Colin Hambrook’s art and poetry blog

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I’ve been revising how to make the audio-artwork to go with the exhibition. I initially scripted descriptions in two parts – giving a straight description of the drawings followed by the context of the making of the image and the narrative it tells. Now, with input from Joseph Young I’ve opted for combining the three facets of the audio-description. I’ve had a go at incorporating the details of the illustration with descriptions of the making of the images, drawing on narratives in the poems being illustrated and the personal stories which were the starting point.

I enjoyed sharing the following script for a creative audio-descriptive piece in the Knitting Time workshop at Pallant House this week:

I had already started this A4 coloured drawing when I decided it would be an apt illustration for the poem Blue Black Feather. It conveys a love of nature in a dream-like landscape made up of birds, faces and human figures, which inhabit a series of hills and pastures. It pictures the encroachment of urban life on the landscape in a series of simply drawn tower blocks which run down the left-hand side of the drawing. It just needed two birds and so I drew a Jay dominating the right hand side of the foreground and a smaller crow further up and on the left, with which it is communicating.

The poem relates to a story from the mid-eighties of when I found  a perfect blue-black barred Jay’s feather. Living in North London during the early 1980s was a depressing time. All my efforts at getting somewhere to live were being thwarted at the same time as all social housing was being sold off. Ideals of community and social awareness were fragmenting. I squatted a housing association property. For a time our eviction notices were thrown out of court by the judge because the housing officers were so embroiled in corrupt deals. Everything, seemed bound up in corruption.

I got very excited by the jewel-like quality of the feather. In my fragile state of mind this piece of treasure seemed to be auspicious sign; an omen of better things to come. It glowed, like something from the garden of Eden. On an impulse I showed the feather to a fellow passenger on a tube train. I happened to be following one of the sillier fashions of the time, wearing striped pyjamas. It was a trend started by the Boomtown Rats who I’d seen play a couple of times.

So, when the woman who I’d shown the feather to announced that she was an off-duty police officer, it was not wholly unsurprising that she’d assume that I’d escaped from Friern Barnet, the nearest mental hospital. She took me aside on the platform, clearly debating with herself what she should do and whether or not she could be bothered to take me all the way back to the police station. She wavered – especially as I had nothing on me to identify who I was. On grilling me about where I was going she asked me if I was harmless or not. She realised I couldn’t cause much damage, armed with a tiny feather. And so she then asked if I’d go back to the hospital of my own accord; making me promise faithfully that I would do so. And so I agreed, escaping the psychiatric system by an edge once again.

At the centre bottom of the drawing is a prominent ball shape across which a skeletal figure is draped. And to the left of the figure is a large cross-hatched shadow which is draped from the bottom corner of the picture, across the bottom tower block and up into the fields above. There is sense of underlying fatalism within this drawing. The frightened expressions on the faces in the submerged figures are expressive of a search for meaning and purpose in a random brutal urban environment.

Bird Song: audio-description:

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I’ve begun the task of writing descriptions of the illustrations for the book and adding some personal reflections which put the poems in context. I thought I’d share the first of these, which relates the drawing of a sparrow I’ve made to illustrate the poem Bird Song.

An  A4 portrait black and white line drawing depicting a side-on view of a sparrow, which takes up the whole of the central two thirds of the picture. The bird is very carefully and delicately drawn, with a great attention to the detail in the feathers and the markings on the feathers. It is a male bird as defined by the dark markings around its eye and beak and down the extent of its wing feathers. It sits on  a short branch, which comes towards the viewer into the foreground of the picture.

The sparrow looks upwards with a fragile, slightly quizzical expression on its face, which emphasises a sense of its innocence. Surrounding the bird is a mesh or web of delicate markings resembling a lattice of small interlacing branches. Many of the larger branches are shaded with small dots creating a grey cloud-like shadow around the bird, which seems to pulsate in the background.

The sparrow symbolises a lot of thoughts and feelings in relation to childhood memories. My mum conferred a love of nature and the bird-life in the garden was very important to us. The chirpy little sparrow was our favorite. We’d put bread out and would love to watch these shy, innocent birds hovering around our offerings.

Mischeviously they would peck the aluminium tops of the milk bottles left on our doorstep by the milkman. “Look mum”, I’d say “They’ve been at it again”, and we’d share a smile at their daring do. I think we shared an intuitive connection to their fragile natures. We would delight in counting the numbers of male and female birds we could spot at impromptu moments when a ‘quarrel’ of them would come to visit.

The decline in numbers of sparrows in our London garden in the late seventies seemed to parallel the worsening of my mothers health and wellbeing. The disappearance of the birds was inextricably linked, in my mind, with the irrevocable changes in society wrought by the rise of Thatcher. It seemed that the world fast became a harder and more corrupt place with the influence of American Economist Milton Friedman’s free market ideology, that was so important to the Thatcher government. From the late-seventies their policies spelt an end to the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that had been a marked feature within society since the Clement Atlee government of 1945. After 35 years of common ownership of all essential utilities and industries, we were subject to policies that established a framework of private enterprise and competition. The idea was that we learn to rely on market forces to ensure the ‘survival of the fittest’, rather than attempt to work together to achieve a fair society. However the political appropriation of the phrase, first coined by Herbert Spencer and then used by Charles Darwin as a synonym for the idea ofnatural selection in the fifth edition of On the Origin of Species, published in 1869, was incompatible with the meaning both scientists intended in their search for an understanding of evolutionary theory. Darwin had intended the phrase to be a metaphor for how life adapts to its immediate, local environment, often working collectively to achieve common aims. The political interpretation that Darwin was vindicating the actions of the rich and powerful over and above the needs of the weak and those less well-placed was in fact a fallacy.

As the 1980s dawned, in my mind at least, there was a direct association between the increase in Corvids in London parks and gardens with the harsher pragmatism of the dismantling of the welfare state. The crows, magpies and jays replaced a lot of the smaller more benign birds. The families of finches, tits and sparrows decreased dramatically within a short space of time, never to return in the same numbers. The decline of the sparrow, especially, who my mum and I identified with so readily, was especially symbolic as indicative of our own predicament.

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It’s been a while since I updated my blog and as I’ve been fairly busy painting I thought I’d add a photo of this work-in-progress. It’s great to be working on a fairly large scale (4 foot x 4 foot) and am enjoying it greatly. Without planning it I ended up going back to poetry from my first collection 100 Houses as inspiration for this image, which depicts how it feels to have an involuntary out of body experience – something which I was prone to until about ten years ago.

In the woods, Crow will blast your courage to tell you, you are not a tree

black and white drawing of an Oak tree on the left side of the landscape and a male and female figure on the right side, merging into a landscape of oak leaves

Knitting Time is finally on the horizon

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A starting point for the work on show in the Knitting Time exhibition is a collection of poems which explore personal narratives from infancy to the present time. The stories stem from my induction as an infant into the delusionary belief system of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. My mum became lost to strange beliefs after the JWs kicked us all out as representatives of Satan come to disturb the flock. One of her beliefs involved the ascribing of animal spirits to individuals and groups of people. As a child I was ‘Mole’ and I still sign much of my artwork accordingly in her affectionate memory.

There are many State-sanctified psychotic belief systems. It just depends how many agree to subscribe to any particular ‘belief’ as to whether it gets labeled ‘psychotic’. If you’re in a club with only one member, the chances are you’ll be in trouble, unless you learn to shut up.

All religious or spiritual belief has an element of ‘psychosis’ about it – not that ‘psychosis’ is necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. In its original meaning the term is derived from the Greek psyche, meaning ‘soul,’ ‘mind,’ or ‘breath.’ It was regarded as the animating principle in life. From that Greek ideology came the modern hierarchy which places the spirit and the mind above matter. The poor old material world is not giving much credo, which is possibly why we care so little collectively about plundering and destroying the earth and for that matter for torturing the ‘mad’ who as a general rule tend to not like what the human race is doing to itself.

Knitting Time illustrates ‘loss’ as a guiding principle for existence and for creativity. I’ve never fitted into the world, which is no bad thing. I was taught from an early age by JWs that the world would end when I was 17 in 1975. And so I’ve spent 38 years living with a sense of mourning the ‘end’ that never came and in grief for the injustices perpetrated against my mum in the name of psychiatry. Psychiatry – like much of humanity and especially organised religion – continues to be as deluded as ever in the way it treats people.

The audio-descriptive sound installation in the  exhibition describe a selection of ten of the works including work made during our workshop programme expounding on personal stories that underpin the making of those pieces. I’ve a history since infancy of getting lost in dreams and hallucinations; of entering a world which is outside of time. Much of the art and poetry here is based on those experiences, which have often been very profound and beautiful.

At the same time as expressing a ‘spiritual’ world, seeing angels and so forth… I’m no believer in the hierarchy we’ve adopted from the early Greeks. As Antonin Artaud put it so eloquently in his essay Shit to the Spirit: “The spirit was never anything but the parasite of man, the ringworm of his worthy body when the body was no more than an animalcule swimming around and having no desire to be worthy of existing.”

And therein lies the dilemma of who we are and why we’re here? Knitting Time is a piece of my dealing with that conundrum.

I hope you find the exhibition thought-provoking and would love to hear your thoughts on these concerns.

Drain Cleaning: Proactive Maintenance For Better Plumbing

Homeowners have many opportunities to make their home a better place to live. Trim grass, repair air conditioners, clean gutters, etc.

Cleaning of the drains can prevent this from happening. Instead of waiting for blockages to occur, take the initiative. Contact a professional drain unclogged company in Nottingham and ask them to do this simple service that can ensure you have healthy plumbing for years to come.

The benefits of cleaning drains are very large. One of the main advantages of this form of treatment is limiting the possibility of early clogging. Plumbing emergencies are a bad situation.

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It is always much easier to fix a problem before it becomes something more serious. This blockage can occur for various reasons. Oil, hair, and soaps can cause pipes that no longer allow water to flow.

By having your pipes cleaned regularly, you can avoid major emergencies in the future. Of course, not all blockages and pipe problems come from inside the house. Underground pipes are subject to roots that sometimes grow against and even through the pipe itself.

When this happens, this can dramatically reduce your water pressure and make it difficult for water to move smoothly through the system.

After the problem becomes out of control, the latest technology and better methods for removing roots have made it easier for specialist cleaning channels to bite roots before a problem occurs.

How Salt Therapy Can Help You?

Salt therapy was discovered in the mid-18th century by Polish health official Felix Botchkowski. Salt therapy was originally found as Speleotherapy or cave therapy, 'Spelenos' became the Greek term for 'cave'.

Felix Botchkowski found that salt miners in Poland did not experience lung-related diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, or chronic bronchitis.

Even miners who suffer from respiratory diseases before they start working in the mine feel better and have fewer symptoms because they spend more time in the cave. Felix Botchkowski published a book in 1843 about his findings.

His predecessor Mstislav Poljokowski founded the first Salt Spa in Velicko, which is still operating today. To relax your body and mind you can avail salt spa services in Long Island.

The benefits of salt were also noted in the 1940s, around the end of World War II. The abandoned salt mines are often used as bomb shelters. Those who seek safety at the mine find a reduction in respiratory symptoms.

Soon after, a salt sanatorium was opened in European countries such as Germany, Hungary and Yugoslavia. In 1968, the Allergy Hospital officially approved the scientific basis of Spelenotherapy.

Speleotherapy is the treatment of respiratory diseases, as well as some skin diseases, utilizing salt-rich air in underground caves. Micron and natural salt ions have been shown to be effective in calming the restless breathing pathways.

Salt has a natural anti-inflammatory effect; it reduces swelling and edema in the airways, making it more difficult and less painful to breathe.

Inhaling saturated air salt destroys fungi and bacteria in the mucous lining of the respiratory tract. Inhaling salty air dilutes mucus in the lungs so that it is more easily removed.

It was also proven to eliminate the remaining tar from smokers' lungs. Salt ions produce negative electrical charges in the air, which improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, reduce fatigue, and have many other healing effects.

Tips for Choosing a Gym

No matter if your target is to gain more muscle mass, losing weight or just cardio workouts, in all cases it is very important to choose the most suitable gym for you. Here's a list of tips that could help you how to choose the most suitable gym for you:

Location – we are too busy nowadays, so to be able to visit your gym often, it should be situated near your home or office. For example, mine is near my office. Also, it is opened in the early morning and it allows me to train before I go to work. Are you looking for the affordable gyms in penrith, you can check out via the web.

Hardware – to have the option to exercise appropriately, it ought to contain the greater part of the wellness machines that you use in your exercises.

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For instance, on the off chance that you train working out, ensure that the exercise centre contains enough seat squeezes, bars, loads, smith machines, and so on.

In the event that you train wellness or oxygen consuming, you are wellness rec center ought to incorporate circular mentor, exercise center bicycles, step machines, treadmills, and so on.

Rec center Trainers – particularly, on the off chance that you are tenderfoot it is prescribed to exercise with the assistance of an expert mentor. Thus, attempt to pick a wellness exercise center where work proficient rec center coaches.

The Other People There – a few rec centers are stuffed and it could make your exercises less agreeable and insufficient, on the off chance that you train in a rec center which is visited by such a large number of individuals.

Costs – Some wellness rec centers are excessively costly. On the off chance that you are not prepared to pay much for your exercises there, look at additionally the costs for exercises in the rec center.

Tourist Spots In Sault Ste Marie

When you are a foreigner, you should be prepared for those high entrance fees. Touring the entire town without a vehicle is also a major disadvantage because you might easily get tired and exhausted. Some adventurers would love to hike instead of joy riding. Your journey would be a very long one when it comes to those tourist spots in Sault Ste Marie.

Every person love adventure but only some can dare to do it. Some would just prefer to visit museums because they can learn lots of things from those historical events. Their artifacts are being displayed inside huge glass containers so as to preserve its quality and polish. Researchers can also multi task by touring and studying at the same time.

These places are also rich in shopping centers. If you love to buy some fashionable attire, then their streets are the perfect place to stroll. You can find their tradition and culture through their styles of clothing. These clothing brands were also made by local designers who are very passionate about expressing art through fabrics.

The Kinsmen Park is also at the heart of the town. It is a place wherein you could take a stroll along their long aisles together with a partner or with a pet. These parks are surrounded with trees, flowers, and plants. These natural commodities are enhancing its landscaping effects and can add to its overall beauty.

Its surroundings are so beautiful and peaceful. Senior citizens love to stroll along its peaceful aisle especially during autumn because the leaves would also add to its romantic pathways. Even though the pathways are not yet cemented, the tourists would never want to miss its beautiful scenery. The rows of rocks are well arranged on its sides.

Bellevue Park must also be a part of your list because this place is naturally abundant. Doves would usually visit the area and sleep on the tree branches surrounding that particular park. Visitors would like to take close up pictures especially when they have never seen these unique creatures yet. These birds usually flock together.

Mill market is also a center for vegetable shopping. If you are a type of person who loves to eat fruits and vegetables, then this market would surely astound you. You will also be astounded with their price ranges because the vegetable which we could not afford in our local town are already affordable here. Crops and fruits are also available on their displays.

The most amazing thing is they also arrange their vegetables and fruits properly and orderly. It adds to their level of beauty and attractiveness. Their stall vendors would also welcome you with a warm smile especially once they know that you are a foreign tourist. They will accommodate your requests and answer your questions.

These vendors are good conservationists especially when they deal with guests or visitors. They know how to talk with them in such a polite and kind way. Their hospitality and politeness will really touch our hearts and will make us want to come back again and again. They also are good entertainers because they talk a lot about their traditions and cultures.

The Healing Benefits Of Yoga Art Exercise

It was always nice to feel secure about your health because you will never be anxious about it. You really know that you are somehow healthy enough. However, it is completely different from the other individuals who never experience in trying any form of exercises. These folks are often times sickly and not healthy looking. Anyone may try the yoga art healing in Bluffdale UT because this is worth to try.

Many people have been considering already any forms of exercises these days. They are absolutely encouraged to do this for some valid reasons. The ladies are basically the one who is very encouraged and easily convinced by these matters. They too have wanted to try it firsthand. Right now, they have been busy looking for the best exercise and the place where they can able to experience it.

Yoga was always the first choice of all. For some reasons, many people have preferred this form of an exercise because of the benefits it has promisingly given. The health benefits are tremendously advantageous. Many folks are now showing some interests with this. Hence, they should register now to the nearest centers.

The yoga will be done daily. Anyone who is starting this exercise already is required to do it every single day. It depends upon their situation of course particularly their schedules. Not all people have the same schedules and have the capacity to lend time for such activities. The reason was because of the busyness basically.

However, being busy was never a valid reason to say. You are expected to give some time for it because at the end of the day you receive more health benefits from doing it. That is why everyone who has shown some interests for this must start now registering. Most of these people are quite curious about yoga classes.

The yoga can able to absolutely tone and stretch the body muscles of any person. These folks are expected to basically straighten their arms and legs because this was the first basic positions. Expect that there is a wide variety of body positions which should be followed. Each position is distinctive to one another. You can able to do it all alone at your home just in case you cannot make it to the class.

The advantageous beauty of this particular exercise is the capacity of practicing it at all levels of ability. People never ask to be extremely flexible in order to practice this and get engage with this. These individuals are asked only to be willing and to learn about participation. There are just so many things they are expected to do for it.

Enroll yourself to the nearest centers which offer yoga classes. You will be guided with the best instructors and for sure you will learn the best from them. These people are the best yet in terms with this matter. They absolutely need such services because it is too personal. Today, most of these folks are now considering this and have planned to enroll their selves. The benefits are what these individuals have looked forward in inquiring.

Everything You Need To Know About Affiliate Programs

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about affiliate programs – including what this affiliate program is, why traders have it, profits have it, as well as what is needed to organize affiliate programs.

What Is An Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs are programs that are being made by product traders to invite marketers (also known as affiliates, or sometimes also known as partners) to come and promote products owned by traders. You can find affiliate advertising tracking program through various web sources.

And every time the affiliate succeeds in referring to a sale (where he successfully makes someone buy a product from the merchant's site), they will be paid a certain percentage of commission (usually the amount of commission that the affiliate will receive is calculated based on the total sales generated).

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Benefits of Having an Affiliate Program

This is a mutually beneficial situation for marketers and traders in that regard – For traders, this gives them the ability to make their products reach a wider audience, and thus able to generate more sales for them.

For affiliates, they can benefit from this affiliate program because they can start making money (sometimes even making big income) without having their own products.

In addition, what an affiliate needs to do is connect potential customers (people they think will be interested in the product) with traders. They don't need to worry about product fulfillment, or after-sales support (because all this is handled by the merchant).

Choose Luxurious And Comfortable Apartments

Spending a pleasant holiday in dream location is the dream of many people and this dream can be more beautiful if you find a pleasant and safe place to live. If you are planning a vacation, you can book accommodation in the best locations with the help of various service providers.

They provide various studio apartments for tourists. So, enjoy the services of a professional company to make your vacation more enjoyable. You can find Chelsea luxury leasing apartments online.

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With the emergence of these reliable companies, luxury apartments for rent are easily available that is permissible. If you think that you always have to pay big fees for luxury apartments, this is not always the case but if you want all amenities then you have to pay something for that. With the help of professionals, visitors can enjoy a pleasant stay in luxury flats.

They provide short-term rentals and long-term leases. You can book accommodations according to your needs. Whether you will stay for the long term or short term, you can book a vacation home.

Most tourists prefer to book luxury homes because they are safer and most importantly provide complete privacy. Enjoy the services of experts to book the best holiday homes for you.

Interested people can browse the company's website to find out more about rentals. Many couples, family and friends visit different-different cities to enjoy the beauty of nature and the wealth of art.

Benefits Of Hiring Commercial Electricians For Your Home

Two types of electricity offer their services; residential electricity and electricity industry. Housing that handles problems at home, and services for homes, and industries related to commercial businesses. Some business owners maintain services from commercial companies that offer a variety of services for businesses and by using them, business owners can keep their businesses running and safe, but using these electric professionals can also help save their owners a lot of real money can be put back into the business.

Commercial Electrician in Hamilton

One great way to help a industrial electrician in Hamilton  to cut costs is to offer business owners a more energy-efficient way to keep their business alive. Here are some reasons why business owners can think of hiring a professional to work on their lighting system, and there are many benefits for businesses that are turning to energy-efficient lighting:

The electricity industry will issue an ordinary light bulb that the business uses as lighting and replace it with a special green light. Filaments in ordinary light bulbs can often explode, which means replacing and disposing of light bulbs

Some electricians work in people's homes and industrial electricians who handle only work in the business. An industrial electrician can meet with business owners and talk about what they can do for them, which can include saving owners a lot of money at electricity costs by replacing their bulbs for energy-saving bulbs that require less electricity to ignite and help keep them the cost of running a business remains low.

Important Information about Furniture Delivery Service

When you receive furniture delivery, there are actually many situations that can arise and put you in a dangerous position. Almost all of these positions can really be avoided by just knowing what to do when the driver arrives, and more importantly, what needs to be done before he leaves.

Purchasing furniture is usually too expensive to not know this information, and the last thing you want is to get stuck with damaged or wrong furniture. If you are searching for professional furniture delivery in Perth then you can visit various online sites.

Here is a little guide on how to handle furniture delivery from start to finish. The first thing you need to do is to make sure you are there when the furniture arrives. Although this seems reasonable, many people have "other people" taking their furniture.

Take a day off from work (or half a day) and make sure you receive what is promised. In addition, you must ensure that shipping includes arrangements. If your furniture delivery does not include this service, then you will need help from friends or family.

The driver of the furniture delivery will only be responsible for getting delivery to the front porch – not to the house and certainly not arranged in the final resting place. Therefore, you must make sure you have several people to help carry the furniture. If you pay for this service, this is not a problem.

Why Granite Countertops Are Timeless

Granite countertops are the epitome of toilet and kitchen luxury for decades. Ask anybody what their perfect countertop stuff is, and they'll probably say granite-even if they have never seen real granite in person before. "Granite" is only synonymous with maximum, with the extra bonus of owning a timeless appearance.

Style alone is not the sole rationale granite is the most in-demand counter material, but it is among the most essential. You can find the best granite countertops in Dallas.

Why Granite Countertops Are Timeless

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When contemplating granite, every slab is a bit of artwork. There are colors, designs, nuances and much more that makes granite exceptional.

That one of a kind feature pushes up the value granite connoisseurs may even select granite from various areas of the planet since each area lends itself to a geo-targeted design base.

Care and Use

Granite is a natural stone, so it is porous. But a straightforward all-natural rock sealant may fill pores, preventing countertops from spreading germs and debris and make it incredibly simple to wash.

A sealed granite countertop takes only a wipe down with warm soap and water so far as everyday care. Being a durable cloth, to start with, granite may stand up against ordinary wear and tear while resisting cracking and flaking.

The remaining power of granite usually means you could enjoy the countertops for many generations. Should you choose to sell your house, the kitchen would be your number one area that may boost or decrease supplies.