My Mother’s Daughter – show extended!

For anyone who couldn’t make it over to see our new show My Mother’s Daughter it has now be extended to the Friday 5th May!

Check it out at The FreeSpace Project gallery (first floor), Kentish Town Health Centre, Bartholomew Road, London NW5 2BX. Mon – Fri 9-6.30pm only.

http://freespaceproject.org/portfolio/mmd/

 

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The birthday blues

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Funnily I’ve been thinking I haven’t written much recently because I feel so good, and didn’t feel that there was much to write about. But just then when I thought I really didn’t feel grief anymore, it comes back and hits me. Today, on what would have been my mum’s 73rd birthday, I feel glum. This morning I thought it was just the shitty weather (first day of Spring ha!), but grey clouds don’t tend to give me a heavy feeling of hopelessness, the feeling like nothing really can help make you feel better. Death is so final, there’s no options,no choices, no way to work it out, just the hard fact that someone is dead and that’s it. The feeling today is no way as heavy at it once was, those days are gone thankfully, but it’s just this fluid feeling that you have no control over. It just comes on and then goes as it likes, it’s rather strange to not have control over your own mind.

I was sitting in my studio this morning, trying to finish a photo job and just feeling a bit dull, a Bob Dylan sound came on the radio and all the memories of mum came back. She loved Dylan, I’m not so much a fan, but his voice took me right back to being a child. It was Just Like a Woman. It was sad, but then kind of happy at the same time. Sad she’s gone, and in such a horrid way, but happy that I’m still here, and that she made me into a strong woman.

I just have to get used to that every anniversary, every birthday, any special occasion, I’m just going to feel a bit strange. It’s just what my new life without her is like now.

Maybe it’s not a complete coincidence that my new exhibition ‘My Mother’s daughter’, a celebration of being a daughter and a woman, where I’m showing my new project about life after my mum, happens to be this month the month that has both Mother’s Day, my mum’s birthday and International Woman’s day in it. She made me a strong woman, and this exhibition makes me feel glad and proud to be one, and glad to be surrounded by fellow strong women who have been through the same experience.

Our show ‘My Mother’s Daughter’ is on till 3rd April if anyone is interested in seeing it.

 

My Mother’s Daughter exhibition

I’m taking part in this exhibition, with two exceptional artists: Jessa Fairbrother & Paloma Tendero. I’ll be showing my new project ‘A Stranger in My Mother’s Kitchen

Opening next week, come along. Info below.

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My Mother’s Daughter  March 9th — April 3rd 2017

My Mother’s Daughter is an exhibition of sensitive photographic works by threeartists examining the loss and legacy of their mothers. In each of the works the artists have found a unique method of retaining the bond between mother and daughter, in an exploration of grief, motherhood, genetic inheritance and their continuing role as daughters.

After her mother’s death and whilst clearing out her home, Celine Marchbank discovered boxes of her mother’s old recipes, a lifetime’s collection of being a head chef. She decided to learn to cook them all as a way to feel closer to her mother. Her work A Stranger in my Mother’s Kitchen is part of her on-going journey through grief and learning about life without her mother.

Paloma Tendero was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disorder inherited from her mother. This genetic flaw has led her to explore the physical and psychological relationships that spring from her inherited determinism. Through photography and sculpture the artist looks for an interpretation of this co-existence between biological determinism and the desire for free will.

Jessa Fairbrother’s work explores the loss of her mother and the artist’s own inability to become one. She uses the camera to record her performance of roleplay in it’s many forms, often stitching and piercing photographs to amplify the relationship between herself and the parts she plays. Here she uses herself-assubject to respond to her simultaneous experience of miscarriage and becoming an adult orphan.

The Free Space Gallery is an arts & well-being charity based within Kentish Town Health Centre providing arts activities, therapies, exhibitions and residencies.

The Free Space Gallery

Kentish Town Health Centre

2 Bartholomew Road

London, NW5 2BX

Mon — Fri (9am — 6.30pm)

Private View 9th March (from 6.30pm)

http://www.freespacegallery.org

PRESS RELEASE:

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Happening today! 24photography opening in Soho Square.

I’m taking part in the 24photography project this year, a very exciting project to photograph the first day of the year every year by 24 photographers for 24 years.

Come along to our special outdoor exhibition right in the middle of Soho Square gardens. Opening Sat 25th 1-3pm, and continues for 24 days.

The project is featured by the BBC this week too!

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Five days of Crisis

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Yesterday was my last and final shift for Crisis At Christmas. It’s been the most amazing and surprisingly fun experience, completely different to what I had imagined. It might seem a little weird to describe it as fun, why would it be fun to help look after one of societies most disadvantaged group of people, but it was fun for many reasons and not just for the volunteers, the guests also came to enjoy themselves. Considering what the guests have experienced and having to live through right now, I found them some of the friendliest group of people I’ve worked with in a long while. I was touched by the fellow volunteers, never have I worked with such a mix of like-minded individuals, not one ego, bad word or any type of friction all week, even when people have been working long and constantly busy days. I felt I was in some kind of socialist utopian experiment. A place where people of all different backgrounds, age, class, ethnicities just got on and looked out for one another. A place where money didn’t exist or have any purpose. Where everyone says hello, opens doors for you, bring you cups of tea and shares their food with you. Where everyone makes time to sit and chat with the guests, really listen to their stories and show genuine respect and a real hand of friendship to all. I have to admit one of my concerns before I started was I thought I had no idea how to speak to the guests, I really didn’t want to come across as some kind of patronising do-gooder, but I think once in that environment we were all so far from that. The fact me and none of my fellow first year volunteers had any kind of training on how to work in this environment made it all more amazing that it worked so seamlessly. The whole thing is so well-managed and well structured, they’ve thought of every step for both guests and volunteers, everything functions seamlessly, due to the long-standing commitment by the regular volunteers and the trust they show in their new ones.

It’s sad to think that the centre is now closed, I’ve spent much of today thinking about the guests I met over the last week, wondering what they are up to now. I get to go back to my warm house, and it makes me feel rather guilty. Although the week was fun and we were encouraged to be happy and welcoming to the guest, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of sadness inside that the people using the centre are in this situation, that it’s got to the point that they need the services of Crisis in the first place. The thing that struck me the most about the centre’s guests was the appreciation by them of the volunteers just treating them like humans. Such a simple thing, something everyone can do without much effort, yet what they experience in the outside world is so different, life on the street is beyond horrid and bordering barbaric. What does it say about our society that a man can sleep on the street and nothing is done. It’s an absolute disgrace, and it’s perhaps even more of a disgrace that certain people treat them as vermin on top of that. One thing everyone could try to do is not ignore a fellow human. If someone is begging for food chances are they are very hungry, buy them a bloody sandwich if you are not comfortable giving them money. Or just ask them if they are ok. Alert the right services that you have seen a rough sleeper. Street Link has an app you can download on your phone and report rough sleepers. One thing you really shouldn’t do is just ignore them.

As much as homelessness upsets and angers me, I have to admit one of my reasons for volunteering this year for Crisis was purely selfish. I just wanted to forget about Christmas. Since my mum died Christmas is empty and only reminds me that I miss her, so the chance to ignore it was much appreciated. This was my first proper experience of volunteering, and I really enjoyed it, both for what I could do for others and what I got from it (it was by no way a one way street). When people asked me what I was doing for christmas their response tended to be ‘oh how noble of you giving up your Christmas to help others’, I found that rather annoying and patronising, it also made me feel a bit of a phony. But because of Crisis I really enjoyed Christmas Day this year, I was so busy all day mostly making cups of tea for the guests, that I didn’t think of my mum once nor feel sad, so for that I will always be grateful and just glad I could do something small in return for others. I look forward very much to next year, I will most definitely be back, and for many more years to come I suspect.

Tulip in the Creative Review Photography Annual!

Very happy to see my Tulip book a selected winner for the Creative Review Photography Annual. Many fantastic projects on there, so in great company.

 

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