I sew a garden in my heartexotic flowers flourish - woven love
My haiku book is poems from text messages I sent inspired by the people and places around me.
I started writing them when I couldn’t think clearly after being diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt very alone and spent many nights pacing the floor. But through the year of treatment they were my way of expressing my love for my life partner, friends and family.
Rather than use traditional abbreviations to send a text, I made the messages succinct and found that they turned in to haikus.
Misty morningmy dreams of you leave only tracesin bright sunlight
They express complexity rather than simplicity and therefore needed taming. I chose the traditional 17 syllable haiku renga rather than Basho’s ‘Soun’ (free verse) because my haikus are mainly about people rather than nature.
I have tried to include the lightness of touch and kireji (cutting word) .
A world of fragile falling petals my imaginings of youfloat
They are a moment, crystallised and snatched from time’s flow. Sometimes a mundane text from a friend will elicit a haiku in that moment or ‘muga’.
Your lips on mine -reach in and turn the most secret parts of me to fire
The images in this blog are of paintings I create. The orchids are a series I produced through the cancer treatment and exhibited in a number of shows in London.
Words tumble from my fingers You touch me Creativity flows
silky clear sky full of bright starsI draw your face in this velvet night
my life a patchwork of scars hidden by intricate embroidery
Transform the image of the muse-dance in the energy fields of desire
Scent of first cut lawn to signal spring distracts me from you but briefly
Rainbow refracting light reaching my prism of dreams about you
Ephemeral embrace lost wanderings through words and dreams my heart sings
24 hour passion exotic flower uncurled your fragile beauty
Heart-shaped pebbles wet on the shore sea caresses play - tumbling them
‘World Tragedy’, a series which challenges the way the news and media moves from one tragic situation to another filling us with emotions and a desire to act. The “ sound bites “ of the world move on and so do we. My aim is to make sure we remember the event and that although the world has moved on it is still part of every day life for the people affected by it .
One single painting (18” x 96”) depicts the portraits of all 343 fire-fighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Centre on 11 th September 2001. I started to draw the firefighter’s portraits on September 20th 2001, using memorial notices on the web. It took six months to produce. I chose the fire-fighters because they are there to save life at a risk to their own.
When I showed it to the mayor of New York and fire fighters at Duan Street Unit, in New York in 2002, I stood wordless while they recognised and pointed out their lost friends on the canvas. It is a painting that requires a home at the ground zero site.
The footballer series shows many past footballers. Heroes of the most world inclusive sport. I was more interested in the Street Child World Cup, a project in Durban during this year’s World Cup in Durban. I plan to make a series of portraits of the street children participating in Street Child World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
1100 monks and political activists were arrested in Mayanmar ( Burma) between August and November 2007. I felt compelled to produce an installation to express how BBC web images were used by the military dictatorship to assist with arrests. The installation focuses on how the media while highlighting a cause may hinder it too. Around 700 portraits have been completed to date I am still drawing prisoners curtesy of aappb news links.
These two individual canvases where each line represents a person. The paintings are tallies to loss of life or a predicament. so Tsunami is 250000 white lines representing each person who died within the first 24 hours of the Tsunami in 2004, Orphan is a work in progress. When completed it will be 380,000 tiny white lines, each representing a child orphaned in Haiti.
“Pink Portraits” proposal 2011-2012
This planned series will be healing for me as well. I was one of the 44,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer last year in the UK. This work plans to interview some of these women from the hospital where I was treated, while producing their portraits. Their words will be placed alongside the images. 11,000 women in the UK die from breast cancer each year. I want to explore how strong and how vulnerable we are when faced with cancer and the tortuous process of cancer treatment . I believe this series will create a positive network for people affected by breast cancer in a different empowering way from the support groups available.
1100 tokens forms part of my ‘World Tragedy’ series. These installations and paintings challenge the way the news and media moves from one tragic situation to another filling us with emotions and a desire to act. The “ soundbites “ of the world move on and we are expected to as well.
These paintings are concerned with mark-making that transcends the media hype and keeps in our minds the outrage that we felt when it was called ‘breaking news’. The vibrant eye catching colours and economic linework draw the spectator into the works
1100 monks and many political activists were arrested in Mayanmar ( Burma ) between August and November 2007.
I felt compelled to produce an installation to express my horror at what had happened. This installation has developed with the more detailed research into Burma’s regime . There are always at least 1100 political activists in Burmese prisons, some may be released while others newly arrested. Lack of medicine, torture inhumane living conditions and forced labour are reported.
Many of the monk’s portraits have been drawn from pictures taken by the world press of the demonstrations in august & September 2007. All these press pictures were used by the Military dictatorship to assist with arrests which shows how the media while highlighting a cause may hinder it too. Around 700 portraits have been completed to date. The 30th anniversary of the 1988 uprising last year and continued imprisonment of the pro-democracy leaders mean the work continues to be current news although not covered in newspapers or T.V Each painting measures 5 “ x 4 “ and is oil on canvas.
The small Buddha icons symbolize the lost dignity of the Burmese people and the reason why they risk imprisonment to highlight their cause on the world stage. People there are starving in order to maintain their religious duty of providing for the Buddhist monks. The monks marched this year in order to express their disappointment and that they now would not accept food from the people. Everyone believed that the monks would not be harmed however that is not what transpired.