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Week 1 Plus – A New Way with Art

Saturday 8th -This is an additional post adding to the original week one post last week.

The introductory class was really useful. Although I printed out the ‘Everyday’ document it still helps to talk through everything in a group setting.

It was also really important to hear from my fellow students and it helps me understand the group dynamic more. I enjoyed talking to Mathew about Doctor Who and Katy about moving from the Fens, and Issac talked about his client showing him bilberries while out cycling. It was lovely hearing about creative collaborations in London, metal Munch in Oslo and van Gogh in Amsterdam and family travels around India. It reminded me how much I miss travelling but how fortunate I was to have travelled so much and that resonated for me within the discussion about revisiting a painting or a place and how sometimes our perception is now different and the realisation it is us that have changed.

I felt inspired by the description of therapy and medication and thought how very brave to share that with us and showed me the level of trust within the group. So in honour of that I the recognition that my project of ‘Wrestling with Everyday Pain’ must say that everyday pain is not just physical it can very much be emotionally and mental pain, my choices for the group playlist reflect that truth.

Miranda asked from the first post “what is sentence feedback” in answer I aim to put up on my social media accounts some of the storyboard drawings of my characters and ask people to either post or DM me their experience of everyday pain.

I then wanted to use the sentences or individually words within the wrestling performance to annunciate people’s experience of everyday pain within a contemporary Dada performance.

I mentioned in my first post I have been reading Dada Performance by Mel Gordon. I have always been intrigued by the original Dada movement and its ironic counter-response of Neo-Dada. I lived in Berlin during the end of the 80’s flying the Berlin corridors and was there for the wall coming down. (I still have a bit of it in a plastic bag somewhere) In the underground club scene traditional Dada was alive and well and I want to explore what a Contemporary Dada would look like within praxis.

My other pilot hangover is my need for an ‘alternate’ (i.e plan B)

I like to have flexibility within my final realisation of this project and it was good to see within the intro-seminar that openness and experimentation were encouraged.  

As of this Saturday morning, that flexibility will be needed. My character of humanity (Ben) is now wrestling with more than a dodgy knee as he suffered an injury to his hand and has just come out of hospital after an emergency operation with his hand wired and in a cast! Now, this could be a visual and physical manifestation of everyday pain, however, he might not feel up to wrestling for an art project!

But he says he’s still coming to the project meeting on Tuesday evening if he’s feeling up to it, he did mention he will try and find another ‘fighter’ to stand in if he can’t do it. My husband, as a typical wrestler, says no worries we will just ‘work’ his other hand! Most wrestlers work ‘injured’ throughout their career so that may work.

I might have cast my Sister Morphine and hopefully, ‘he’ is coming on Tuesday evening too, but I still need to approach ‘Art’

I think I have sourced some chicken wire for the skeleton of Sister Morphine’s giant red strap-on which I intend to make from either plaster of Paris or papier-mâché if that doesn’t work. The plaster of Paris will be weighty and will be better for an exhibition but it might be too heavy for the performance and I won’t know that till I make it!

This week I’ve collated a list of my everyday pain and talked with Dwain about what wrestling moves we can do to represent this.

List of Moves

  • Heart failure/Heart palpitations – Chest chops.
  • Knees in need of knee replacement I can never have– Texas clover leaf, Indian death lock
  • Permanent dislocated shoulder – Fujiyama arm bar, Rings of Saturn, ¾ hammer lock with wrist control, cross face chicken wing.
  • Stage 4 endometriosis and surgical adhesions from full abdominal clearance – Walls of Jericho, Camel clutch, Bow and Arrow, Abdominal stretch.
  • Neck/back Degenerative spine– Full nelson, Rear chin lock then knee to back.
  • Eyes – Crippler cross face.
  • Ears – picking up by the ears, forearm shiver to the head.
  • Arthritis in fingers – Jim breaks special. Suspension hold.

My character drawings from the story board are quite charming and originally were inspired by Bedwyr Williams’ MILQUETOAST I saw at the Arts Centre.

The drawings and my project has already moved and grown from that initial inspiration. I’m surprised just how quickly conceptual art moves and morphs and that’s been exciting.

In that spirit I’ve made some short animations from the original storyboard with additional drawings and I’ve really enjoyed making them. That’s been made possible by my new to me table attachment and the new supportive cushions that my husband and son have used refurbished my old stressless recliner, which means I am much more productive as I can work laying down and not sitting up in pain.

I’ve not totted up how much time I’ve spent on drawings but it’s all there in stats so I might add it up at the end! I also thought the animations needed a voice and I think I have found that in the form of my inner 3 year old through a voice app. I spoke in my best three year old voice and modified it further and the same for the gruff Everyday Pain character, I’ve not found my inner Sister Morphine yet!

I’ve tried to be as productive as possible in this first 2 weeks as I may loose several days this weekend as I’m having my covid booster and flu jab on the 15th. The last time I was dreadfully ill with heart palpitations and ‘Everyday Pain’ had a great time!

Monday 10th – Well how fast does conceptual art change! Last night I put up the first Wrestling Everyday Pain drawing on my personal Facebook page and Instagram and my Borth Tattoo page asking for responses about peoples experience of dealing with everyday pain. I was worried that no one would respond to the drawing but they did both on the posts and in msg/dm they were all so moving! Some from people I knew and some from people I’ve never met. Each one needing to be heard and validated.

The tutorial today was amazing and so vital and it’s really focused what I need to develop and what I need to move on into a next project.

To that end I cancelled Tuesdays meeting, contacting my injured humanity to move a live performance into next year. He was relieved and said how happy he would be able to do it and how important he saw opening a physical discussion about humanity vs pain… that was interesting, as the respondents last night also saw that contest.

I’m equally delighted that I am able to concentrate on the animation of these characters and include and develop the responses received within my new animated world.

Here are some quotes from the responses to ‘Wrestling with Everyday Pain’


  • I learnt to manage the pain -using the gym- to  strengthen my body- I still went to the gym up to 35 weeks pregnant.


  • I’m in pain – it’s flared up – Hubby has had to take over everything this afternoon. 


  • I’m in pain with a wrist issue – I’m having yet another surgery.


  • People see you out and about and think you’re fine, when in actual fact you’re struggling and fighting back tears.


  • My foot pain is like walking on hot coals or lots of needles, every step. 


  • Menopause – To loose yourself


  • Menopause – aching bones -confused mind – deterioration of your eyes – the anger inside – the sadness because you’ve become a different person


  • Menopause-fighting the heat -hot as a sun – hot sweats.


  • Menopause- all the anxiety – you don’t know how to trust yourself – panic mode


  • I watch life pass me by – sitting in bed  


  • Fight or flight- it’s a the daily nonstop fight


  • I wake everyday with a feeling of dread.


  • I’ve woken up again and I’ve another day to drag myself through.


  • I feel a pain inside me that I just can’t shake.


  • I’ve spent the last two years trying to pick myself up and I’m getting nowhere.


  • I don’t bother eating I’ll sit in for days by myself.


  •  I fake being happy and pretend everything is ok but inside I’m so sad it crushes me.


  • I keep putting on my happy face in the hope that I’ll feel the happiness again inside me one day.


  • I know you’ll not judge me and be able to interpret what I mean in your art xxx


  • STOP….stopped….I’m stopped


  • See myself in the mirror – Old – More bent – Breathe.


  • That’s it. Just. OK. OK. OK. Right. Walk.


  • The start of a long day – the painful punctuation of needing a hip replacement.


  • Looking for an injection of hope.


  • Hope – looks like a rag doll left on a fence, rain water soaked and unclaimed; bleached by the indifference of specious pity.


  • Vestibular migraine – pain isn’t always obvious pain


  • Debilitating sciatica – makes me feel old.


  • My youth has gone – no spontaneity – I’m fine – that’s nearly nice.

Tonight I’m going to post up Sister Morphine and ask how people medicate or don’t medicate their everyday pain.

And finally here is a link for Issac how to make bilberry jam




1 thought on “Week 1 Plus – A New Way with Art”

  1. Dee it is pure delight seeing how this project is unfolding, and at what a rate! the drawings quickly becoming animations and now with sound! amazing, the characters are evolving and the Dadaesque performance is bubbling along in the back of your mind for the end of next semester, for the TAKEOVER – excellent. The drawing table is amazing, thank you for sharing it with us, it really hits home how you are adapting and making work whatever the circumstances, truly inspiring. Perhaps find a different more interesting way of compiling the social media responses, the long list is a little clunky, look into what other formats this could take..?

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