Animal in You Kickstarter Campaign: Become a patron, explore your inner animal

Animal in You: How would it feel to dive into your own surreal, dream world through an inkblot painting?


Jessica K Ballantyne Animal in You painting commission.jpgJessica K Ballantyne Animal in You painting commission.jpg

I am looking for lovers of art and the human mind to collaborate with me to produce a series of 60 oil paintings (35x35cm) guided by your interpretation of an inkblot and inspired by what you see within the shapes and forms of the paint.

I’ll invite you to gaze at an inkblot and tell me what pops into your head (I promise I won’t psycho-analyse you, unless you want me to that is!). Once you let me know what you see, I’ll get to work on a painting just for you 🙂


Jessica Ballantyne Inkblot Rorschach Animal in You.jpegJessica Ballantyne Inkblot Rorschach Animal in You.jpeg

The painting will be created on raw, unstretched canvas. I love the sandy colour of raw canvas. It has a lovely feel and texture and as such is the perfect medium for bringing the inkblot to life.

Your Animal in You painting will be one of a kind with you in mind. Influenced by surrealist techniques and klecksography (creating images out of inkblots) Animal in You explores and celebrates animal symbolism and the subconscious mind.




Jessica K Ballantyne Inkblots Animal in YouJessica K Ballantyne Inkblots Animal in You

If I reach my goal

You will be invited to a virtual, solo exhibition and live stream of Animal in You. Your painting will be among the surreal menagerie of artworks on display in a dreamy, interactive, virtual environment. I plan to take the experience even further by creating a memorable book of the inkblot paintings which will include animal archetypes, quotes from participants and potentially, from a qualified therapist or psychologist.



Why Inkblots?

The inkblot test (also called the “Rorschach” test) is a method of psychological evaluation that psychologists use to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their patients. In my opinion, inkblots are the icons of psychoanalysis and represent the mind’s incredible ability to make sense of random, abstract forms.

I love the process of studying an inkblot and seeing what images pop up, for me it’s usually animals, hence Animal in You.

I’ve always been fascinated by the animal side of our human nature, the instinctual and unconscious desires that often drive our actions. What started as a rather personal series, changed as I began to share the inkblots with people and gain insights into what they were seeing.

Different people see different things within the same inkblot. This is a fascinating way to connect with the subconscious minds of others. I am interested in Jungian archetypes and how the animals that sometimes appear hold surprising symbolic meaning for the viewer.

“The instincts are a far better protection than all the intellectual wisdom in the world”– Carl Jung

How it Works

*1. You will receive a picture (via email) of an inkblot which has been made on raw, unstretched canvas .


Example inkblot. Each participant will receive a picture of a different inkblot that I've pre-made, on raw canvas.Example inkblot. Each participant will receive a picture of a different inkblot that I've pre-made, on raw canvas.

Example inkblot. Each participant will receive a picture of a different inkblot that I’ve pre-made, on raw canvas.

*2. We will have a conversation about what you see (via email or skype) and I’ll use your vision to develop a digital collage as a plan for the painting (If you would prefer not to chat about what you see, you can leave it up to me to create a unique original Animal in You painting with you in mind.)


Example photo collage. Using Photoshop and inkblot photos I create a digital collage based on your interpretation of an inkblot.Example photo collage. Using Photoshop and inkblot photos I create a digital collage based on your interpretation of an inkblot.

Example photo collage. Using Photoshop and inkblot photos I create a digital collage based on your interpretation of an inkblot.



*3. I’ll use the digital collage as inspiration to develop the canvas inkblot with layers of oil paint.


Original Animal in You oil painting, 35x35cm, unstretched, raw canvasOriginal Animal in You oil painting, 35x35cm, unstretched, raw canvas

Original Animal in You oil painting, 35x35cm, unstretched, raw canvas

*4. I’ll need approximately 5 months of full time dedication to make this project a success. I plan on including (and paying) other creatives as much as possible to help with things like the book and the Animal in You virtual exhibition.

Rewards

£5 

  • Animal in You ebook (pdf)

  • Full colour, digital format 

  • Easily converted to kindle or other ebook readers

  • Invite to the private view live stream exhibition

£20

  • Animal in You soft cover book

  • Limited edition, signed

  • Will feature all the Animal in You paintings, quotes from participants, the artist and a professional therapist/psychologist specialising in Jungian analysis.

  • Invite to the private view, live stream exhibition

  • *above is an example of the kind of book I plan to create (A4 landscape, soft cover). Update: I did not reach my goal on Kickstarter but am offering the book at a smaller size. Preorder the book in my shop.


Animal in You book Jessica K Ballantyne Jungian Inkblots RorschachAnimal in You book Jessica K Ballantyne Jungian Inkblots Rorschach

 £95

A photo collage is created before each Animal in You painting is started and serves as the plan for the oil painting. 

If you prefer prints to paintings, this is a quirky alternative to the Animal in You original painting and is still completely unique to you and your interpretation of an inkblot.

Your photo collage will be printed on museum quality paper with archival inks which means rich, vibrant colours.

  • Animal in You Photo Collage PRINT

  • One of a kind, unique to you, based on your interpretation of an inkblot

  • Archival, museum quality print on Hahnemuhle paper

  • 1/1

  • 35x35cm

  • Signed

  • Invite to the private view live stream exhibition

  • £1 donation to World Wildlife Fund

  • *will differ from the image below, based on what you see in the inkblot image I send


Example of what your digital print could look like, unique to you and what you see in your inkblot. Created using Photoshop and canvas inkblot images.Example of what your digital print could look like, unique to you and what you see in your inkblot. Created using Photoshop and canvas inkblot images.

Example of what your digital print could look like, unique to you and what you see in your inkblot. Created using Photoshop and canvas inkblot images.



£190

An original Animal in You oil painting, based on your interpretation of an inkblot. 

  • Animal in You oil painting (unstretched, raw canvas, 35x35cm)

  • Animal in You ebook

  • Your painting featured in the book

  • Acknowledgement in the book

  • VIP Invite to the private view live stream exhibition

  • £2 donation to World Wildlife Fund


Original Animal in You painting on raw, unstretched canvasOriginal Animal in You painting on raw, unstretched canvas

Original Animal in You painting on raw, unstretched canvas

£210

Original Animal in You painting PLUS the Animal in You book.

  • Animal in You oil painting (unstretched, raw canvas, 35x35cm)

  • Animal in You book

  • Your painting featured in the book

  • Acknowledgement in the book

  • VIP Invite to the private view live stream exhibition

  • £2 donation to World Wildlife Fund



£490

Go Big! Same process except bigger. Your painting will measure 60x60cm. 

  • Animal in You original oil painting (60x60cm)

  • Animal in You book

  • Your painting featured in the book

  • Special acknowledgement in the book

  • VIP Invite to the private view live stream exhibition

  • £5 donation to World Wildlife Fund

  • *below is an example, your painting will be based on your unique inkblot and interpretation

*painting is created on unstretched, raw canvas and delivered rolled up in a tube for safety. It will need to be framed before it can be displayed.


Example of a 60x60cm Animal in You paintingExample of a 60x60cm Animal in You painting

Example of a 60x60cm Animal in You painting

£950

Make a statement! Same process, even bigger. Your painting will measure 85x85cm. 

  • Animal in You original oil painting (85x85CM)

  • Animal in You book

  • Animal in You ebook

  • Your painting featured in the book

  • Special acknowledgement in the book

  • VIP invite to the private view live stream exhibition

  • £9 donation to World Wildlife Fund

    *painting is created on unstretched, raw canvas and delivered rolled up in a tube for safety. It will need to be framed before it can be displayed.


Example of an 85x85cm Animal in You paintingExample of an 85x85cm Animal in You painting

Example of an 85x85cm Animal in You painting

The Animal in You Virtual Exhibition 

I plan on working with creatives to build a surreal, dreamy virtual gallery space, which will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The goal is to exhibit the paintings online but also to create an alternative gallery space unlike anything you have seen before. Think mood lighting, chaise longues and surprising objects inhabiting the exhibition space.

The beauty of creating a virtual gallery is that the limits that exist in real time and space do not apply in the virtual world, which leaves a lot of room for an imaginative environment that suits themes of the unconscious and dreams. The online gallery will be interactive (meaning you can move around the virtual space using your keyboard or phone, much like a game).

I’m very excited to work with other creatives on this aspect of the Animal in You project.


An example of a virtual exhibition space. The Animal in You virtual exhibition will differ in appearanceAn example of a virtual exhibition space. The Animal in You virtual exhibition will differ in appearance

An example of a virtual exhibition space. The Animal in You virtual exhibition will differ in appearance

Live Stream

The virtual exhibition will have an opening evening in the form of a live stream. You can watch live, online, as I walk you through the virtual gallery space, discussing the paintings and the Animal in You journey.  During the live stream, guests can post questions and interact with one another in the comments.

VIP guests will get entry into the live stream one hour before anyone else and will have the opportunity to ask me questions, live, about their painting and the project.

Hopefully I’ll be able to arrange an appearance by a Jungian specialist/therapist to add insights along the way, to talk about inkblots and the subconscious and add value to the live stream experience.

The Impact

Your contribution will help me evolve my creative practice and produce a series of paintings which I truly believe will spark conversation and bring connection and joy to people.  It will be another step in the direction of touching as many like-minded art lovers as I can and of sharing the meditative quality, magic and joy of introspective art.

As a professional artist and teacher, this project will help me to develop my practice, not only through the research into this intriguing branch of psychology, but also to develop my craft and collaborate with others to create art with meaning.


Greatart residency and Animal in Me inkblot workshop participantsGreatart residency and Animal in Me inkblot workshop participants

Greatart residency and Animal in Me inkblot workshop participants

I have offered several free workshops to the public and have been invited to do my second Animal in You workshop at Greatart, a large art store in London, which supports artists in a multitude of ways. These workshops afford the public the opportunity to create their own inkblots and develop them as they wish, with my guidance.


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This project will increase my credibility and allow me to spread my reach, offering more opportunities for the public to engage with art that is therapeutic and psychologically beneficial.

What others are saying


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Meet the artist


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I was born in South Africa and moved to London in 2009 after graduating with a BA (honours) in Fine Art from the University of Pretoria. I create oil paintings in the theme I’m most passionate about, the body mind. I have a great curiosity about dreams and the subconscious and the many ways these drive people. Animal in You combines my love of surrealistic methods like automatism (a surrealist technique of free-association or creating without thought or plan) with pareidolia, the phenomenon whereby we see faces in random patterns, shapes and forms.

I am a qualified teacher of art and design and teach at a college where I realised the therapeutic and psychologically beneficial qualities art had for my special needs learners in particular.

I have gone on to offer several free workshops to the public, two of which have been Animal in Me workshops at Greatart store in Hoxton, where participants made their own inkblots and, with my guidance, brought out their own vision with paint.

Animal in Me inkblot workshop and residency at Greatart

Painting the Animal in Me series started as a meditative process, which helped me to calm my reeling and often overwhelmed ‘animal mind’ during an emotionally challenging time. I have very little control of the shapes and forms created during the inkblot making and so, had to learn to surrender to the process, which, in turn, helped me to surrender a bit more to life. Because of the unpredictable results of the inkblots, I’m always surprised by the results and what people see in them.


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Watch my interview with art critic Tabish Khan where I talk about the project and reveal his Animal in You painting 

Other Ways You Can Help

Animal in You is an insightful collaboration between artist and viewer and the paintings that result from this amalgamation of minds are delightfully surreal. The Animal in You series is about starting a conversation and opening your mind to see things from different perspectives, after all it’s very rare for different people to see the same thing in the same inkblot.

If you can’t support the campaign financially, please share it with those who might like the idea behind Animal in You. Ask them what they see. You might discover something interesting about them! If you know any animal lovers, psychologists or lovers of the human mind and how it works, please share this with them.

This is a great time to invest a small amount for an original oil painting and become a patron of mine.

Thank you for your support.

Please use the share tools to spread the word.

Kleksograph: Online Magazine Devoted to Art and Poetry Exploring the Subconscious

Thrilled to have my painting accepted into the second edition of Kleksograph

I came across this very cool and very niche magazine online called Kleksograph which I immediately fell in love with. Not only is the magazine called “Kleksograph” and kleksography is the process of creating images using inkblots (which is what I’ve been exploring in the Animal in Me series) but it’s also full of gorgeous poetry and art that centers around the subconscious and subjectivity.

Surely every work of art is informed by the subconscious? True, but most artists would contend that their work is mainly the result of conscious, rational decisions. Some writers though, draw their ideas from dreams. Franz Kafka, for example. The Klecksograph seeks to explore and celebrate art where the membrane between it and the subconscious is at its thinnest.

— Peter Van Belle

I was absolutely thrilled when I submitted Kissed Cracked Killed Clipped and got accepted into the second edition of The Kleksograph. The oil painting (featured below) was based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and gets its title from a play I saw with a dear friend called “The Mask of Orpheus” written by Harrison Birtwistle and performed at the English National Opera. A line from the play that transfixed me was as Orpheus was lamenting the loss of Eurydice to the underworld. It forms the title of the painting: Kissed Cracked Killed Clipped. The voice of the performer as he said the lines was haunting and full of soul. I’ll never forget it! It was an epic and surreal performance, I’ve never really seen anything like it, I was so moved.

The painting started off as an inkblot which I then developed with layers of oil paint to produce a painting inspired by myth, animal symbology and the subconscious mind. It explores the longing, anger and disillusionment of a love torn apart by unforeseen circumstances, where animal nature and masks of the ego overwhelm the figures.

The magazine is free to download, I suggest taking a look at both editions, the first one is short and sweet and the second is full of stories and poetry and features my art.

Take a look at their website below and download the magazines, you will be in for a treat 🙂


Kissed Cracked Killed ClippedOil on canvas90cm diameterAvailable for sale, request detailsKissed Cracked Killed ClippedOil on canvas90cm diameterAvailable for sale, request details

Kissed Cracked Killed Clipped

Oil on canvas

90cm diameter

Available for sale, request details

Lockdown: A virtual, interactive exhibition featuring The Tunnel artists


The Tunnel is an art collective featuring a diverse collective of artists, musicians and filmmakers based in London.The Tunnel is an art collective featuring a diverse collective of artists, musicians and filmmakers based in London.

The Tunnel is an art collective featuring a diverse collective of artists, musicians and filmmakers based in London.

Immerse yourself in artistic responses to this troubling time from the comfort of your quarantine.- Chris Godber

Lockdown is a virtual and interactive art exhibition curated and built by Tunnel artist Chris Godber.

The Lockdown exhibition explores the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Featuring work created by the international artists collective, you can explore a bespoke virtual environment in your browser built with the HTML5 / WebGL game Engine PlayCanvas

Artists spoke about their work as Chris guided us through the virtual space, which looks much like the spaces we have exhibited in real life.

Unfortunately as I was talking about my work, which featured nudity (see below), Youtube actually cut us off due to “inappropriate content”! I was slightly flabbergasted as the work is clearly collaged and does not in anyway resemble a realistic body. I think all the nipples were just too much for the algorithm ha ha.

We have since appealed the decision, they now confirmed that it is indeed “art” and they have allowed us to keep the recording which you can find HERE

 

 

We aim to do another live stream event at a later date to give the other participating artists a chance to speak about their work, and give viewers the chance to ask questions and make comments in real time. Stay tuned or join my newsletter to stay updated.

Laughter Yoga For Creatives

Laughter is the best medicine!

I’ve been exploring ways to feel better during these troubling times and came across laughter yoga during a silent retreat in Portugal a few years ago.

I’ve decided to share the joy of my discovery of laughter yoga with as many people as possible and so, am offering laughter yoga sessions online!

Join me for a laugh as we breath and laugh our way through the stress of being cooped up.

Laughter yoga is a proven way to increase positive feelings and give a boost to your immune system. Your brain can’t tell the difference between real and fake laughter- it produces feel good endorphins either way! Laughter also reduces stress, is a natural pain reliever and helps you heal.

Join us for a session or book a private session for you and your friends 🙂


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Heart of Darkness: A Group Exhibiton by The Tunnel artists

Heart of Darkness

The Tunnel art collective will play host to a group show featuring some rather amazing artists I am very proud to show with. I’ll be exhibiting the new piece for the first time so I hope you can make it if you are in London!

The circular paintings will incorporate the Animal in Me and a series I’ve had in mind for a few years now: Kaleidoscopes. I am bringing back the surrealistic, erotic figure while still maintaining the automatic, spontaneous and almost abstract image making made possible by the inkblot.

I hope you will like them.

The Nineteenth exhibition by The Tunnel using the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1902) and Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola (1979) as a base.

Join @thetunnelartists this Saturday to enjoy this carefully curated group exhibition and night of performances 🍂🔥🍁

When : SAT 30th Nov 6-9pm & Sunday 11am-5pm
Location: @hundred_years_gallery
13 Pearson Street
London
E2 8JD
( nearest tube: Hoxton)


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Below is a sneak peek of my new painting so far. After working so up close and intimately with the canvas, I’m always surprised at how the forms seem to form themselves and are revealed to me only as I stand back. In a way the act of painting is an act of love making. I always think of Bob Ross saying “make love to the canvas” I find this both hilarious and affirmative!


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Animal In Me: GreatArt Residency and FREE Inkblot Workshops

If we lessen the control of our logical and conscious mind we can access the unconscious and uncover its strange and dreamy symbolism, which is as unique as it is universal.

— Jessica Ballantyne


A cross between an axolotle, bat and a bee <3Acrylic and oil paint on canvas30x30cm£150A cross between an axolotle, bat and a bee <3Acrylic and oil paint on canvas30x30cm£150

A cross between an axolotle, bat and a bee ❤

Acrylic and oil paint on canvas

30x30cm

£150

Join me for my first residency with GreatArt and have some fun with the magic of inkblots and animal guides ❤

The surrealist methods of art making have inspired people all across different fields, from psychology to fashion, the surrealist’s use of powerful, subconscious imagery has been a source of inspiration. If we lessen the control of our logical and conscious mind we can access the unconscious and uncover its strange and dreamy symbolism, which is as unique as it is universal.

 The surrealist methods of art-making have inspired people from across different fields. From psychology to fashion, the surrealist’s use of powerful, subconscious imagery has been a source of inspiration.

Join in the art making with the artist, Jessica Ballantyne as she plays with subconscious symbolism using inkblots as the method and medium. During the GreatArt residency, Jessica will create paintings on canvas, in the theme: The Animal in Me. Fascinated by the mythology of animals, Jessica often sees different, wild animals in her inkblots, often melting into one another within the patterns and resulting in a surreal amalgamation of creatures.

Do you want to take an inkblot journey through the magic of your own subconscious symbolism? On the weekend of the residency, Jessica will hold two workshops. Participants can make their own inkblots on canvas, with the artist guiding each step of the way. The artist invites viewers and participants to share what they see in one another’s inkblots.

Using acrylics, participants may transform the inkblots into the illusions they inspire. With the help of the artist, participants can choose to layer and enhance certain features to produce a new artwork or simply, leave the inkblot as it is in its beautiful simplicity. The inkblots created by the artist and participants will hang to dry and be displayed around the red cube, encouraging the public to interact with the artworks.

Neat Neat Neat: punk and print making exhibition at The Art Hound Gallery

When the Art of Print Making Becomes an Act of Rebellion- THE ARTHOUND Gallery


Artist: Jessica BallantyneTitle: Oh Oh!Medium: Giclee print on German Etching paper, hand finished with diamond dustLIMITED EDITION OF 20, Signed and numberedSize: 297 x 420 mmPrice £80- (unframed)Artist: Jessica BallantyneTitle: Oh Oh!Medium: Giclee print on German Etching paper, hand finished with diamond dustLIMITED EDITION OF 20, Signed and numberedSize: 297 x 420 mmPrice £80- (unframed)

Artist: Jessica Ballantyne

Title: Oh Oh!

Medium: Giclee print on German Etching paper, hand finished with diamond dust

LIMITED EDITION OF 20, Signed and numbered

Size: 297 x 420 mm

Price £80- (unframed)


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NEAT, NEAT, NEAT | PUNK AND PRINTMAKING | MAY 2019

The Art Hound Gallery are proud to present a new immersive exhibition chronicling the art, music and attitude of the punk movement through print making.

From photo copied cut and paste fanzines, to 7 inch single covers hand screen printed in basements, the visuals of punk were created by musicians and artists pushing the boundaries with print. The underground DIY print ethos of the scene created infamous icons such as the Misfits’ Skull and The Sex Pistols safety pinned Queen – once banned and feared, these images emblazon merchandise world wide today and have come to represent the rebellion of a generation.

Neat, Neat, Neat will explore the print work of punk from the 1970s to the present day. Featured artists will include Jamie Reid, the Sex Pistols artist who originated the iconic cut up text and ripped up flags associated with UK punk, Shepard Fairey, America’s biggest street artist and Jimmy Cauty, one of the masterminds behind Art Punk band The KLF. Alongside there will be a Rock N’ Roll selection of brand new works from the Art Hound’s top Contemporary Artists created just for the show, influenced by the people, the music and the attitude.

The list of artists creating exclusive works just for the show include; Terry Pastor (David Bowie’s original LP cover artist), Simon Freeborough (former Creative Director of the NME), David Studwell (Contemporary Pop Artist whose collectors include Kate Moss and Nile Rodgers), Clare Wardman and Iain Robertson (top Contemporary Abstract artists, whose work has featured at The Tate) and up and coming urban artists and print makers such as Chris Bourke, Alex Bucklee and Charlotte Cooper. Also featured will be neon light art by major international artist Lauren Baker. Neat, Neat, Neat will also see the introduction of underground all female urban art collective Channel 138 to the gallery.

The show will also feature rare original posters from the 70’s punk scene, original film and music chronicling punk both now and then, and some of the stories of Cambridge’s incredible punk past – what exactly happened on the 24th November 1979 between The Damned and The Misfits – two of punks biggest bands – in Cambridge City Centre?

Opens 24th May 2019 to 16th June 2019 at The Art Hound Gallery, Burwash Manor, Cambridge

Sunday – Tuesday | 10am – 5pm

Monday by Appointment

LATE NIGHT OPENING SATURDAY 25TH MAY – 5pm TO 8PM

Full list of Artists featured in the show –

Jamie Reid, John Angus, Jimmy Cauty, Billy Childish, Shepard Fairey, Terry Pastor, David Studwell, Charlotte Cooper, Alan Rogerson, Will Wright, Chris Bourke, Callum Russell, Libby Morris, Barry D. Bulsara, Clare Wardman, Iain Robertson, Alex Bucklee, Simon Freeborough, Jessica Ballantyne, Lauren Baker and introducing Channel 138

website: https://thearthoundgallery.com/

Follow the progress on Instagram!

 

Sacred Nude: Solo Show and Workshop Event Opens this Saturday 22 Sept


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Hi Art Lover,

Sacred Nude: Solo and Workshop Event opens this Saturday! I’m brimming with excitement and nerves as I finalise last minute details for my first little solo show…. I almost can’t believe it’s finally happening as I’ve been dreaming it up for over a year now. What a crazy and wonderful time it has been, with many challenges and mental blocks that I have had to overcome to move through.

The catalogues of Sacred Nude art and poetry by the lovely Francesca Simonelli are on their way to me and I can’t wait to see the physical manifestation of all the digital work we did on it. Thank you to those special people who helped with that!!

There is still time to get a special edition (5 left) these will be signed and come with vinyl stickers of some of the Sacred Nudes and Flower of Life mandalas. And a big kiss from me for your support 😉 Get yours!

Catalogues can be picked at the opening or posted to your address one week later by the 29 September- I will be posting internationally too.
 

 


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A quick reminder about the Sacred Nude show opening:

Saturday 22 September 6-9 PM
Retreat Yoga Studio
367 New Cross Road
London, SE14 6AT

The Saturday workshops

29 September: meditative, mandala-making workshop.
6 October: Art Therapy with Eden O Shoro,
13 October: Life Drawing with Niel Venter and Life Drawing Gymnasia
20 October: Expressive Movement with Eden O Shoro and other professionals.
 

To learn more about the workshops click the link below. Workshops are restricted in size so please book ahead, the workshops are £5 (bargain!)

To RSVP or to book a workshop click the link below…

Mindless Mindful, Scared Nude poetry by Francesca Simonelli


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In the days leading up to my first solo show: Sacred Nude, I have asked poet and writer Francesca Simonelli to respond to my Sacred Nude drawings. What she did completely blew my mind away! Every day until the show opens I will post some of her very special, moving and inspiring poetry for you to enjoy.

Francesca Simonelli‘s poems have touched me and many others for many years and I was over the moon when Francesca agreed to write some words in response to the Sacred Nude series of artworks. Sacred Nude was inspired by a meditation practice that resulted in the healing of body and mind. I wanted to create a series that was dedicated to my meditation practice and the joy (and struggles) I encountered therein.

Exhibition opening: 22 September 2018, 6-9pm

Opening times: 1-5pm every Saturday until 20 October 2018

Inspiring and creative workshops each Saturday

Address:

Retreat Yoga Studio

367 New Cross Road

London, SE14 6AT

See home page to RSVP

 

Mindless-Mindful

By Francesca Simonelli

My heart

Slowed

To the point of emergency

Sounding the alarms

Of medical officials

I sat calmly

Questioning

“Do I want to stay…..

or do I want to go?”

I silently contemplated

Continuing the mindless monotony.

Exposed there

In the ER

Doctors swarming

Whispering

It may as well have been a dream

It was all so surreal

I sat

Neutralized

Seemingly unaffected

This wasn’t the first time.

With the near stroke

And inexplicable paralysis,

I panicked.

When in the midst of writing –

My hand simply stopped working

And I went numb.

Mindful

Only because my body forced me into submission –

That terrified me.

But this,

Now

I knew I could control my heart,

On some level.

I was in charge.

I could drop this body

And run,

Or let myself be lifted.

I walked out –

Mindless

Mindful

Perhaps a bit of both…

While the doctors were huddled

Not telling me their plan

Down the hallway,

As if I were already flat-lined.

They did not include me

In their conversation

As though I were an eavesdropper from the other team

Listening in on their mysterious tactics

While the head coach

Mumbled indiscernibly.

I did not trust their approach

Or methodology

But it was a Sunday

And my holistic doctor was not the “on-call” sort

Unless it truly were an emergency

I just was not convinced.

I would wait….

I was ok if I died waiting

But I knew in that moment

It was completely up to me.

With blind faith

I walked away

My legs still as sexy as ever

I could have been a dancer

I sauntered off that artificially lit stage

Where I would have been hooked up

And God only knows what…

Tested

Inserted

Grabbed

Handled

Poked

Prodded.

You know the routine….

The, “Lie down and take it” investigation

A ridiculous process of elimination.

Now

I rest my body when she calls intermission

My legs like antennae

One pointing to the heavens

Reminding me that I am made of stars

The other pointing to the earth

Reminding me that I am made of dirt

I may hide my arms behind my back

I may not let many people in

But believe me when I say

I am wide open

And I know who I am.

Mindful

Many fleeting moments

Still

Mindless

Most days.


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Sacred Nude artworks and poetry by Francesca Simonelli

Sacred Nudes

In the days leading up to my first solo show: Sacred Nude, I have asked poet and writer Francesca Simonelli to respond to my Sacred Nude drawings. What she did completely blew my mind away! Every day until the show opens I will post some of her very special, moving and inspiring poetry for you to enjoy.

Francesca Simonelli‘s poems have touched me and many others for many years and I was over the moon when Francesca agreed to write some words in response to the Sacred Nude series of artworks. Sacred Nude was inspired by a meditation practice that resulted in the healing of body and mind. I wanted to create a series that was dedicated to my meditation practice and the joy (and struggles) I encountered therein.


Exhibition opening: 22 September 2018, 6-9pm

Opening times: 1-5pm every Saturday until 20 October 2018

Inspiring and creative workshops each Saturday

Address:

Retreat Yoga Studio

367 New Cross Road

London, SE14 6AT

See home page to RSVP


Francesca’s poetry is the most perfect companion to these Sacred Nude artworks. She speaks of presence, feminine power, sexuality and love.


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SACRED NUDE

Split me

Divide me

Open me

Unify me

Patterns become me

Creator can hide me

In plain sight…

Merge and collide me

Divinity underlies me –

You cannot deny me

Or declassify me.

Just try to demystify me

See that you will quickly

Glorify me

Ignite me.

Recognize me

Deify me

Vilify me

Lullaby me

Magnify me

Liquefy me

Multiply me

I am dark queen

I am the darkness of light

Lilith of the night

You have no chance in this fight…

I refuse to submit

Or blindly gratify.

I am amplified and fortified

I am chaos organized.

I am fertility

And creation

Birth and annihilation

I am open devastation

Cellular division

Peer inside me.

Ride me

Abide in me

Enter me

Emerge from me

Stand beside me

Or above me

And below me

Rise within me

I am mystery

And whimsy

Precision and pandemonium…

I am algorithmic and geometric

Poetic and fractal

Numerical and symbolic

I am woman

I am Pi

I am sanctified

And sublime.

I am written in tongues

And chemical symbols

Scientific and ceremonial

Rubric and ritualistic

I am digits and frequencies

Invisible yet very present

Visual and yet unseen.

Formulas and defiance

I am the ultimate contradiction

Living paradox

I am not quickly solved

Yet I am as complexly simple as can be

The most difficult of riddles

Come reflect with Sphinx

And Me….

 

I am spoken to life

By my very own voice

Birthed by Goddess

Guided by Providence

Matrix created

And infinitely multiplying


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