Thursday, 5 September 2013

Art Therapy

Like most artists, I use a sketchbook. Some of my sketchbooks are nothing more than scribbles but now and again I create things that are halfway between a scribble and a finished piece. I havebeen drawing such pieces recently whilst developing an idea I have been working on for some time.
Without spewing my personal life history all over the place, I wanted to work on some pieces that deal with things from my past. these are things that definitely affected me and made me who I am today, in part but I don't want viewrs of this art or people who read this blog to think that they are uppermost in my mind any more. They were difficult to live through at the time, which was over 3 decades ago and I feel that by turning them into artwork it is a final goodbye to the thoughts and feelings in a way.

They are based around issues I had with my older brother. He bullied me on a fairly regular basis when I was growing up. No big deal: we all have to live through sibling bullying don't we? Many of us do, but when your brother is 9 years older than you and you doin't heve the mental or physical capacity to protect yourself it is a completely different scenario.

My brother has not been in my life all that much over the past 20 years and he doesn't talk to me since i finally spoke up a couple of years ago and told him that his behaviour affected me. Rather than, discussing it, acting surprised or apologising, he was very angry indeed. Great, I thought, I finally try to speak about it, and I am made out to be the bad one! Around the time of my fathers death, two years ago, we spoke on the phone and he brought the subject up. He told me that I more or less exeggerated things and that he had only "slapped me about a bit".  I was both weirdly dumbfounded and not surprised all at the same time by this statement.

I am sure my brother looks at my website: I don't know if he reads this blog. I don't know if he we will ever speak again.
I also do no tknow if anyone will want to buy artwork with an abuive theme but that is not what matters here. I love the emoion in these little drawings and if they strike a chord with some other person then that is great. There is something about the box frames and the way that they are "contained:" which I think works really well.

Boxing Brothers

I have an incredibly good long-term memory. Quite often, I can amaze my oldest friends by talking in detail about things that happened to them that they don't recall. I have also checked things with people who were adult when I was a child and I am not suffereing from "false memory syndrome" or any other such thing, I just have a really good long term memory.

Boxing Brothers is a very early memorry for me. Writing about it and looking at my drawing takes me back to a day in the early '70s when I was very young and my mum went to the local shop . She would typically only be gone for half an hour and on this occasion she left my brother to look after me. We had just had a new television delivered and the box was still in the living room. I was playing in it. My brother closed the lid and wouldn't let me out.

I vividly recall the smell of cardboard, the darkness but most of all a feeling that I couldn't breathe and of panic. When he finally let me out ( I may not have been there all that long but it felt like an eternity), I remember that I was crying and that he was laughing. He said something along the lines of - not to be silly. he was only playing. It is a memory that has stayed with me for years.

 Just Not Cricket

Just not cricket is a phrase my father used quite a lot. It seemed sholly appropriate for this drawing

This represents a time when I was perhaps 13 years old and some friends had called for me at home. They were waiting outside the front door and as I was trying to unlock the door my dear brother thought it would be fun to launch a cricket ball at me down the long, narrow hallway. The ball would hit off my body. I could stand it at first but with repeated blows, I began to get upset. He told me to throw the ball back each time or he "would batter me" which was one of his standard sayings. I complied.

When I finally managed to open the door my two friends were laughing. It must have sounded funny. They stopped when they saw that I was upset. One of these teenage friends is still a close friend today and he remembers this as well as I do.

Again, sibling squabbles and things liek this are an everyday occurrance. When it's a ten year old throwing a cricket ball at a 9 year old it's not such a big deal. When it's a 22 year old throwing a cricket ball at a 13 year old it's a different scenario.