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.




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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Mervyn Peake Awards 2013: My Entries

Like last year, I’m scheduling this “my entries” post for the day of the Awards ceremony, because, like last year, I intend to be there. Also like last year, I haven’t actually won any awards. However, my painting is apparently to appear in the 2014 Parkinson’s UK calendar, which makes me happy. Continue reading

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Mervyn Peake Awards: It’s in the post

I parcelled up my Mervyn Peake entry today and took it to the Post Office. On checking the rules, I was slightly disconcerted by the size restrictions for the art category; the maximum size is 40 x 50 cm. Can you guess how big my canvas is? Exactly 40 x 50 cm (or, at least that’s what the label said when I bought it). It’s the biggest size of canvas that I have taken up the hill to date – possibly the biggest that it is practical to lug up hills on the back of a rucksack. Phew! Just fits!

I’ve posted it in its going-up-the-hill cardboard box, which was custom made by yours truly. I needed a new 40 x 50 box, anyhow – this one should be strong enough, but design flaws (mine) made it difficult to use and not enormously good with wet paint.


Mervyn Peake Awards 2012

'Enchanted Forest' by Marjorie Abbott - Winner (Art) 2011. Image hosted by Parkinson's UK.

In this morning’s post, I received notificationof the Mervyn Peake Awards 2012, and an invitation to enter. (This was because I submitted an entry last year.) The relevant page on Parkinson’s UK’s Web site hasn’t been updated yet, but I’m sure it will be soon.

Edit: That page is updated now!

The Mervyn Peake Awards celebrate the creativity of people with Parkinson’s, and commemorate the life of Mervyn Peake, himself an artist and a writer who had Parkinson’s. The awards are judged and supported by Peake’s family.


There are four categories:

  • Art
  • Poetry
  • Photography
  • Digital Art

The closing date is 12th March 2011.

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Mervyn Peake Award: Update (People’s Choice Award)

From today (26th April) to the 9th May, you can view the shortlisted entries for the 2011 Mervyn Peake Awards and vote, if you so wish, for the People’s Choice Award. Winners of the People’s Choice Award will be included on the 2012 calendar.

Click here to vote for your favourite entry in your region of the UK.

Previous post on this topic: Creativity and Parkinson’s: The Mervyn Peake Awards