Stories

June 11, 2020 - Street Stories

 

Boots on the street.  Boots story (Part I)  here.

May 12, 2020 - Clunk & Jam in FOUND

 

 

Both Clunk & Jam and Wisdoms and Rose books are now available in Fremantle Art Centre’s FOUND online store.  FOUND showcases work from a range of local and Western Australian Makers.  Very grateful for their warm support.  Instagram @fremantleartcentre .  Cover art by Stormie Mills.

 

Rose paste-up in Fremantle Art Centre’s FOUND.

 

March 8, 2020 - Strange Difference

 

coke boys harley

 

(Art Harley Manifold, Original in colour)

A strange phenomenon… on Youth Focus camps, spending time with young people – one thing always comes through strongly.   20-25 young individuals arrive to spend a weekend together and often there’s only one thing they have in common – they’re all different.    That ‘difference’ too, seems to be the carrier of loneliness, the feeling of disconnection and lack of sense of place in the world.  But, over the space of a weekend, that very difference is what unites and strengthens them.

Why?  Because, unlike the world outside the camp environment, difference is valued and accepted there.  So it’s safe to reveal their true selves, however strange, weird and unacceptable that might be to the outside world.   And they are safe also to try on new ways of being without judgement and criticism.   And it always makes you wonder … what if being different meant you’d never be alone again….  What if society valued and appreciated difference as opposed to casting aside those who don’t fit the mould.

What if individual flags were flown in the face of the ‘one size fits all’ (we all know it doesn’t).   Wouldn’t the world be a far more interesting (and safer) place to be.

Similar posts:  Toast To DifferencesGood DifferenceDifference Matters

The Fringe

December 3, 2019 - Box full of hope and heart

 

 

Thank you to the kind people who sponsor books to be given to community groups for the young people they are supporting.  This box is bound for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in rural Northam.

 

 

The idea of making the book bags (pockets, pouches) above, for The Black Dog Project came from spending time with young people who’d experienced trauma, and my own experience of it.   When you’ve experienced trauma ‘safe places’ and ‘being held’ become very important.  The books themselves are created with that in mind – soft paper, muted tones, ink soaked deep into the page.  Characters who ‘hold you’.   And space.

 

 

The community groups who gift the books to those they’re supporting say the kids often hold the books to their chests (hearts) with a sense of preciousness.  So from that emerged the idea of creating a safe place to keep the books in and somewhere to add their own things.   A group of friends got together with their sewing machines and made a beautiful batch of the pouches.   They have a soft draw string cord and a symbol embroidered by hand with string.  The symbol being code for ‘righting the wrongs’.

 

 

The hand-made part of the gift box is really important.  Interestingly, we had some graphically designed and slickly printed black dog bookmarks done in 2010 but the counsellors say the kids are always drawn to the handmade things.  Like the cardboard squares cut from the back cover of art journals and stamped with The Black Dog Project stamp on one side and Clunk & Jam typewriter on the other.   Aside from being ‘quiet’ and softly sensory, maybe it’s because they’re imperfect and no two are the same?  A good message about the value of difference maybe?  And things not being perfect?

 

October 30, 2019 - Amelia & Robin At Planet

 

 

Thanks again to Planet Books for the wall space at the rear of the bookshop for Robin and Amelia.

 

 

 

October 23, 2019 - Fitzroy Book Library

 

 

Donated some copies of Clunk & Jam, Wisdoms of Rose, cards and paste-ups to Condell Growers and Sharers community library and vege garden in Condell Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne.