Things are going very well for me, and on the whole my eating is now intuitive. I am able to select foods that I want to eat. Sometimes I have the foods that I want to eat, and other times I eat something that I fancy. I may eat out or I may cook at home, depending upon my other plans.
Here’s a salt and chilli beef which I cooked at home.
Many places in London have Street vendors who sell a variety of foods. I’ve seen bubble waffles for a while, but I haven’t dared to have one until Saturday.
It was delicious. Hot Nutella on the waffle, with chopped snickers, strawberry, cream, and more Nutella drizzled over the top.
I had this at snack time, but because the calories were so high I considered it to be lunch and had a snack at lunch time. My nutritionist was impressed that I was able to do so.
Maurizio Anzeri (1969)
Fig. 1. Bernard (left) and Georgio (right)
Some of the most complex embroidery on photography that I’ve seen, I can’t help but admire the attention to detail and complexity.
Fig. 2. Louise B
Fig. 3. Nadia
I find this to be a deeply emotional and sad photo. There is pain etched upon her face through the burgundy’s that permeate the gentleness and light of the pinks and whites. Those downward looking eyes with the black embroidery which follows her gaze, suggests a deep sense of sadness and loss.
Fig. 4. Peter
Perhaps a person with no sense of identity who lives in a complex state of psychotic delusion. He has a brain which is set to combust and explode, with an overload of neural connections. But also an introvert and unable to express his ideas.
Embroidering on top of a portrait can add a depth of characterisation. This can be done by using colour and shape, and with the right level of technical expertise, an artist can bring out different aspects of an individuals personality.
Anzeri’s art is phenomenal and he is a technical expert. I’m going to have to rewatch the following you tube tutorial to gain some tips.
Figure 1 Anzeri, M; Bernard and Georgio [thread on photograph]; AT: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/91702-maurizio-anzeris-embroidered-photography (accessed on 30/12/2018)
Figure 2 Anzeri, M; Louise B [thread on photograph]; AT: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/91702-maurizio-anzeris-embroidered-photography (accessed on 30/12/2018)
Figure 3 Anzeri, M; Nadia [thread on photograph]; AT: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/91702-maurizio-anzeris-embroidered-photography (accessed on 30/12/2018)
Figure 4 Anzeri, M; Peter [thread on photograph]; AT: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/91702-maurizio-anzeris-embroidered-photography (accessed on 30/12/2018)
Richard and Action Man would like to wish you all peace and joy. May you be well, may you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, may you be happy and have the means for happiness, may you live with ease.
Cork is one of the most beautifully decorated cities that I know. They really go for it with their Christmas decorations.
Action Man and I took a walk this morning so that we could enjoy the lights.
Some of the shop window displays are truly wonderful.
Jayne invested a considerable amount of time and energy into my feedback, for which I am most grateful. There were many points for further development, praise for my strengths, and guidance as to how to improve this assignment and develop it’s presentation. We also discussed which photographers to focus upon and review, and ways in which to develop further as a photographer and artist. Here is the formal feedback provided by Jayne, my notes and reflections are below, and then I conclude with a plan of action based upon the given feedback.
Two aspects particularly please me:- Jayne called me an artist. External validation from Jayne leaves me feeling proud of my photography and art. I am passionate about photography and I have become deeply creative and expressive. The exploration of mixed media photography has changed my perspective of myself as a photographer and artist.
Jayne completely understood my theme, and the motives that I had in producing this work. Jayne:- “This is very potent work, Richard, which I have to say is at first shocking, horrifying and worrying. It’s not just the cuts that shock but the words you literally inflict on yourself here. The initial impression does give way, though, to an understanding that the act of self-harm and self-abuse has been a part of life for you; and the “message” of the work manifests as being about your growth towards self-love/self-respect/self-care.“.
Hell yeah I am proud of this comment. I invested myself heavily into this assignment. I had something to say, a message about my process of change, a presentation of my reality, my self-hatred and the effort that I put into self-love. I am a visual artist, and as an artist I want to provoke a reaction, provide an opportunity for others to pause and reflect, and to feel. This piece of photography has given me the opportunity to do the same. I use photography for my personal development, which is my primary goal, the desire to provoke is secondary, but it is an important aspect of the work which I produce.
Jayne:- “This is brave, authentic and powerful work that expresses so well those difficult (and often buried) struggles with identity through opposing internal and external forces.”
Identity is a theme that I have explored throughout my coursework. Self identity and the identity of others. Being authentic leaves me feeling vulnerable at times, but the support I have received has been such a blessing. Thank you to all of my peers and online community, I feel very grateful for your compassion and sensitivity.
Jayne:- “You raised an important point during our conversation about the inner resistance you noticed and felt through executing the self-harm element in the work – in that sense, it seems as though the work might perhaps have helped you feel, experientially how far you have come in the last two years, in all sorts of ways.”
My photography has changed and developed, and I have developed mentally and emotionally. The resistance that I experienced was in relation to cutting words into my leg was intense. I didn’t want to do it, but it was a critical statement that I needed to express. It was something that I used to do in rage at my own existence, fueled by a deep resentment of being alive. I chose to self-harm for this assignment, to show the hatred that I had towards myself. To fall naturally into self-care after cutting was a surprise. It was completely unforced, and thus enabled me to see the results of my kind and compassionate self-care over the past two years. I have put in an immense amount of effort into these daily practices of compassion and dignity. It hasn’t been easy.
Jayne:- “experimenting with materials, and writing, are going to play a key part”
Experimentation and collaboration have become important aspects for me. Collaborating pushes my boundaries. Working with others and responding to their art forces me into new ways to explore and express. I have some ongoing and upcoming collaborative projects.
Jayne:- “Your written commentary is important here. You write well – perhaps think about ways to weave the text and image together through future work & experiments.” and “The diptych format feels a good way to go in the sense that the self-harm comes before the self-love, in as much as a diptych might be read as a ‘sequence’” and “The over-sewing works well & is really effective… try to capture your thoughts around the ‘mask’ effect and your choice of colours for the thread.” and “We talked about how you might present the work in a way that allows for the white space around the images – which you mentioned arose through accident & feedback – while also making sure the images are large enough to reveal detail, like the reflected image in the droplet on the berries. One way would be to create a gallery mock up, to scale, and play with appearance and effect.” and “We talked about the possibility of somehow moving away from the straight edges and rigid corners of the images and into some form that might translate the sense of arising/emerging and disappearing.”
The initial idea in response to Jayne’s feedback:- Print photos full size, buy three length of fabric that allows space for each diptych, sew the background fabric with the appropriate colours for the self-hatred and self-love, over-sew into the edge of each photo. Each diptych to be displayed onto separate walls. Create a sound recording of prose or verse to accompany each photo, this will give the viewer insight into the emotions, thoughts and language which reflect my internal dialogue. I like Polly Apfelbaum’s use of space and colour as an installation (reviewed here), how can I make use of the floor space to add depth and emotion?
Jayne:- “The self-portrait in particular represents a massive step forward for you.”
I have made tentative plans with an OCA degree student (AK) to be photographed for his assignment and also for my personal development and healing.
Jayne:- “We talked about the staged photographs and your effective use of lighting. Brilliant to hear that you’re learning from another student on this score. I think you’ll enjoy experimenting more with using lighting to create atmospheric effects. Again the work you produced here is brave and affecting.”
I’m incredibly pleased with these comments. Lighting is an alien field to me and one which I have had to overcome resistance in order to begin to use it. I am grateful for the support and generosity of JK. I need not be afraid to ask him more questions and seek his expert guidance.
Jayne:- “The final image on your contact sheet is strangely beautiful, relates to the Letinsky coursework perhaps?”
It’s fair to say that I find Letinskys art very enjoyable and beautiful to look at. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to emulate her work, and there are some similarities with its simplicity, space and planes. Although I did not consciously try to emulate her with this photo, I did want to create something pleasing and simple. The only reason this did not make it into the final six is because it lacks the religious symbolism of the cross in the selected image. The cross represents the shame that I have felt through out my life, the shame of never being good or worthy enough. Why the fuck am I even alive?
During our telephone conversation Jayne reflected upon the positive impact that my work has upon others, that I have a positive effect upon those who view my work. It is important to make use of meditation to find my inner voice. I am aware that meditation is an important aspect of my creative process.
Actions to carry forward
Reading and viewing
How is this going to work? Like this:
Every day I kick the party off by listing three fellow bloggers and the gift I give them. No one is obligated to participate (though if people do, it’ll be more fun). If the gift recipient wants to participate, they will pick three bloggers and give them gifts. And so on until the following day. At that time I will share some of the funnier gifts that people have given or received.
I hope I don’t have to say that real gifts will not be given 🙂
You’ll see what I mean in a moment. In the meantime, if you do choose to accept your gift and join the party, please use THWWE as a tag. Thank you.
On to the party!
Here are the people that I gift and nominate…
Michelle, from MwsR Writings, I give you still and peaceful waters, and the lil row boat. The small boat is so that you can take time out, time that’s just for you. Rest, breathe, relax.
Michelle, from From Famine To Feast, I give you the peace that I find in my spiritual home. A place in which there’s no need to think and work things out, a place to just be still with whatever arises. Be still and rest my friend.
Niki, from Niki Flow, I can never give you the gift that you desire and deserve. I give you, Ben, and your family the gift of love.
As well as getting rid of the foods I had hoarded, I have been cleaning my kitchen. On Tuesday I cleaned my cooker.
Then yesterday I cleared out and cleaned the fridge and freezer. I hadn’t done so for over a year.
Today I have cleared and cleaned the surfaces, draws and all crockery and utensils. Everything now has a place.
Tomorrow I will be cleaning the floor and hoovering the rest of the house. Despite living in it, I cannot believe what a shit tip I had left the kitchen in.
I have a very poor relationship with food, and I know that in order to recover my eating will change over the next few months. That’s going to be a whole lot easier to reinforce if my kitchen promotes a positive attitude towards food. I’m also going to wash my cup and plates up each time that I use them.
Firstly, I am looking for an eating disorders dietician who is willing to work over Skype. I had a look on google for dietitians in the UK and they were well beyond what I can afford. I have a contact page, so please feel free to contact me if you are in a position to help or point me in the right direction.
Secondly, today has been a big day for me. As far as I am concerned it is the first day of my recovery from Anorexia. Today I have sorted through and got rid of the food that I had hoarded from October last year til April this year.
It’s common for people to obsess about food when they have been lacking the food that they need to survive, and this is a common experience for people with Anorexia Nervosa. Hoarding food that isn’t going to be eaten is also a common experience.
I knew that I needed to get rid of it, and I also knew that it was hidden all over the house But it has shocked me just how much there was. I will be donating it to a local food-bank, and I have also taken some to one of my neighbours.
I had such a strong emotional attachment to my hoard. Before I have let friends visit or stay over, I have made it clear that the house is full of food and they are not to touch it. One friend has been encouraging me to get rid of it for ages, but I haven’t been able too, the thought of doing so has been terrifying.
Today there were some foods that I really didn’t want to let go of. I had to go through the pile that I was going to keep repeatedly so that I let go of foods that I didn’t need. There are a few things that I will genuinely use as snacks, so I have kept them, but it took a long time to get rid of the stuff that would never be a genuine snack. Some of the things that I was trying to justify keeping, but there is no such thing as half recovery, they had to go.
I have made videos as I have gone along, its part of the record of my journey, my illness and, fingers crossed, my recovery. I have received so much support from my peers, who have become my friends, and also from many fellow bloggers. I thank you all deeply. The turning points have been the sudden decline in my health whilst on holiday in London, and a kind friend pointing me towards a twelve step fellowship which is specifically for people with anorexia and bulimia. There are also a couple of vlogs that I have been pointed too by people who are in recovery or recovered from anorexia. I will add links to them below the video.
I am so grateful for all of your support, and today, I am grateful for my willingness, courage and strength. I am so proud of myself that I bought myself a bunch of flowers. I honour my willingness, courage and strength.
I have also stuck to my meal plan for the past two days. Cant believe it. Its so good to have done that. But the food that I eat is not nutritious, but I am stuck with the fear of trying other foods, which is why I need a dietician that specialises in eating disorders. I know how to eat healthy, but its needing someone to guide me through the fear and to take control of my eating plan.
Here are the links.
UK Based Eating Disorder Charities
International Eating Disorder Charities
Peer Support groups
Toxic Shame is a mixed media video created in collaboration by several Open College of the Arts Students. We study in different genres of the creative arts. It has been a very enjoyable process which has required thinking out of the box to respond to the work of other members submissions, based upon the theme for the month.