Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's


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Mervyn Peake Awards 2016

2016-07-06-1-London-1000The Mervyn Peake Awards 2016 were presented on Wednesday 6 July at the OXO Gallery, London. That’s on the South Bank (of the Thames), a short walk from Waterloo station. There was an awards ceremony and exhibition launch event in the afternoon and a VIP preview in the evening.

The exhibition is billed as a celebration of the creativity of people with Parkinson’s, and it is the first year that a full exhibition, open to the public, has been held in such a prestigious location. I have two pieces in the show: Ridge, a landscape that was shortlisted for the art award and Shelves of Inspiration, a composite still life and imaginary piece that won the multimedia themed award, “Inspire”.

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As a winner of one of the awards, I had been invited to both events, along with my guest, Sophie (aka PollieMath). It was truly wonderful to have Sophie’s company; we have much in common and had a lot to talk about… and a lot of things to draw.

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I must admit that I found the whole being-a-winner-experience rather odd. I’m not used to the attention, although I did appreciate all of the positive comments about the winning painting. Inspiration is a very individual thing, and this painting was a very personal piece, and one that I spent a lot of time on – both planning and painting it.

I duly received my award from the fabulous Anders M. Leines, Norwegian photographer responsible for the thought-provoking exhibition “This is Parkinson’s”. Anders asked me if I had anything to say. “No”, I replied (which at least amused the audience), and offered me a hug. That was nice.

The full video version of Ander’s exhibition is on display at the Mervyn Peake Awards exhibition, which is still running – on until 10 July – so, if you’re in London this weekend, do try to visit it.

And if you do visit the exhibition, I’d love to hear what you think.

 


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Thatcham, Berkshire – Summer Craft Market

The daughter of one of the other members of my local Parkinson’s UK group is co-organising this event. This is the press release:

Pineapple Palace’s Summer Market for Parkinson’s UK

 

A group of local crafts people and artists will be hosting a fundraising weekend at the Pineapple Palace from Friday 17 June to Sunday 19 June to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK.

 

Pineapple Palace, located at Lower Way Farm in Thatcham, is a unique shop and café supported and stocked by a number of local artists. The Summer Market will include craft demonstrations, music, food, children’s activities, raffle prizes and over 50 quality craft and arts stalls exhibiting over the weekend.

 

For one of the artists, the cause is personal. Sophie Callaway owns Sophie Waite Ceramics, and has a studio at Lower Way Farm next to Pineapple Palace.

 

Sophie explains: “Eleven years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. At the time I had little knowledge of what that meant, but over time we have discovered it is a cruel condition that affects different people in different ways and the severity can vary from day to day.

 

“My Dad started with a tremor and now has many more symptoms such as slowness of movement, fatigue, rigidity and restless leg syndrome. He belongs to the local Parkinson’s UK Newbury group and Newbury Sparkies and I know he and my Mum enjoy the support and friendship this group provides as well as taking part in the exercise classes, voice coaching and sessions at the Therapy Centre that the group offer.

 

“In April our whole family took part in the Walk for Parkinson’s – Welford Park.  It was a great day and it felt amazing to help raise awareness of this progressive condition. I am delighted that I can have the opportunity to support Parkinson’s UK again, along with the MS Therapy Centre, at the Pineapple Palace Summer Market.”

 

Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I’d like to wish Sophie and the Pineapple Palace team the very best of luck with their fundraising weekend. I hope local people will join them for what promises to be a fantastic weekend with something for everyone.

 

“As the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity we’re leading the work to find a cure, and we’re closer than ever. But our work is dependent on donations.”

 

To find out more about fundraising for Parkinson’s UK visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/fundraise or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk

 


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Mervyn Peake Awards 2016 – Inspired!

Shelves of Inspiration, acrylic on wooden panel, 40 x 40 cm

This is my winning entry to this year’s multimedia themed category. The theme is “Inspire”. My idea was that I find inspiration in many things – everywhere – and in many ways, and so I created a set of shelves to display them on.

Parkinson’s UK’s official announcement is here.

I was also shortlisted in the art category with “Ridge”.

Ridge, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

But my poem didn’t make the grade.

I am illusion

I am illusion,
A 2-d invitation,
To step into, to step right through
The picture plane, to find anew,
Space to be, time to see.

I am distraction,
Reflection and refraction.
See the world through another’s eyes,
Another’s truth, another’s lies.
An other understanding.

I am perspective,
Inherently subjective.
I revolt, revive, reward.
I am everything, nothing, all.
I am life. I am art.

 

 


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Welford Parkinson’s

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Bluebell woods at Welford Park, Berkshire

Somwhat belatedly, here are some pictures from our walk in the Park in April. I carelessly allowed my camera batteries to go flat, although the camera in my smart phone was able to take reasonable images in the brilliant sunlight that we all enjoyed that day. The ink in my assorted fountain pens didn’t run out, though, and I made a fair few walking-sketches…

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Jenni from Parkinson’s UK, the organiser of the walk, talking to the assembled walkers at the beginning of the walk

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The official photographer. The incongruity of drawing photographers at work appeals to me…

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Assorted scenes from during and after the walk


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A walk in the Park

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Welford Park, a private estate near Newbury, is known for its snowdrops (the ones above were in Kingsclere) and – more recently – as the location for the television show Bake-Off. I’ve not been to see the snowdrops before (although I intend to every single year) and I don’t think I’ve seen the Bake-Off on television (there are no intentions in that direction). But I am going to be visiting Welford Park, with my family in tow, for another Parkinson’s UK sponsored walk.

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Basingstoke…

watermarked-FWph1-3000This is Basingstoke.

Well, it’s a four-foot long painting of Basingstoke from the other side (south) of the M3. It’s called “Farleigh Wallop!” (although sometimes I forget to put the exclamation mark in), because that’s the name of the village  close to my viewpoint.

This painting is my largest single work in the exhibition The Basingstoke Project, the first collaborative project and group show by…

Artikinesis

which is five local artists, working together, for this and – we hope – subsequent projects.

We decided to focus on the town because it is a natural focus point, and because we didn’t think that Basingstoke had come under artistic scrutiny very often in the past.

We set out to create:

an active, reactive, artistic response to the people, places, buildings and character of Basingstoke.

A project to inspire and surprise.

In the course of the project, we learned to look again at the town. We were inspired. We were surprised.

We found hidden gems; we found delight in the familiar; we found our own visions of Basingstoke.

So runs the exhibition statement that I wrote last night, and which we put up for today’s private view.

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A rather poor photograph from the entrance to the gallery.

The exhibition itself starts on Monday, and runs for just under two weeks. Not much time, but I hope long enough. If you do find yourself anywhere near Basingstoke, you might like to brave the one way system (help is at hand) to find Proteus Creation Space.

The exhibition is open Mon to Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat 10am – 3pm, but closed Mon 1 – 3pm and Tue 1 – 2:15pm.

And if you do visit,

We hope that you enjoy the exhibition, and that you leave with your eyes and your mind open, and with joy in your heart.