Tag Archives: domestic violence

Fascinating blog about femicide – worth reading

3 Mar

Grim but important reading. And for those apologists out there, this doesn’t negate the fact that people of all ages and both genders are the victims of murder, but the extent to which women / girls are murdered by men in Britain is disproportionate and pretending otherwise is never going to confront the problem and potential solutions honestly and constructively.

There are a lot of isolated incidents around.

Finding Inspiration Part 2

12 Jan

Day 2 at the last 15 Hundred Lives art event at the Creative Bubble Artspace in December and I continued to sketch out some of the faces of women murdered in Britain during the year, 199 at the time. Unusually I’m using canvas and some paint, along with oil bars which I worked into the canvas with rags dipped in linseed oil. The idea came from Karen Ingala-Smith’s blog, Counting Dead Women. It’s a harrowing indictment on our society that we still have not come to grips with serious violence to women.


I rarely do portraiture or work from photographs, but I felt inspired to honour these ordinary women, whose lives have been so cruelly snuffed out. The idea behind the events at Creative Bubble is to have the space for a couple of days a month to try out new ideas. I managed to do the sketching and quite a bit of underpainting for four of the women, but a lot of people came into the artspace and wanted to talk about what I was doing. It seemed to engage people far more than the work I’d done in previous months. It took a long time to get to this stage and I haven’t got any further with it as it doesn’t fit in with my business plan, at least for the first part of this year, so the canvasses have been rolled up, waiting for me to come back to them.

Finding Inspiration Part 1.

11 Jan


Canvas stapled to the wall

Canvas stapled to the wall

I’ve been working with some other artists in a group called 15 Hundred Lives and we have been doing a 2-day monthly public art event for the past 5 months. We take over a fairly large artspace, Creative Bubble in Swansea and start a new piece of work, inviting the public to come in and see how we develop a piece of art from scratch. It’s been very good for me because I’ve been experimenting and doing things I wouldn’t if I was just plugging away on my own in my studio.

 Working over a ground of yellow ochre acrylic paint

Working over a ground of yellow ochre acrylic paint

 Finding inspiration is the hardest thing about being an artist as far as I’m concerned. Technical ability is improved by diligent practice but finding something to draw, print, paint, whatever is the hardest thing for me. But inspiration can come from all sorts of places. Just before the last Creative Bubble event in December, I was reading a newspaper article about a woman who has set up a feminist website to commemorate women murdered by men in the UK during 2013, many, but not all, victims of domestic violence. It’s called Counting Dead Women. I printed out the article and some of the photos she’d put on her website and spent two days working from them. I hadn’t been looking for subject matter like this but the article inspired as well as distressed me and here’s what I did on Day 1.

Developing the first portrait of a murdered woman

Developing the first portrait using Winsor & Newton oil bars

I found the article and the process of creating these portraits harrowing. It really started to bring the statistics to life for me. More tomorrow……….

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