Sunday, 20 December 2020

Tier 4 Lockdown Christmas - processing the emotions

Never have I needed creativity more than this year.  And this last 24 hours with the constant changes about Christmas have seen my emotions all over the place and so I've drawn and drawn and given my mind the space to process through poetry.

Here is the series I've created with a video at the end of this morning's tangles.

Care for those you love

Vulnerable are still at risk

Stay small, short, local

Heavy tier 4 action

Capturing some frustration

Of late notice

For Christmas

Without gathering

It's sensible

We know that

But honestly

Couldn't they have told us


Locked down

Shut in

No change really

Still shielding

Covid recovering

But we were hoping

Just hoping

For one day

Just one day

Of nearly normality

And we knew it was unlikely

But our hopes were rising

Until today

When reality

Closed back upon us

No one can meet us

And I know it's the right thing

I'm glad they're doing something

To save lives

But it hurts

Tonight, it hurts

A lot

Constant uncertainty

So many changes

Results in anxiety

Tears and sadness

It's a normal reaction

It's ok to feel it

Don't hide it inside

Feel free to share it

Then pause for a moment

Notice the blessings

From bird song at dawn

To online connections

Focus on hope

On days that will come

When we can gather

And hug everyone

Christmas this year

Is totally different

But light still shines bright

In every moment

Christmas memories

Of many shapes and sizes

Nothing like this year

This year we will find

New ways to connect in love

Keeping us all safe

You can watch timelapse videos of the creation of many of these on my YouTube channel

Sunday, 13 December 2020

3am 13th December 2019 as election results roll in

This poem came up as a memory on Facebook and it appears that it never made it to my blog.  In fact when I read it I wondered who'd written it, apparently it was me.  


I actually feel more hopeful one year on; though Brexit agreements seem appear further away than ever and we'll probably crash out in a few weeks time.  But my hopeful thoughts for the end of 2019 are stronger, because I've seen people come together through the pandemic and it gives me hope?

It's dark at 3am
Nothing good happens at 3am
Especially at this 3am
As results poor in from around our country
Our country who I feel I don't know any more
Our country who seem to have voted not for the good of all
But for the good of....
Well who?
Not for themselves
Because the conservatives don't care about ordinary people
They care about the rich, the investors, the lucky
Yet somehow they've convinced a country
That they will get xxxxxx done
And that that will improve life for everyone
And to be honest I don't think I care about Brexit any more
There.... I said it!
I want to be in Europe
But more than that
I want to live in a country
That cares for everybody
The weak and the poor
The young and the old
Those with no hope
Those who need help
The sick and the nurses
The wonderful NHS workers
The kids and their teachers
The schools and their budgets
The social care system
The workers within it
But thanks to Brexit
None of that seems to matter
And, even more sadly
Ordinary people believe Brexit WILL fix it
That once we're independent
Everything will improve
We'll miraculously have nirvana
It makes me so sad
Because soon it'll be clear
That all of it was lies
The promise of improved lives
Another political disaster
Sold by those who love power
Oh what a night!

But wait.....
This is not the end of the story
There may be five years of Tory
But here in our country
Hope will shine through
A light in the darkness
From me and from you
Ordinary people will continue
To give to the foodbanks
Donate to the charities
Lobby our MPs
(Even if they don't listen)
Love our neighbours
Encourage the doctors
Support the teachers
Reuse and recycle
Smile at strangers
In every small action
You can see compassion
Added up it's a mission
Of goodness
That's what I'll focus on
That's what I'll see
The hope of humanity
It shines ever brighter
In the darkest of nights
Like tonight
So if you are feeling
The weight of disappointment
Or fear of the future
Take heart and remember
There are millions of us who care
Millions who do good
Millions who are in this life together
Things can only get better.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Grayson's Art Club: The Blessings


Photo of Emma on her zoom tour of the exhibition with Grayson and a drawing of Little Guy as Emma

Grayson's Art Club: the exhibition aired on Channel 4 last night and I've been overwhelmed with messages of thanks and about how I've inspired and blessed people.  

So now it's my turn to share a rough and ready list of how Grayson and the Art Club team have inspired and blessed me.

Talking to Grayson for the first show.  Almost an out of body experience.  Being such a fan girl and proud of it.

Grayson's ability to connect so quickly and make me feel relaxed so I could chat to him just as I would a friend 

Having Grayson affirm that my creativity is artistic, it's not "just" anything, it's art.

Resting in the idea that I might be an artist because we're all artists when we create to express ourselves

Realising that all drawing and painting and sculpting and making is art, it doesn't have to be a certain standard to achieve that title. 

Creating is art.

Dictionary definitions of art

Art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Art: the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance

Watching the entire first series and feeling even more inspired to keep creating.  

Realising the truth in the lack of access to the arts for disabled people both to appreciate and to participate

Spotting art everywhere and in everything.

Encouraging people to embrace their creativity and express themselves by creating in whatever way works for them

Fully taking on the identity of a creative person, of a poet, a writer, an artist.

The exhibition and lots of conversations and emails with the curators.  

Their idea to display the entire sketch book rather than just the sketch.  

Fiona, who was on the show, recommended that I should keep the sketch in the book as a record of my creativity and that the whole book should go on display.  Thar made me feel like an actual artist at every step, it was so affirming

The process of deciding what would go on the information panel next to my artwork in the exhibition. The curators encouragement to share what felt real for me because that matters

Grayson wanting to visit me, the idea that I might have something to say that he and the producers thought needed to be heard - yet not being prescriptive about what that would be - was hugely affirming. 

Insight into the world of creating TV programmes with lots of extra bits for editing.

An hour with Grayson, Neil and Adam in the garden!!!

General conversation about creativity and society and faith and accessibility and inclusiveness and politics and life and cats

Being interviewed by Grayson and talking about many different aspects of life in lockdown and creativity and disability and hope and hope and hope.

The joy of meeting the man I have been so inspired by and being inspired even more.

The genuine sadness the team felt that I wouldn't be able to get to Manchester to visit the exhibition.  The way they wanted to make it so I could visit it somehow.  

Photo of me on zoom with Grayson giving me a tour of the exhibition
Photo by Andrew Brooks

Zoom tour of the exhibition, the time that Grayson and Philippa and the team gave me to see it in all its glory.  

The way Grayson helped me get up close so that these artworks filled my computer screen so I could see them - better than I will be able to in real life I think.  

The joy of laughing together and noticing together and appreciating people's amazing art together.

The overwhelming feeling of seeing my sketch and poem presented in a display cabinet in an art gallery.  

The realisation that people will come and look at it and that it might encourage them to express themselves through sketching or writing.

The messages of love and care from the team and Grayson and Philippa when I caught covid and was so ill.  

The turning on its head of the idea that all media people are in it for themselves - it's not true of these people.

The messages from the team before this exhibition show went out letting me know that they loved my contribution.  Affirming me and reassuring me not to be fearful of what would make the edit.

The amazing show itself which had me in tears both happy and sad.

The tweets and messages during and since the show from friends and strangers.  The reminder, whilst I'm feeling so low emotionally and physically as I slowly recover from covid, that just being me and sharing my truth can bless people and give them hope.

Hope for the world as we emerge from the pandemic together

Hope for the arts generally.  Grayson's Art Club has connected with so many who might never have thought about going to an art gallery and hopefully that will have made art galleries even more accessible for everyone 

Hope for an increase in people being creative for creativities sake

Hope for the goodness of people

Hope for more accessibility

Hope for the future


It has been amazing to be a tiny part of the Art Club; these are just some of the blessings.  Thank you Grayson, Philippa, Neil, Adam, Fiona and everyone who has blessed me. 

I'll finish with this quote from the programme from me

"I never realised how powerful creating could be, until I was in a situation where ever other tool I had in the toolbox for looking after myself had vanished"