The Year Traversed

Dave, Alison’ partner was lost to covid on the 8th of April 2020. This was the deadliest day of the first wave of the pandemic in Liverpool. To mark the anniversary of his passing she has worked on ‘A year Traversed’. In this she recall anecdote which he frequently re-told, elements of his personality in which she misses, in addition to her feeling around life without him. The poem is best listened to, in the spotify link she reads the verses. The style is rather raw in places and needless to state contains explicit language and content.

The Year Traversed


Tales of travels to Niguaguar

Nearly getting nicked for viagra

Vessels bound for South America

Being held down by the jugular


GI father, returned, the States

Before you could become mates

Comics, parcelled over in spates

Never learned any of his traits


Growing up in the tennies

Being robbed for pennies

Jam sandwich, filled belly

To the Logan to watch telly


Teenage girl, saved from agro

Big sis left you aglow

First experience of fellatio

‘Little sister’ sounded, the radio


Sters Refrigerator a first role

Never the pistol or the dole

Apprentice, Troops, on bank roll

Engineering in your soul


Sid machining, on landmass

Squisey, tool heavy, ships forecast

Engine room, never underclass

Georgey Wivell, crass, with brass


A wife, three daughters added

Caravan at Formby, expanded

Weekends, Kop afflicted

Offshore Monday, airlifted


Marital turmoil, could not forewarn

Some looked on with scorn

A new relationship, torn

You were gifted with Shaun


The bar, Razor crowned you Dadio

Rounds ordered in, Jimmy Robbo

Odds stacked up by Mic Allo

Glass eye enters the scenario


Jumper you bought, size twenty-two

Could have fitted both me and you

The size eight jeans presented anew

Impossible fit, despite attractive blue


Vigour shown with your little man

Austin the puppy, you understan’

Returning late, greeting him dancin’

Proclaiming: Austin, Austin, Austin


The last year, thrown

In the morgue, alone

Funeral service, tear prone

Covid restrictions bemoan


Flowers absent

Mourners debarment

Technical adjournment

Send off displacement

Necessary diminishment


Love adamant


Weeks of obliteration

Sort alienation

Covid gripped nation

Death toll amplification


Chin dipped smile

Hand talk bilingual

Chair dancing immobile

Examining Reds profile

Glittering eye crystal

Silence hostile


Physically, you are no more

Not returning from offshore

Covid, I continue to deplore

My heart, we still have rapport

Years we had, top score

You are within me evermore



Alison Little

Ivy League Washing

The eco hack you will wish you discovered years ago!

What would you say if I was to tell you that for 30 pence you could cover the cost of laundry detergent for eternity?

The Ivy hack extraordinaire!

Here’s how it works:

You collect wild ivy on your daily walk.

Place in a mesh bag and tie shut, I used a reusable fruit and veg back I got from Asda for 30 pence.

Place it in the washing machine with stained washing.

Washing comes out: clean, stain free and with a wonderful evergreen forest aroma.

Ivy can preferably be composted, but if binned will decompose quickly in landfill.

Doubious? 

It is every bit as good as traditional washing powder, I tried it on floor cloths and they came out white again.

So why is it more environmental?

Primarily: Zero packaging or transportation needed.

Ivy grows abundantly as waste foliage, all year round. It will decompose naturally and at pace. Daily walks in green space are eco pursuits as opposed to internal energy consuming activities. 

Other plus points?

The cost:

30 pence mesh bag versus £10 a month washing powder, amounting to £120 yearly, totalling six grand over the next 50 years not accounting for inflation.

Biennial: simply ‘Bonerous’

The Liverpool Biennial located the first of its installations of the delayed 2000 earlier in the week. The exhibition endeavours, as always, the take over the Port City for the summer. 

Those of you craving culture, isolated through covid restrictions, this is art which lends itself to social distancing. 

‘Osteoclast’ from Madrid based artist: Teresa Solar, drops five bone formed kayaks into exchange Flags. The luminous orange boats take over the financial district square as if fallen from Mars. The artist draws parallels between human bones and seafaring vessels. 

Essentially, but not intentionally, ‘Osteoclast’ brings some much needed vitality back to the deserted streets of the business quarter.

https://www.biennial.com/

When ‘the Rag’ is ‘the Rag’

Let’s talk about Period Poverty

Period Poverty identifies with women and girls not able to afford menstruation products. Equally, the lack of understanding around menstruation and aims to reduce taboos around the subject.

The latest research from Plan International UK in regards to Period Poverty dates to December 2017. (https://plan-uk.org/media-centre/plan-international-uks-research-on-period-poverty-and-stigma)

To summarize: 10% of girls are unable to afford sanitary wear and 15% struggle with cost. 14% have needed to borrow menstruation products due to financial matters and almost 20% have chosen a less suitable product due to cost. Further details are given around taboo’s and stigmas around menstruation, the most alarming being 14% were not aware of what was happening when they started their period and nearly a quarter didn’t know what sanitary product to use. 

Period Poverty looks to have surged during the pandemic. ‘A bloody good period,’ the leading charity for supplying sanitary produce to food banks and community groups have seen a 6 fold rise in demand since the start of the pandemic. 

Period Poverty results in girls absent from school and women not present at work. Poorer standards of education may result in dropping out, girls becoming more vulnerable to violence, abuse and sexual exploitation. Adults most affected are often: refugees, homeless women, students and those on a low income. Principly, stigma and financial issues result in women not being able to have their period with dignity. 

What Can I do to help end Period Poverty?

Firsty, buy brands which give to period poverty charities, Always being a market leader. Make cash donations to charities such as action aid with tackle this issue globally and the homeless period which help women who are rough sleeping. The Period Project, Merseyside does incredible work, forefronted by Natalie Denny, she also provided opportunities for direct donation of unused menstrual items and there are opportunities to get involved further. Become involved in activism, Bloody good period promote opportunities through their website and signing petitions is not to be forgotten. Raise awareness through in person talks and via social media which has developed into a more powerful tool over the course of the pandemic. Finally, educate yourself, are you aware of what a menstrual cup looks like?

https://periodprojectmerseyside.com/

https://www.bloodygoodperiod.com/

A Jaunt

A Jaunt is a photo journey taken by Alison during the second peak of the pandemic through the Everton area of Liverpool. The freeflow text responds to the images taken and the reality of living in lockdown.

Umbrella, upturned, scattered

Sheltering potential rendered void

Chalk markings, gym class

Taken outside

Covid safe arena

Pallets, scattered cans

Makeshift baroom of lockdown

Outlet of the Victorian era 

Stands strong

Water prevails no more

Face, accidentally appears

Eyes arched

Serious, the pandemic surrounds

Memorial flowers

Benched, overlooking the city

Secured, black mask of protection

Possibly a play wig?

Sheepskin bouffant

Tool of homeschooling?

Soil upturned

Bikes of youth

Schools shutdown

Turf wars of old

Couplet of coned stand together

Man prominent, women reduced

A bubble in unison

Workman digs upward

Altered direction

Turbulence

A jaunt through Everton

Journey stained by Covid

Fever pitched

Deathly

Corruption

Covid

Alison Little

Kaleidoscope Eyes

Kaleidoscope Eyes is the second painting in the series from Liverpool based artist: Alison Little.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the Beatles classic, is being illustrated in stages afresh.

In this works she depicts the pattern of the kaleidoscope through the eyes. Using the concept of sixties style glasses, made icon by Lennon, combined with a central parting. The feathered hair leads into the fire filled marmalade skies. The river is edge by tangerine trees, bth appear to be dancing intime to melody.

Acrylic on mixed media board

1mx1m

£500.00

Contact to purchase.

Installation: Quarantine

Installation: Quarantine

Installation: Quarantine reflects the poem; Quarantine, from the late Eavan Bolan. 

Quarantine

In the worst hour of the worst season

of the worst year of a whole people

a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.

He was walking—they were both walking—north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.

He lifted her and put her on his back.

He walked like that west and west and north.

Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.

Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.

But her feet were held against his breastbone.

The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.

There is no place here for the inexact

praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.

There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.

Also what they suffered. How they lived.

And what there is between a man and woman.

And in which darkness it can best be proved.

Eavan Boland, born Dublin, Ireland 1944-died Dublin, Ireland 2020.

Two, rather soiled, life size figurines from polythene brimming with printed media to represent man and wife. Using related working techniques to that of ‘Jane’ produced for the 2017 Liverpool Irish Festival. The forms contain printed statements, statistics and quotes from the literal work: Quarantine. Quotes to identify with 20-25% of the population which were lost between the famine and emigration. Further linkage over how there was no ban on the export of food as there had been in the famine of 1782-3. Additional items of found object presented, for instance; modelled blighted potatoes, manifesting the poem and the period of An Gorta Mór/The Great Famine.

‘Worst’ is repetitive throughout the poem, highlighting the disparengies of the late 1840’s. Black acrylic paint was applied using flicking techniques across the inner of the polythene to represent the anguish and distress the couple endured and 1847 being titled ‘Black 47’, the worst year of the famine. The leaving of the workhouse to be determined by printed replicas of discharge papers and statements included within the forms. Newspaper articles of the period relating to the hardships and failing crops align the bodies further. Raggard clothing is prominent, showing how workhouse conditions often meant that clothing was often re-used from those who have died from fever and dysentry without being laundered. The roll up buts draw attention to how the smoking of tobacco was commonplace among the poor and labouring class during the Victorian era. This leads to tooth decay, studies show that up to 80% of famine victims suffered from poor oral health. The empty bottle of whiskey is equally familiar, the Irish took the drink to the United States through the period of mass emigration due to the famine. A rural location is suggested through the chain and shackle, habitual within farming communities.

Walking on foot for a prolonged distance is implied by  uncomplicated shoe soles to the outer surfaces of the man’s feet. To be sufficiently degraded to push the concept of ‘Worn thin’ to the extreme. Women were often barefoot, her shoe soles not present. Hunger is simulated by the inclusion of modelled blighted Irish lumber potatoes. Created from potato clay, this is actually produced from flour and cornstarch but named potato clay due to it’s mash-like qualities in production. Acrylic paints  reinforce the idea of blight through white areas. The potatoes to be situated around the wife’s breast to identify with the female form. Fake foliage leaves  with black speckles are to reflect the toxins of the times. Leaves are prominent  around the groin, giving an indication of public hair and unquestionably the human form. The female form to display a kerchief, the male a cloth peak cap, both to be well worn. 

The figures are positioned on a floor based sack cloth, woven and tattered. This will form the impression of being exposed to the elements, lying the sack cloth  down as a blanket to protect from ground frost. Stones to be added within the figures and to transient the exhibits to indicate rough sleeping. 

The figures are located to show man and wife: an intertwining between hands and an evident physical connection. True to the poem the wife’s feet held against the husband’s breastbone, red papers indicating the remnant of heat present in his body, white papers presenting the notion of frost engaged within the female.

Installation: Quarantine was created for the Liverpool Irish Festival, looking to be shown late March, however due to the current restrictions and lockdown this is to be determined at a later stage.

Alison Little

Elvis Guitar …UH HUH HUH…

The hand painted Elvis guitar is the latest work from artist Alison Little.

We have a love song being performed, the unforgettable white sequin jumpsuit introducing rhythm. The loveable smile and we are ‘ALL SHOOK UP’ by the lyrics. ‘Elvis’ in lights crosses into the inners of the string instrument. The ‘King’ is proclaimed and finished off with the Hollywood Star.

£500

Contact to purchase

Presents for the despised

Tampon dipped in Semtex: the sister-in-law

The sister-in-law you despise, the one you would rather spit at than partake in her company! Overweight, unattractive, poorly presented and controlling in the extreme. In spite of the fact you have not been a teenager in the 2 decades when you first met, she still treats you in this manner. Condescending and responding like you’re a reckless adolescent in comparison with her self appointed status as a responsible adult. 

Take tampon, dip in semtex, package in herb patterned wrapping paper. Declare they have aromatherapeutic qualities when heated. Simply insert as standard then light the string…

…bang….

Gold credit card: Brother-in-law

The Brother-in-law who will insist on dining at the most expensive restaurants, ensure that you are unable to order a round of drinks separately. Then profess to pay the check in full, his next move being to inform everyone you didn’t pay for diddly-squat. A routine he repeats with family, friends and colleagues providing substance for reports over picking up the tab.

Give him a gold credit card, suggest it is limitless and instruct him to pay on plastic. Next time he insists on paying the manager will come over to inform him his card has been rejected.

….humiliation….

Handmade crushed glass Soap: the Mother-in-law

The Mother-in-law who nags continually, virtually insists you mistreat ‘Her’ grandkids. Ceaselessly highlights examples of her being better to ‘Her’ son than you. More learned than all, particularly in the raising of children. A Matriarch you would rather munch on glass than preside through another one of her misinformed lectures.

Follow the instructions for a effilating bar of handmade soap, then as opposed to sand or oats: add fragments of mashed glass.

…owch…………….

Bottle opener: Father-in-law

The Father-in-law who treats women as second-class citizens, asserting that talk of sexism is women making too much of a fuss. Decides he is superior in knowledge, continually acting as if you are of lower intelligence and dismissing your opinions. Repetitively informing all that will listen that you are confused when it is generally him that is confused.

Get him a bottle opener with a standard ‘Easily Confused when drunk’ inscription. Take a file and reduce the ‘When drunk’ so as it’s illegible, ensuring he is left with an ‘Easily Confused’ bottle opener.

…tushay….

Dolly Peg for the Home Boy nephew

The rather grey nephew who has failed to move out of the paternal home or ever had a girlfriend. Week, feeble and very limited in terms of conversational skills. The one who continued to go clothes shopping with his mother into adulthood, still there when she is purchasing underwear. The most exciting scenario you could imagine happening to him is overdosing on Viagra.

The solution: a dolly peg, then label it ‘Girl friend’, the nearest he will ever get to finding a life partner.

…….clip that on your peni*………

Piranha Tea Bag; the Boss

The over talking boss who cherishes nothing more than the sound of his own voice and the opportunity to use it in front of an audience. Three hour staff meetings are mandatory and he does 90% of the mouthing while the staff are required to listen intently. Your daily work routine being intersected by more informal, extended, needless briefings. You hold your tongue as he discusses profitability and best business practice, never inquiring over how much staff time and money is being misused harking to his neverending preambles. 

Take tea bag, remove the filling, replace with tongue eating piranhas, resulting in no tongue and losing the ability to speak.

…croak…..

Hash Cookies: Busy Body Neighbour

The neighbour who perpetually gossips and repeats statements about ‘Making the area look bad’. Obese, wearing old clothes and accessivily common and your obliged not to point out the she makes the area look bad. Steadily complaining about music that’s ‘Too loud’ and determines that all matters must be because of ‘Drugs’. 

Follow the instructions for chocolate chip cookies but substitute the chocolate for hash, add extra hash. Give them to her and get video footage of her totally stoned, then post on her facebook homepage.

…..spaced out…….

‘Thank-you’ candle: Primary school Teacher

The primary school teacher, who notwithstanding your child being a straight ‘A’ pupil you have to sit through drawn out sermons on parents evening. The last one being how you should teach phonetic sounds of letters to children not correct pronunciation; ‘a, bu, cu’ not ‘Aigh, Bee, Cee’. When you explained that your child could already read comprehensively before they moved into her class, she stated that it was for the benefit of the less advanced pupils. So not only are you supposed to be teaching your child, not her, you are also supposed to be teaching the other pupils additionally. As your mind wandered off, you began to think about your vagina feeling a little dry, could it be the menopause? As you looked at the teacher administering the talking to, you started to question if she was old enough to menstruate.

Go to £1 shop, get candle with individual, removable ‘Thank-you’ letters. Take of the ‘Than’, leaving the ‘K’, then replace with ‘Fuc’.

…..Fuck-you Teacher….

Loggin’ this Christmas

Feeling creative this Christmas?

Arty before the fartyness of brussels on the big day?

A thirty technique which is simply golden. 

Have a go at loggin’

Through this I meen decorate a lovely log to look great on either a mantlepiece or table centrepiece. 

5 easy steps 

  1. Find a discarded branch in your local park or woodland area, then allow it to dry out in the warm of your home.
  2. Coat loosely with a white acrylic allowing the bark to show through. Repeat with some silver acrylic and allow to dry.
  3. Add some gold leaf. Break off small sections then stipple onto the branch using PVA and a paintbrush. Allow to dry overnight.
  4. More gold, here I’ve used pumice stone with PVA but you could select another grain.
  5. Hang some decorations in place and enjoy your creation.