At the start of August, we launched our very first #creativechallenge. We asked you to push yourself to think outside the box and get creative with the theme of Reflection.
We have been really inspired by the work submitted, it certainly made the judges decision very difficult, and are thankful for everyone who put in the time and effort to enter our challenge.
With work ranging from Poetry to Music, Paintings and more, we hope you enjoy this showcase of talent in and around Morley!
Fungi Covered Tree Stump – Julie Dodd
This altered book work was produced during lockdown to make a statement on the issues of deforestation and climate change, bringing the book back to its origins within nature.
It not only reflects on our destruction of nature but also on how despite our continuing destruction of this planet nature often finds a way in that the fungi thrives on the decaying matter, bringing new life from the demise of another.
The way we look – Peter Evans
My work is a portrait in watercolour of Tarell Alvin McCraney, Playwright and actor, digitally manipulated and altered from a photograph available on line.
I wanted the image to appear as “Jeckel and Hyde” i.e. Light and dark, good and bad. Hence my depiction of the subject clearly, with an incomplete and partially obscured more abstract reflection.
Does the viewer see a sinister reflection; and is this in itself a reflection of society’s view of Black men?
The work is part of my Black lives matter series which I have been working on during the pandemic turmoil.
To see more from Peter, go and give hima a follow on Instagram
Low Tide – Sarah Wilson
The view from my window at low tide suddenly glowed as the evening sun lowered. The angled shafts of light reflected bright greens, browns and greys, lighting up the muddied stonework, embankment buttresses, particularly the looping chains. It lasted a few minutes, then was gone, but this photograph helps me reflect on that moment of unexpected joy and lifted spirits.
To see more from Sarah, follow on Instagram
Modern Muse – Grace Olivia
“This piece is called Modern Muse. The focus of my work is to celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes and spread body positivity. In this particular piece I used bold, bright colours to accentuate the beauty of the curvy features and present positivity and celebration. It’s a piece for women of all shapes and sizes to act as a reminder that everyone canbe sexy, regardless of their body shape.”
Temple – Dayoung Yun
I created this Original Lino Print ‘Temple’ during the Covid lockdown in the UK. (Hand carved and printed) This temple ‘Pyo-Choong-Sa’ is set in a secluded mountain in S. Korea. Temples of Korea are visited by a lot of people, not just for religious reasons, but to take a little break from the world. Ironically, the Covid lockdown has brought us that little break at our homes- an opportunity to reflect on our way of living. I wanted to capture that mindfulness and inner strength that I felt both when I visited the temple and during covid lockdown.
Nineteen – Steve Nally
I have attended poetry classes at the college for a while and was looking forward to the summer term. Unfortunately I contracted Covid 19 in early spring and was out of action for some time. My poem reflects both my experience in the nearby St Thomas’ hospital and venturing out into Vauxhall Park after recovering. For some time my inspiration has been attending Morley. My saviour has been St Thomas’ hospital.
Renewal – Sonia Lovett
I have been busy during Lockdown. These chairs were upcycled with crocheted motifs. My inspiration was not to throw away discoloured, unsightly chairs and to find a way to enhance their shape.
The Sofa Sessions – Andrew Williamson
Reflections on Cuban Music under lock-down
Having participated in the Morley African-Cuban class for three years playing bass and tres, summer term arrived under lock-down. So, under an invitation to submit recordings, I reflect on what I really know about these tunes. Using scores, YouTube percussion tutorials and gathering together every acoustic instrument and piece of percussion I own, I set about what I call The Sofa Sessions. With a digital mixer, laptop and microphone, I resurrected the self-taught DAWS skills of yester year but always with a slight twist. I played all of the instruments on the three course tunes and one I chose.
Lockdown is Pants – Catherine Wheare
This work is a reflection on Life Drawing at Morley College in the Time of Lockdown. As you can see, we have been investigating the importance and cultural significance of Big Pants in a time of national emergency.
Lockdown has opened up the little-known world of male life drawing models and their pants, to an extent that is unprecedented in art history. I would like to thank Gunther Herbst and the Thursday morning zoom class for their part in exploring this phenomenon, and Bridget Jones for first alerting the world to the value of Big Pants.*
*Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding H. 1996)
Reflection Series – Richard Golah-Ebue
Measuring Blue – Vanessa Esposito
The work I am submitting for consideration is a photograph of a cyanotype I made whilst investigating the colour blue during lockdown. It was drying on a mirror outside which enabled a matching of the colour of the sky reflected above.
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure invented a cyanometer in 1789 just to measure the blueness of the sky. At that time mountain climbers had observed that as they climbed higher, the sky turned a deeper blue. Blue light is scattered through 300 miles of atmospheric gases and has the shortest wavelengths of all the colours.
Reflecting Matters – Marion Hooper
Managing to finish my first portrait at Morley prior to lockdown brought to mind the dreadful times happening towards black people; George Floyd in USA and incidents of knee choking in this country. Black lives do matter.
As a Bristolian, I know very well what my city has done, profiting from slavery. As a schoolchild I said, “Don’t blame me, I had nothing to do with it!” Seeing Colston’s statue drowning in the harbour waters, at last I know Bristolians are facing up to the inglorious past.
Painting portraits at Morley has given me great pleasure. I hope to return soon.
Poems from Wimbledon Common under Lockdown – Luciana Teuma
I wrote this whilst running on Wimbledon common during Lockdown. It was my ‘one a day’ exercise.I wrote several poems in my head over this time, in what seemed to become an almost hypnotic state. I took any paths that I can across, avoiding people and often got lost. But somehow, I trusted that I would find my way.Running surrounded by a natural environment heightened my senses and what started as my bid for freedom became something more unexpected and an experience that I wanted to record in order to never forget it.
By Luciana Teuma
Sitting Man – Pat Hayward
During lockdown I’ve made a number of small figurative sculptures all Strangely all looking a little stressed. In the absence of a model or kiln I have relied on the internet for reference and used air dried clay with surprising results. The larger of them is the sitting man around 10” tall, his looking into the distance maybe reflecting on the current situation in our World
Why am I naked
where are my clothes
do I need them
do I need to get dressed
is it worth getting dressed
am I going out
am I staying in
two meters or one
mask or no mask
Can I go to work
Will I still have a job
can I go to the park
Can I see my friends
Can I see my family
one day this will all be a memory
Reflections, Evening Hill Sunset, Poole – Fiona Grace Kenny
During this time of Covid-19, perhaps like many, I have somehow found a way to carve out time from working in the most unusual of circumstances to pursue Painting and Drawing with an intensity I only hoped for before. After doing a short course at Morley this summer, I realised I had a personal project that I could build on: focusing on one of my favourite places (Evening Hill, Poole in Dorset) with a theme of drawing/painting the extraordinary, ordinary. So far there have been quite a few sketches, drawings and paintings and the one submitted here is in acrylic representing a view, with reflections, of Evening Hill at sunset.
To see more from Fiona, take a look at her Website
Unspoken – Esther Ng
I am a healthcare worker and I work at a hospital. I wrote this piece to express the varied emotions felt at the hospital, including despair, grief, joy, happiness, relief, love, compassion and many others. I think one of the strongest emotions are when we desperately want to save a patient but cannot. This is a bedroom recording. I played the piece on the piano, then over-recorded the double bass and the drum parts separately using a handheld H1N1 recorder as I don’t have much equipment. I hope you like it.
Unlocking Lockdown – Lorna McNeill
Unlocking Lockdown consists of 5 collage paintings with accompanying text. It is an immersive visual and written word experience of my inner journey through Lockdown. The series of work explores what it means to experience a Cut Off Point (cut off from the world in Lockdown) on a deeper level alongside universal recurring patterns which were highlighted in the context of lockdown. This includes being Severed from life as we knew it at the start of Lockdown, Incubation, Reconnecting, Renegotiating and Re-evaluating, and finally a Reboot of our group and individual lives – which is still evolving and means something different for everyone.
On 23rd March 2020, the government instructed the nation to go into lockdown to limit the spread of the Corona Virus pandemic which was reportedly taking lives at an alarming rate. We were told to Stay at Home, only go out for essential shopping, infrequently or for exercise only once a day, and to work at home if at all possible. Social distancing meant we had to stay 2 metres away from anyone else and anyone who violated this was at risk of being fined by the police. No travel was allowed other than for the essentials above. Shops, workplaces and all going concerns were closed down and it became almost impossible to enter or leave the UK. It was unclear whether there was enough food to feed everyone and it was almost impossible to book home food delivery as this hand been booked up for weeks ahead, and priority was rightly reserved for front line NHS workers and those deemed to be at high medical risk of catching the virus.
Hurtling through space, severed from the life space as I knew it. Snatched from the containment of safe known care with no reference points to cling to. Catapulted into a liminal space between life and death, oceans of cosmos enveloping me, streaming colour illuminating me. My familiar puzzle is shattered and the pieces do not fit together as before. I saturate myself and my paper in water and flowing colour, asking to be shown new meaning, new connection and how to find my way home. Torn from my mooring point, I tear the paper, I forget to breathe….
Breathe, You Are Still Alive
Relaxing into a new azure containment, I am reminded to bring my awareness back to my body. Comforted and remembering to breathe, I recognise I am STILL alive, I am STILL breathing. I am reminded that I am made of the same stuff as the stars, the cosmos, the planets, I have not been separated from anything because I am of it. I remember and find a new rhythm of breathing….
(Text on image adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh (2017), The Art of Living. “Breathe You are Still Alive” “Immortality of clues, rain, stars and the cosmos” “I am made of stars and galaxies”)
Past, Present, Future
Engulfed in flow, I wash colours through the paper as they wash through me. Am I birthing, being or dying? Unclear, I allow the flow, front is back, back is front, I undulate in the waves of time, part of an evolutionary process I don’t understand. I want to reach out but don’t know how… Feeling the illness of our planet, calling us to care…
(Includes Photos of myself as baby, as child with my brother, as adult)
4. RENEGOTIATING & RE-EVALUATING:
Connecting to new circuits, new people online, I am on new ground, alert, deeply thankful, finding hilarious new viewpoints. I tear, I cut, I stick and collage new experiences and new perspectives, fitting new pieces together into a new puzzle. Suddenly the outside world becomes the inside, the inside the outside, new fascinations and interests blossom, new voice, new fitter body, new food, inside and out….
(Text on image from newspaper cuttings, internet, social media images, includes photos of myself and my husband and others)
Volcanic eruption, release, buoyancy, re-directed, I bounce irrepressible in new directions. Uneasy in this new world I accept this transition and continue to search for new settling points ……
3AM, reaching for the moon – Yael Roberts
This work was inspired by experiences last summer and this summer on the land in Devon, reflecting on nature, humanity’s place in it, and home. It came from several mystical experiences searching for meaning, place, and home, amidst ecological and societal collapse.
Reflections, Palindrome – Neville Morley
I’ve spent much of this summer exploring the new horizons opened up by the online jazz composition course I took back in June/July – and at the moment that means experimenting within different constraints and self-imposed limits. The moment I heard the theme ‘reflections’ I thought of the idea of a tune that mirrors itself (though some of the reflections are a bit distorted) – and the challenge is then to make this sound half decent… There was a trumpet line at one point, but it sounded too cluttered.
To see more from Neville, be sure to follow on Twitter
Reflections on a lockdown summer – Mark Callister-Davies
I’d like to enter these poems for the Morley College #creativechallenge. Inspired by moments from the last few weeks, they are my reflections on summer in lockdown and trying to come to terms with the uncertainty and anxiety of this period in all our lives. They seek to reflect on how I have found even more comfort in nature and in unexpectedly getting to spend more time with my children. I haven’t done a poetry course with you and have no idea if these are any good or not, but I enjoyed writing them very much.
Reflection lemon and clementine – Anthea Williams
Lockdown gave us time to contemplate our surroundings. The simple still life objects of fruit and jars of water are transformed by the arrangement of the objects and by the relationships between them. I love that I can’t predict how the fruit and surroundings will be reflected in, and distorted by, the water. The shapes and colours seem to create a mini abstract painting in each jar!
If I Were A Flag – Liege Lourenco Matharu
My piece was inspired by both my Brazilian origins as well as British culture, having lived in London for 33 years. By reflecting on myself, I see that nature and nurture moulded my character; both experiences and genetics have made me who I am. I therefore used an appliqué technique to make a vessel with fragments of glass in the colours of the British as well as the Brazilian flag, slumping them as a way to suggest a flag flying in the wind. I have learned these skills attending a BTEC course in glass at the college.
To see more from Liege, be sure to follow on Instagram
Mirror Murmur – Paloma Jauncey Mckim
This Submission is a poem inspired by the distance you can feel form your own reflection. It expresses the lacanian idea of disconnect from the simple physical representation of our image: hair, face, body and the complex internal world that inhabits it. The poem does not aim to explore this in a complicated way but to address the moment when this feeling arises.
To see more Poetry from Tracy, be sure to follow on Instagram
A Moment in Time! – Tracy O’Connor
In these times of mixed emotions, take a moment to reflect, and take time to look forward to our future together in these difficult times for so many people.
This photograph was taken one evening during lockdown, while out on a local walk.
To see more from Tracy, be sure to follow on Instagram
The New Normal – Susie Lonie
Yesterday I visited the Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern. The recently re-opened gallery was familiar but subtly different. Fewer visitors, more stewards, restricted movement, signs discretely warning of the danger of getting close to anyone. And everywhere, masks. I couldn’t see anyone’s face and they couldn’t see me smile. Warhol’s “Factory” was covered in silver paper and so was Room 4 of the exhibition. I knew my reflection in the wall, despite the distortion and the mask. But who else would recognise or connect with me in this distorted-new-normal-covid-fearing-isolated-isolating world?
To see more from Susie, be sure to follow on Instagram
Reflection – Navaneeth Natarajan
I painted this particular piece as during lockdown, my mental health changed a lot and it taught me more about who I actually was and how I felt on the inside. Much of the time, I felt as though my mind was not connected to my body yet my body was still able to display the emotions my mind was feeling. As such, it led me to have a different view on my reflection than I did before and think about myself in a better way.
To see more from Navaneeth, be sure to follow on Instagram
Reflection – Shaun Dodd
My name is Shaun Dodd, I am an aspiring travel photographer and writer. I have chosen a photograph from a recent trip to Naples. It was taken from the roof terrace of the apartment we rented. It was a fantastic place for reflecting on the day’s activities and relaxing with a beer after a long day exploring this amazing city. I would sit there all evening transfixed with the possibilities of what was happening in the streets below.
To see more from Shaun, be sure to follow on Instagram
Growing up Lesbian – Monica Mills
The title of each painting are inspired by out and proud lesbians whose works are included in an anthology of the same name – Growing up Gay / Growing up Lesbian. 1993. Edited by Bennett L. Singer.
These pioneers were unnecessarily courageous, pacing the way for the future of the queer community. Being gay or lesbian shouldn’t be synonymous for being brave. Love should not be discriminated against, or judged, or legislated. Without representation, a huge proportion of our society are ignored and suppressed. These oil paintings were inspired by the tears that fell as I read this book, and the stories that touched my heart as an adult. I only hope that the queer community around the world realises that we are not alone, and we will continue to fight for our rights, or acceptance, so that we no longer have to be brave for falling in love.
To see more from Monica, be sure to follow on Instagram
Flow – Marguerite Potter
I felt very drained of creativity during lockdown. This is the first piece of work I started, which I kept coming back to. It started off as a way to get myself back into pottery; making a simple shape with conflicting surfaces, and it ended up as a finished piece after four months. I am particularly pleased with how the colours of the glazes turned out and how they contrast and compliment, and the vintage frame which I happened upon and which fits the piece perfectly.
Throught the Looking-Glass – Midori Terauchi
And on Reflection – Nicole Reid
This piece was inspired by hearing many stories of women being in toxic relationships with men who were controlling and not being able to break free from them. I wrote it in the voice of a woman who finally left to better herself. After the lies, control and depression affecting the womans wellbeing, the poem is left with a sense of hope and her beginning to value herself. No matter how long it takes, with the right help and support, there can be a transformation in women’s lives.
To see more from Nicole, follow on Instagram
Reflection in Meditation, a facial study in the abstract style – Jacinta Thomas
Reflection in meditation gives us insight into our thoughts and aspirations. Observing and analyzing oneself.
The more thorough the process of reflection, the better we recognize our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs for what they really are. During “Lockdown” I felt lost, unsettled and unable to consolidate myself. My routine had been disrupted, but when I painted I could put my life in perspective. This is one of my artwork during Lockdown.
My artwork is painted in acrylics on a stretched canvas 30x30x4cms. I chose this earthy palette as it shows my thought processes whilst a more colourful one would be too bewildering and a darker one too morose.
Pathway – Steve Palmer
The monochrome darkness of the composition suggests the gloomy mire of depression. Filled as it is with negative self reflection and doubt.
The scattering of translucent red petals suggest that if one learns to see, there is colour even in the darkest of times and that even though appreciation of that colour may be impossible; the knowledge of that colour is sustaining until such times as it can be enjoyed once again. The veil always lifts.
To see more from Steve, check out his website
A ‘short’ reflection on Life – Maxine Cooper
My inspiration was taken from the lockdown. A time to reflect on life, feelings and experiences. I have expressed my inspiration in the materials used.
Simplicity 1520A shorts pattern because life is short, so we should try and relect on how beautiful a simple life can be. Its fragility (the paper tissue). The pins for the sharp changes we all had to make. The glue represents the simple basic things that held us together. The paperclips reflects the people in society that have been overlooked and undervalued. The crocheted belt unravelling and exposing our possible insecurities. Finally, whatever we are made of, we can still stand firm.
Ideal Landscapes – Adeliza Mole
During lockdown I have lost all my family.Literally I am now on my own apart from my daughters dog…..and so he and I have used my training to save my soul.My training is to use the landscape; places I know well, routes I tread regularly to not only inform my process by enlighten my existance.The landscape encompasses me, reassures me and I use it to push the boundaries of my own touch, be it watercolour oil or drawing. By the use of mind maps I have filled many sketchbooks during lockdown,and they are more informative for my practise than I could ever have imagined.I feel like having an exhibition of my sketches.In addition I have enjoyed the interesting words of the poet John Clare and have used his ideas in my work.
Mirror Image – Sophie Hutchison
‘Mirror Image’ was inspired by the confrontation scene in Jekyll and Hyde the Musical where Hyde is shown inside a mirror as he is supposed to be merely a reflection of Jekyll’s darker inhibitions. As I was writing it though I realised that it was also a good analogy for mental health which those who struggle with it, including myself, attempt to hide the darker sides of it from our loved ones as Jekyll did by extracting Hyde from himself.
To see more from Sophie, follow her on Instagram
Reflections – Geoff Nursey
I take a few different types of pictures, mainly Street photography and Cityscapes. I have favourite parts of the city to take pictures. During “lockdown” I have had the opportunity to concentrate more on my photographic skills. This picture was taken near Tower Bridge , the statue is of two friars and nearby there are some construction workers just about to take a break. It’s a reflection of the past and the future. In a simple sense the four figures mirror each other, in time and appearance.
A lot of my other pictures are viewable on Instagram
Escape – Clair Robins
These images have been created in response to the confusion of lockdown ‘release’ In my home town. Leicester has been in constant limbo with, poor communication and mixed messages about extended rules of meeting family and friends, when, how and where. The first time we escaped, I made a dash to the beach, to embrace the open space, drink up the vast blue skies and absorb the beauty of my favourite coast. Much of lockdown, we felt like our lives were upside down, this body of work – still in progress called ‘escape’ is my therapy.
To see more from Clair, follow her on Instagram
Reflections – Morley Saturday Swing Dance Class
The Morley College Saturday Swing class led by Nikki Santilli presents The Tranky Doo, an authentic jazz routine from the 1940s. Usually a social dance class, Nikki decided to teach us a solo routine we could learn from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Adapting to classes held online via zoom, despite our isolation we came together each week to dance as a community, our individual boxes on the screen a modern reflection of the inherently social nature of vintage jazz dance. After restrictions eased, the enduring community built through this class inspired dance meet-ups in the park and you’ll find us all back in the dance studio next term!
The Fresh Prince Of Ball-Glare – Jareth Edwards
I wouldn’t exactly say I have any inspiration behind this picture I just wanted to go out and experiment with lighting and a lens ball.It does however for me, represent how this year and summer has felt “life got flipped-turned upside down” springs to mind!
To see more from Jareth, be sure to follow on Instagram
The Journey of Growth – Amy Gallagher
My name is Amy Gallagher and I’m a comic artist and illustrator from London. I came across your call for submissions for August’s theme “Reflection”, and thought I have a piece of comic art that not only responds to this theme, but would also inspire and comfort others who might be going through their own personal struggles.
This comic strip was inspired by my own personal struggles of growth and trying to actualise the best version of myself. In March of this year, just before the UK lockdown, I decided to split from my boyfriend of almost 7 years, and move back home with my family in London. This was an incredibly difficult and stressful decision, but it was vital in order to prioritise my needs and pursue my goals and aspirations. I have been doing a lot of introspection and reflection this past year, and have learnt a lot about myself. I’m changing for the better, I still make mistakes, but I’m also learning important lessons from my failures. I hope this piece of visual narrative can touch those who are on such journeys, and motivate them to love themselves and reach their potential.
Balance at the Royal Albert Docks – James Macleod
The photo is a literal reflection taken at the start of lockdown.
There is London City Airport and British Airways’ planes lying at rest. To the left is the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery factory and a ‘THANK YOU NHS’ on top of newly built high rise flats to the right.
It challenges us to think whether we want to return to how we lived in pre-covid times: flights, sugar and construction brought joy but also pollution, obesity and climate change.
Our reflections and subsequent actions will shape the new normal. Hopefully we will find the right balance.
To see more from James, follow him on Instagram
Still life in Lockdown – Solmaz Purser
This painting is a reflection of my time during lockdown. Each object reflects an aspect of my life: the dumbbells represents exercise, the laptop how I carried on working and how I stayed connected with the world and the yarn represents knitting as arts and crafts allow me to express my creativity and stay calm in a tumultuous world. This painting reflects all aspects of my personality and how I spend my time.
To see more from Solmaz, follow on Instagram
Blue Moon – Nicola Atchley
During each month of lockdown I have observed, sketched and made notes of nature, weather and the moon phases. Since the March lockdown we have had six full moons. This year there will be 13 full moons, including a blue moon. I wanted to record these moons of 2020 using the bookbinding and printmaking techniques that I have learnt at Morley. This book will remind me of the months I spent producing this and other work that has helped me record and reflect on this period of our lives.
To see more from Nicola, check out her website
The Tales of Hobgob & Mulch, Chapter II, The Nothing – George Prince
I have written and narrated a series of short audio stories based on my adventures with friends and family. I wanted a very positive message for our difficult times, and the themes to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.
I created the series to raise awareness and donations for my workplace, the Royal Albert Hall, which is struggling during the Covid-19 closure.
Soap 26 – Juliet Goodden
This is part of my Pandemic Soap Project, exploring our hand recent washing needs and the places where we do it. This painting includes soap bought in Lebanon by my son, where he was learning Arabic. The writing on the soap says it was made in Syria.It sits on a plate by Crown Derby bought in a charity shop in Hayle, Cornwall, soon before my husband got a new job in Derby.While washing, there is time to reflect on many things including the reflections on the taps.
Everything tells a story.
Dance Yatra (Journey) – Leslie Frackowiak
During lockdown former Morley students Anjanie and Radhika Dindyal organised a Zoom dance show called Dance Yatra (journey).
It was a 2 hours program showcasing various different dance styles. I was invited and performed from France the Kathak dance item I learnt online during lockdown with my teacher Sushma Mehta which I was going to perform at the annual Morley Summer concert. My two students also took part in the performance.
The event was free but it was based on donations for The Marylebone Project, London’s largest women only homeless project for which we donated just over £100.
Personal Journey of the Downfall and Seeking for the Light – Daniele Kieraite
The quarantine period was a very special time in my life, as I had been alone for a few months, and it made me think about the past decisions and identify my mistakes, reasons why I am not happy. This project is a mixture of photos and creative writing, which is a story of how my mental state gradually changed from the lowest point to the current mood. The main inspiration is After Hours album by the Weeknd, as there singer openly express his feelings and reflects on past mistakes.
- Photo of a rose in water
Sometimes you feel lost and directionless in your life, just like a rose thrown water. This moment often occurs after a disruptive event such as an emotional trauma, or when you are completely alone and have a plenty of time to delve into thoughts, or both. If the present does not bring you happiness that you have hoped for, then you usually come back to the past and recreate memories in your head. You can see yourself entering to the gymnasium and being stressed about the idea of meeting new people and becoming friends with them. A sense of unsureness comes up, as you do not know if the acquaintances will like you and want to be a part of your life, but you take the leap of faith and greet them for the first time. You talk to them, laugh with them, make plans for the future and become close. Gradually you can feel like those people are an inseparable part of your life and that it would be so empty without them. Suddenly everything changes. Connections are becoming like a dull routine, when the excitement disappears and you get bored of the same faces. For a while you continue the regular communication, but then conflicts start to appear until friendships are not possible to fix. After that, your ego gives you a compliment of a good decision: “Anyway, you knew from the start that the both of you are too different”. For quite some time you agree with your ego. New people come into your life and you feel happy again, but deeply in your heart, like a hidden little secret, there is a sense that something is missing. You are able to ignore it for a few years but then emotions hit you unexpectedly like a giant wave. Sleepless nights become a part of your life along with the pain in the chest and you feel drained emotionally. Self-blame occurs, as you had cut people out of your life because of the arguments, even though they are in every relationship. Sadly, you realize that later, when it is too late to make amends.
It took us some time to become friends from the strangers
Your presence became an important part of my life
We laughed, we cried and sworn that we will never be apart
When I broke our bond, I tried to reach your heart
Sadly, it was too late by that time and karma was not kind
My walls were down but you managed to build your own
When I genuinely told sorry and asked to become close again
Your answer was we cannot rebuild what had been
That moment I realized that some things are like a broken glass
Once you break it, pieces cannot stick as a whole…
2. Picture of the cat looking at its’ shadow
Another thing, that can probably hurt the same way like losing friends, is missing your old self. When you look at your old pictures, you can see a young girl, who did not have so much hurtful experiences that she has now and you might feel that only a shadow is left of someone who you used to be. Back then, the girl had huge hopes for the future and was very persistent and resilient. Her eyes used to shine and she had enough energy to accomplish any goal. It had been possible for a young lady to solve any problem in school and still smile when some responsibilities were becoming a huge burden on her shoulders, and stress made her cry silently. Creative ideas and plans used to be flowing and the girl always was up to for something, like applying to the new projects and offering her help to the teachers. One day something has gone wrong. Young lady got tired of always being the one who helps others and is not receiving the same. She stopped taking an initiative because other people did not care about the things that mattered to her and she was not able to try to inspire others anymore. Every day girl’s light was shrinking more and more until she became grey. Lady did not notice how her shine disappeared until she opened a completely new chapter in her life and was left alone during the darkest hours of her short existence. At that time, just like in school, young lady experienced the same thing, she was silently carrying her emotional baggage on her own, because she knew that others might not be able to understand her again and it could complicate existing friendships. She was afraid of losing someone close to her heart again. Right now the girl is trying to understand herself, learn what makes her happy and develop a consistency again, when it comes to her goals and dreams. Even though past experiences broke the girl down, one important thing that they helped to learn is the ability to forgive for everything that has happened: broken bonds, incapacity to say no, perfectionism and high expectations for others. I can finally go to sleep with a smile and tell myself: “I forgive you, and I am proud of you”.
When you feel that you are breaking into thousand pieces
Remember that the arm you have to seek belongs to you
No one else can understand the pain inside you
Only you can identify the problem and look for healing
Your heart knows all of the solutions just open it and listen
Beginning can be painful but it is only for good reason
Cry as much as it is needed, then remember to express
Emotions that disrupt your peaceful sleep
The light is always following the dark
So never lose the hope for the better days to come!
3. Photo of shoes and swings
Some days you might be walking to the park and notice yourself glancing towards the swings. You catch yourself remembering the days when you used to be a tiny, careless child who loved to play all day long, and let the wind blow your hair while swinging. Trees bring you the memories, when you used to climb them and imagine yourself being on the top of the world, observing everything from the above like a bird. Back then, ice cream tasted so good that you wanted more and more and did not count the portions, neither the money. Summer time was like a magical force that gave you more power and joy to spend all day outdoors looking at the various animals and finding a lake or a river to wash off the childish exhaustion to fill yourself with the energy again. During the autumn you used to play with the leaves and notice nature’s gradual change of the colours. Baked apples or apple pie prepared by mum were the best desserts to warm you up in chilly evenings. Winter brought you the excitement of an upcoming Christmas joy, as you had a big curiosity of what gift will you get every year. Making snow angels and building a snowman was like a fantastic adventure during the holiday time. Bright green colour of the grass, melting ice of the river and blue like the sky hepaticas made you happy that the nature is waking up from lethargic winter sleep and is ready to welcome the spring. Childhood was that miraculous time, when surroundings, despite the season, made you discover something beautiful each day and put a big smile on your face. Entrance in to the period of adulthood might make you feel that you will never be able to experience such joy, but it is not true. Each time, when you feel sad or disappointed in yourself, go out into the nature, turn off your thoughts and focus on what you can see in front of you. Just try, and eventually you will become happy like a child again. Let yourself to be in touch with an inner child inside you, he or she did not disappear anywhere; all you have to do is to let it out.
Nature is the closest thing to the magic
Our eyes are able to see
Bright kingdom will always invite
To the place where all the secrets lie
There is one thing you have to complete
Before receiving natural gifts
Eyes and the heart should be opened
Because it is the only way to be blessed
Feel the touch of the wind on your hair
Give in to the power of sun and the trees; let be freed…
4. Picture of a palm holding the sunrise
Sunrise can always be interpreted as a symbol of hope and positivity. In the summer time, it shines so brightly, that you can easily be awakened by. The first thing that you might notice is how your bedroom becomes more alive, as golden shades of the sunlight manage to reach every corner. This is the nature’s sign for the birds to start singing their songs in this way often waking up the pets. Probably the most beautiful sunrise can be captured near the sea, where blue waves contrast with the golden colour of the sky, or forests, where sun cannot be easily seen because of the tall trees covering the horizon. Sunrise is the biggest opposition to the darkness of the night and nature’s gift to each one of us. If you would go outside early in the morning, you would be able to see that the trees, plants and grass look fresher, rejuvenated. In colder days fields shine, as they are covered by the transparent layer of the dew, which can easily make you feel like you just washed your feet. Depending on where you live, some mornings can be breezy, making your skin sense the touch of the wind, then usually the sunrise might look reddish. Sun never stops shining because of the clouds. It is persistently giving us an opportunity to plan ahead every day, week and a year. Everyone in their life experience emotionally hard periods, but they should not be the reason to stop seeking for the joy and happiness. If you would ever catch yourself thinking that you might want to end your life, remember that then you won’t be able to see the sunrise. Even in the darkest hour of your life, always try to reach for the light.
Every day a chance for us is given
To experience brightness of the sun
Without it colours would be meaningless
As everything would be black and grey
Sun is asking us to start a morning with a smile
Find a reason to include positive vibes in life
We never know, which morning will be last
So why are we wasting our precious time?
It is not too late to shift your focus
Understand that the joy is most important!
Doors Opening and Shutting – Jackie Blumler
This poem , called ‘Doors Opening and Shutting’ is my reflection after the death of George Floyd on 25 th May 2020- and the resulting protests.It is about racism , addressed to white people in the U.K. and is written to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Abstract 32/Reflections on Water – Caroline Morgan
Abstract 32 is the latest in a series of pieces that I’ve been working on over Summer. Following a visit to the Spilliaert exhibition at the RA I was inspired to experiment with mixed media rather than pure acrylics. Although I aim to convey an inner landscape in my work through my love of colour, paint, texture, mark and gesture, rather than representing something that exists in the physical world, this piece brought to mind a river-possibly the Thames-with its sense of movement, shafts of light and somewhat murky, industrialised quality.
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Reflections of boats in a marina – Reg Warwick
Fox – Margo Walker
My inspiration for the Fox poems was my walks at dawn during lockdown. In the silence and calm of the early morning I was able to reach a meditative stillness and peace which helped me to cope with the news about Covid and the anxiety we were all going through. In particular, I found this peace came from time spent in the natural world, when I became acutely aware of every small detail around me.
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