my friend Kaz, she then suggested we go shopping together to cheer me up. I agreeing we walked to town, she didn’t ask what has happened but it was obvious, managing to stop crying we went in to look around River Island. As we went around looking at the clothes my phone began to ring, which I ignored, then a second time which I ignored again, then on the third time I answered the phoned and told your son:‘Just Fuck Off, al-right’

    This was to the delight of all the women in the store as it was really obvious what had been going on. Kaz then had a great idea, as Anne Summers was next door, she suggested we go and look at the vibrators, my response being

    ‘Yes lets’

    As we discussed which one to go for all the women that had been shopping in River Island gradually came into Anne Summers as looking at the vibrators also seemed like a good idea. So somewhere between retail therapy and the discussion of dildo’s I forgot any feelings I had for your son.

  2. His warped interested in internet porn. In hanging out around his share house my self and one of my friends Gay Tigger had been getting stoned together, I was starting to think there might be something going on between your son and Gay Tigger so I pretended I had passed out and let them get on with whatever was happening. I heard then start up Fiasol’ PC and worked out they were looking at what he had ‘Stored’ on his hard drive. I realised that this was porn and held back, I heard Fiasol say,‘Wait for it, it’s about to come out’

    In this I was imagining some sort of gay porn where the man was about the ejaculate, I sat up very slowly to look at what was going on without them becoming aware of my presence. What I actually saw was worse than I had imaged, it was a woman shitting slowing, he had been waiting for the shit to start coming out, it had been turning him on and I had been with him…. I felt sick and left. I found some sanctuary when I bumped into the girl he had gone out with after myself and she also felt sick about ever having been in a sexual relationship with the man.

  3. The bazaar sex life we shared in which he was overly dominant. The main activity seemed to be turning me around cuddling up behind me, placing his minuscule only ever semi-erect penis between my bum cheeks, but never fully inside. His kind of moving it to and throw for a very short space of time followed by some sort of mini ejaculation like a toddler sneezing producing very little substance. This was then followed by a Police report about how I enjoyed anal sex because he wanted to boast to everybody at the Police station. 

     

  4. The ultimate reason why your son was not good enough for me; his interpretation of an attempted rape case. Through his only real desire to listen to his own voice, he decided to forget the reason the Police had sent him to form a relationship with myself was to find out what had happened between myself and a serial rapist and didn’t bother to ask in regards to the incident. When asked at the Police Station what had happened he made up his own version of events, leading the Police to believe I was unreliable as I had changed my story about what had happened. He was not remotely interested in doing anything about a rapist then managed to turn the angle of the investigation into how badly treated by myself he had been as this gave him the opportunity to whine on and on. Your son, the ultimate example of Police incompetence.

So Fat Fiasol’ Mother, the reasons why your son was not good enough for me! He talks too much and he won’t listen to any of the girls. He seeks to manipulate, he works to warped agenda’s, he loses sight of right and wrong. He his sick fetish tastes in porn, bazaar sexual desires, he is sexually inadequate, he is unable to get a proper erection. He was incompetent as a Police Officer in every way and most of all he was more interested in the sound of his own voice and getting his little end away than he was in doing anything about a Rapist. So Fat Fiasol’ Mother those are the reasons why your son was not good enough for me, his next girlfriend or any any other women. So instead of sitting there in defence of your offspring, I suggest you hang your head in shame.