Day of Silent Pride…

Today is the day of silence in New Zealand, when students all around the country will tape their mouths shut. This is a way to draw attention to the many years spent in enforced silence by people of all ages who have suffered an identity crises because of struggles with their sexuality.

I am very proud of all my queer friends and all they have done to make change across the globe,  and indeed of everyone who stands up for human rights in any shape or form.

I am especially proud of my firstborn, Tabby, who has devoted all of her teenage and adult life to this cause. I chose a Tarot card for her, and I chose the High priestess, she is strong, and wise, she is eons older than her years and she lifts a veil between two worlds.I chose the High Priestess card from the Cosmic Tarot because she looks wise, she looks ahead yet carries the wisdom and landscapes of the past. She holds history and the future in her hands, and lights our way like the moon.


I have learned  more than I can ever say form my kids, and I know our whole tribe have learned so much from Tabby. If ever I did something in my life that I am totally happy with, it is raising my kids to be who they are, and to help others to fight for and realise that right.

You can watch Tabby on breakfast TV at this link

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And while we are on a pride trip… this is Polly my second daughter of whom I am equally proud, and her gorgeous son Blue, doing their own bit


And here, can you spot my girls back in their Nayland days doing the day of silence?! So you were on Breakfast TV too Poll x

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Go Tabby, Polly, Blue and all of you out there fighting for the right to be…

I love you and I thank you xxx





My Final Identity Submission

I made a few changes to my Identity project today…

I couldn’t do everything I wanted as it would have involved recovering all of the boxes and a fortune in printing, so I did my best in the time given. I like the boxes much better with a recognisable image on each side. I also prefer it without all the other posters. I guess the use of the plinth does help raise it from the floor, but I needed to have the bigger boxes on the floor, they didn’t work on plinths.

I am quite impressed with myself regarding this project. It is totally out of my usual comfort zone. I don’t do big, I don’t do self imagery and I don’t do installations and straight lines!! I look at it and I wonder where it came from? Anyway, now I have stepped outside the zone, I can say I tried it… ! I think it works very well as a bridge between Visual  Cuture, which was all focused on Identity this semester and Studio.



Yesterday was the day of the installation of my identity work. All through the night, gales with gusts approaching 200kph howled around my house and kept me awake. It is hard to access the comfort of sleep when you are afraid the roof will take off and leave you exposed to the elements – or worse. This morning the gales were still raging and driving was not advised. In the end I didn’t leave until 10.00am, and it actually didn’t matter because even when I got to college I couldn’t do anything.

G-Block was overrun with little people, we were unable to access most of the rooms, and I spent a lot of the time dodging in and out of the workshop and the Mac lab, trying to get my work finished, and helping others with Adobe stuff. I love it when I can help, and G-Block is a great place to be for helping and getting help – with all aspects of art.


Anyway, after 3.00pm when the little folk had vacated the building, I started moving all my stuff into the gallery. It was easy to assemble, I added finishing touches, like my red Dymo labels and masking tape on some of the posters and a cool sign on the top of the big stack of boxes. All that was left to do was to photograph it, sit and wrote my studio critique and gove myself and everyone else who was still around, a big pat on the back!

A view of the full installation:


A close up view of part of the installation:



The Kit Box

I made a new kit box today. I was trying to work out whether to paint the wine box black or white, and then came up with the brilliant idea of turning it inside out! This left me with a lovely plain brown cardboard box to adorn with the labels I designed and printed earlier! I love it! I even purchased a special font for the purpose :)



Slightly different view… note real bar code :)


Naming Me

I was looking through some of my old poetry and I found a couple about identity, I like this one, it is full of names and labels that defined me in the eyes of others, I may use this in a future piece of work which will also use some of the fragments that I created for this project and then decided not to use.

Anyway here is the poem:

The Naming of Me

The one who came at 4.00am
The firstborn
The one whose spring was autumn
She who was born on a Friday
New baby for St Swithin’s Day
Woman they call a Witch
The child who came from a caravan
Princess of a thousand books
Siouxie with hair like an Indian squaw
Who is a builder of towers
The dreamer who wakes up contented
(although she rarely sleeps)
She who ran away to the bottom of the world
Mother of Shoog, Chickpea and Beetroot
Mother of angels who walk through her dreams
Mother of Tabby and Polly and Phoebe and Boo
Sister of the worlds best sister (and aunt)
Hippy Tripp and the attachments
Bib best forever friend and soulmate of Dilly
She who cooked Bob Dylan’s breakfast
One he calls Bonegirl the lover
She who can burn in her passion
One who loves once and forever
She who plays guitar late at night
She who wants to sing like Janice and Patti
but who sings just like herself
Brighid the Goddess of Poets
Dylan the wanderer from the sea
or a rabbit on The Magic Roundabout
Daughter of the Moon
Daughter from the wild side of life
Daughter and Sister who was lost (and so
collects waifs and strays)
Daughter who was a boy named Sue
Wife who was a girl named Bob
She who followed the hares
She who whispers with goats
She who waits to be found
She who you all gave names to
She who misses you all, in every moment

It’s all true, all of this is me… and some…

It is really just multilayered…

We did our studio critique today. It was a great experience, there is nothing better than to be surrounded by other artists all talking about art and what it means! Apart from possibly being surrounded by poets or Tarot readers :)

I was really pleased with how my setup looked, considering I was completely flummoxed as to how to present it a week ago. The first comment was ‘Wow’ !and to be honest, that is what I thought when I walked in the room for the first time after setting it up. It does look good at first glance, but I think this is because of the uniformity of the shapes and the colour scheme. It is hard to go wrong with these colours against a white wall I reckon!

Anyway, this is how it looked today. I present my identity project, in it’s 80% finished state:


I looked at my feedback and everyone got the constructing identities part. Pauline was very encouraging, and that made me feel good. Barbara  Kruger was mentioned by Natalie and when I discussed it with her after, she said it was the red labels. The labels will actually be giant dymo tape images in the final thing but I didn’t have time to make them today, so I quickly hand wrote some to give the idea. One comment that was cool was that the work felt like a media ad, because of the pixelated images, and the colors. As these colours remind me of the newspaper joke I found that interesting. The pixelated images are actually blown up photographs which I had converted to halftone, which I did on purpose to represent a magnified view of life which brings it down to dots, or points in time. Kind of like looking at life or a person under a microscope, but focusing on moments, rather than cells.

I am not sure I got the kit part across as the poster was a bit small. I think I need to make the advertising poster about four times the size, and maybe place it more strategically. Also I will make a proper box for the  Identity Kit, instead of the little one that I used for show here. The images and labels and building blocks are larger than life because that is exactly how companies sell things to us, with a promise of something that is way bigger than the reality.

The identity in this project is focused on me, but it could be anyone, the message is that anyone can make themselves anything, with a camera and the right clothes and accessories, (or my wonderful identity kit toy!), but it is always only an image. To make the truth, or a reality behind the image takes much longer, it requires solid building blocks. I tried to explain this concept, using the image of myself and Pollyanna as a newborn, I looked like a mother, but I was only a mother by name. I am still learning how to be a mother 19 years later, those are the years of experience that make the building blocks. I can see why Kay thought that it may be two different pieces, but it is really just multilayered  and it can be deconstructed as far as anyone cares to take it.


Anyway I will try and talk to more people about this, and see what I can do to make the work clearer to the audience. Although to be honest, does it matter? Everyone picked up the basic theme of constructed identity, and it is a fluid do it yourself kit, so people can play :)



The Ultimate Postmodern Toy

Now I have all the elements of my project, I have been trying to come up with an idea of how to display them, and  present the concept. The original tower idea has been translated into boxes. They are three dimensional and can be constructed, knocked down and reconstructed in a different design or pattern – the main building blocks are there and they are solid. The posters are only two dimensional, they are images, or visions, of what they appear to be. There is nothing behind them except the image. I want to show that although the images look the part, and they appear authentic, they are only one moment, captured, that anyone can imitate.  For example, a wedding photo of a bride and groom – in theory it shows a man and a wife, but they are only acting the part for the camera. There is far more to being a man and wife than can be gained in one photographed moment. The building blocks, ie my boxes, represent the years of experience that it takes to fill out those two dimensional images.

Anyone can buy an image, but this means very little. Companies sell their products by creating an image of a lifestyle that is usually far bigger than reality. I have tried to portray this with my huge images and boxes, or building blocks. Tonight I came up with the idea of presenting the whole project as a ‘toy’ construction kit. I still need to make the box for the construction kit and the labels, but I have designed the packaging and advertising poster. I tried to use dated graphic design, which reminds me of the sensational claims of toys and  packaging from when I was a kid.

So… here is the front of my Construct Your Own Indentity Kit box…






I could not live with it…

I spent most of today making large sheets of paper from my poster images and then using them to wrap my boxes. I discovered this method yesterday after a few days of trial and error, working out how to get the pictures around the boxes and have them look good.

I tried spray glue but that was awful, no moving around time and it gunked up my hands, and it will not come off!

Then I tried diluted PVA, but it wrinkled and the pictures looked messy and very play school. I didn’t mind the box texture coming through, but this was just icky. I could not live with it.


I hmmmmd and ahhed about covering boxes, and then once again, I went back to basics.. How do people cover boxes and make the look neat? Then it came to me, wrapped gifts! So I made a huge sheet of wrapping paper from my A4 poster parts, and wrapped a box… FANTASTIC! I loved it, so I did another…


Construction and Deconstruction

I went through my notes and samples for my identity project, from the beginning, and began to unpack my concept and all my thoughts to date. Something was nagging me about it which kept me unable to move forward. and I have finally worked out that it is too much stuff, and too many ideas, something I always struggle with.

So I went back to the beginning, and it all started with the empty Dilmah teabag box, which I looked at one morning and thought, tea, me, part of my identity, box, construction… a constructed image…

I took the box and covered it with part of a blown up poster I had been playing with as another identity concept. Then I added some red dymo tape labels a bit like Barbara Kruger, although I have been using this concept for years, before I heard of her, I have to admit it looks Barbara Kruger’ish’ and that ok. It is her concept that matters not the images themselves, and I like that attitude to art. Kruger in her way fits in with Warhol and Lichtenstein and Duardo Paolozzi, making art out of the ordinary, but she added another dimension with her labels and messages

This is a photo of that box, which I thought I had posted here right at the beginning, but I guess it got forgotten in all the other manic ideas!

photo 1

In this close up of some of the words, you can see I used an old Dymo tape labeller. My sister and I loved these when we were kids!

photo 2

I like this box, and I like my giant posters. I took them into college and everyone who commented said I should use them. So I looked at my fragments and fabric prints and decided that I want to stick with the posters, dots, constructed box concept, and not muddy it or dilute it with all the other stuff  I have done, (like the fragments etc.)

But I still want my tower of strength, so I went on another recycled cardboard hunt and I got lucky! I have printed out the rest if my posters and the whole lot will be pasted to cardboard and constructed into my tower. I am going to use the three colours here, because of an old joke I remember as a kid…

What is black, white, and red all over?

The newspaper of course :) But identity is like that too… and labels, we read into things stuff that appears black and white but isn’t. We construct identities for everyone we meet by reading things which we feel are balc and white but maybe they are not.

Now I have to think about how I will make this tower… it will have to be constructed in situ I think, or at least in easily assembled parts, in order to transport it to college. Meanwhile back to cardboard and glue and a whole lotta dots…



It’s only words…

I made a word cloud of my Identity…


and another one of my blog…


I feel somewhat fragmented ;-/ But this is fun!

I like to see words thrown together like a jumbled up box of magnetic poetry… now that should definitely feature in my identity… as should tarot…