Crossing the Bridge
Thursday 14th July 2022

Do you ever feel that you are so caught up in your own head that its difficult to breathe? Recently I have been finding it difficult to mediate because I’m just so damn tired in the morning that I've been missing my first alarm call. Teaching is heavy emotionally sometimes and there is an investment that has to be made. Also losing my job to redundancy is starting to feel a bit overwhelming. I am having to sit and think about how to reinvent myself and move out of my comfort zone. I realise that I have been procrastinating on writing my teacher cv because I am losing confidence in what I do and who I am. In truth life has felt overwhelming recently.

I keep trying to make a bridge of connections and trust in the universe. In order to trust in the universe I have to trust in myself and stay open to what will come. When I paint I have learnt to trust the process and I appreciate that mistakes are often a piece of luck as opposed to a disaster. This doesn’t mean that I can’t be methodical and precise but it’s not always how it rolls. There are definitely some good points to being made redundant and I am truly hoping that I will now be able to spend a few months concentrating on my family and my painting. I’m also planning some time out away from my family because I truly believe that having some time to myself in isolation from others will be good for me. I need to hear my voice and cut out some of the external noise. I need to be able to scream if I want to and laugh or cry. I just need to breathe.

One thing that truly helps me breathe is looking at the work of other artists.
I am still in love with the colour play that is involved in the work of Bridget Riley and I have great respect for the amount of research and practice that goes into her art. I absolutely adore the replicas of everyday objects and the beautiful drawings of Claes Oldenburg. I get excited when I encounter the compositions that make up a scene in one of Lubaina Himid’s stunning paintings. Chris Ofili’s No Woman, No cry is so rich in subject matter that it takes your breath away. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s art and its poetic nature, Kehinde Wiley’s imposing portraits, Faith Ringgold’s story quilts. I think that the best exhibition I have been to this year is the wonderful “In The Black Fantastic” which is on at the Hayward Gallery in London and I think that my favourite pieces are the selfportraits of Liberian-British artist Lina Iris Viktor, in which she depicts herself as the prophetess Sibyl foretelling “the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade”.