Archive for the ‘Random Text’ Category

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Homage to Tove Jansson…

06/07/2014

For  the near 3 years that I have been living in Brighton & Hove, I’ve been eyeing up  the Moomin character plastic plates and mugs on sale in the city’s Jubilee Library shop.  I promised myself a gift of an item of Moomin picnic crockery – one day…

shop window display for Tove Jansson centenaryThen, idling through the North Laine, I was stopped in my tracks at the shop that stocks the full range of everything Moomin that can be bought from the Finland company, Arabia: the window display blared the news that 2014 was the centenary anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson, Finnish creator of MoominValley and all its creatures.  So, this had to be the year of the promised purchase!

My siblings and I received Moomin books as birthday presents from our uncle in Finland – and his Finnish wife and our 2 cousins – long before the American cartoon of the Moomins’ antics hit the TV screens in this country.  Great delight followed when one year – for Christmas, perhaps – we received Moomin ‘dolls’.  I got Moomin Papa: he had a silver grey fake fur body and a removable black leather top hat.

Reliving the delights of those fantasy books (some of which remained on my shelves or in precious storage into my middle age), I treated myself to a plate featuring a whole array of Moomin Valley creature beings: a special centenary celebration design – and one most fitting to celebrate my own recent 55th birthday!

poster showing Moomin Valley residentsLast Autumn I enjoyed rereading one of Tove Jansson’s much-loved fiction works for adults: ‘The Summer Book’.  The delicious directness of her prose, in a collection of some of her own favourite short stories entitled ‘The Winter Book’, awaits my upcoming recuperation from gender corrective chest surgery – when I can read at my leisure in the shade of an elm tree, with a mug of sweet tea at my side and a flapjack on my new Moomin plate…

Perhaps in my dual-genderedness, I carry more of the Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden archetypes in my outer being than most; or is it just that I am more of an embodiment of Thingummy and Bob?

If you’ve not yet discovered Tove Jansson and Moomintrolls, then I hope my humble foto/text homage will tempt you to explore their world…

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Moomins mugshot in the North Laine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let Them Eat Cake…

23/06/2014
celophane-wrapped and beribboned chocolate cake on BUCFP beverage counter

celophane-wrapped and beribboned chocolate cake on BUCFP beverage counter

To borrow the apparently incorrect &/or misquoted hackneyed phrase of the late Marie Antoinette… the latest ‘foodshare’  (for those nearer &/or on the bread line) that I’ve encountered was this past Tuesday: following the usual very good, hot vegan lunch at Brighton Unemployed Centre and Families Project (I volunteer on/for their food-growing allotments), a dark chocolate cake – lavishly decorated with thick slabs of chocolate – was cut into many small pieces and shared by the usual mixed bunch lunch crowd.  Said cake was the offering to the Centre by the uber chocolatiers of East Sussex fame, namely Choccywoccydoodah.  Not able to afford their delicacies normally – but well used to snapping images of same through their shop windows – this was a shared treat to savour with my mug of Ovaltine: ‘Yum’ in a word!

http://www.choccywoccydoodah.com/

Such treats – shared (aren’t potlucks always the best feasts?) or solitary fare – are a luxurious indulgence to calorifically-dumb-down my Aspie angsty and/or  hyper-adrenalised or downward-dumps days… a dose of which was gladly ‘needed’ last Tuesday in the throws of the stresses of now (not-viewing-exhibitions but) co-curating the ‘Brighton Trans*formed’ multi-media-multi-venue exhibition due to hit the streets of our Gender-Dysphoria-by-the-Sea City in time for Trans* Pride No.2, the last weekend of July 2014…

http://gscene.com/news/brighton-transformed-exhibition-trail/

Since the About-This-Blog statement promises “a celebration of all things aesthetically pleasing, often edible and in-the-main inanimate”  it seemed high time to slideshow-share some more often-edible-but-questionably-inanimate cake-y offerings devoured by sight, smell and taste senses over the past 10-or-so months… (with captions for visually-impaired and blind sweet-toothed folk)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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From FAME to Tight Modern…

19/05/2014

ChirologyMontageSome once-obscure cap-gun-urban-flotsam-sporting artworks are just not content with their 5 seconds of out-in-public fame (not even when they are FAME itself: Fridge Art Magnet Examples)…

Abandoning its also-Japanese-paper-based & measure-tape-bearing sibling on the metal kitchen cabinet, this piece was not only discontented with brief loitering atop an orange and black recyling bin, but demanded further montage on corrugated card and red plastic and grid foil – plus being framed and exhibited in the Tight Modern, no less (after causing no end of adhesion angst & haiku hassle)…

More evidence from links below:

https://offthetrolleyproductions.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/five-seconds-o…ini-street-art/

http://ottpshaikucity.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/haiku-no-23/

Creative Future’s pop-up gallery, Tight Modern, appeared on Brighton’s seafront on the May Day holiday weekend for 4 days (before its tour to nearby Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery, plus two gallery spaces in London and St Helen’s, Merseyside.  The exhibition – within the shed-like structure – featured sixty mixed media works by disabled and/or marginalised folk from around Britain, all in 13 x 18 cm portrait format artworks.  A truly talented and eclectic collection of which I was honoured to be a selected artist with the rebel piece ‘Chirology’ (ex-fridge art magnet example heading out on a national tour of certain infamy)…

Find out more at http://creativefuture.org.uk/ & enjoy the slideshow!

 

 

 

 

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TransGenderQueerPerson wins Eurovision…

11/05/2014
eurovision-song-contest-conchita-wurst-als-bondgirl-41-51776740

image courtesy Salzburg Nachrichten

Any ideas for the post on my return to this blog (after ‘time out’ at HaikuCity2014) were superceded last night by the winning of the Eurovision Song Contest by Conchita ‘Wunderbar’ Wurst of Austria.

Dubbed the ‘Bearded Lady’ and drag artist, this amazingly-androgynous, gender-blending singer with a belting voice, super-trimmed facial hair and lashes-for-days was the deserved winner with her song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’.

Just as transwoman (and first transgender) contestant, Dana International caused a stirring of the Eurovision ashes in 1998 when she won for Israel, such celebrity winnings become ‘a phoenix of hope’ for trans people.

For me as a transgenderqueer individual striving for the acknowledgement of ‘person’ as the operative identity of any&everyone – rather than a binary gender identity of male or female – the vision of gender-busting Conchita singing-to-win was intensely moving.

When the fashion furore, the curiosity controversy & the glitz glamour publicity has died down, maybe – just maybe – this Austrian individual will be recognised as the not-a-rude-word-person that they are…

conchita_wurst_orf_06_orf_by_thomas_ramstorfer

image courtesy Thomas Ramstorfer

 

Enjoy these ‘transishews’ links (again)!

Announcement of Conchita’s win by the BBC  and Austrian news:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27358560

http://www.salzburg.com/nachrichten/dossier/songcontest2014/sn/artikel/eurovision-song

YouTube video coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest winner:

http://youtu.be/t1LDkNuEHA4 

Conchita Wurst sings ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’:

http://youtu.be/e_fJQ-aOTv4

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haiku City on the Go…

15/04/2014

Today is day 15 of the 30 days of April’s poem-a-day writing that is happening on Off the Trolley Production’s HaikuCity blog posts:

http://ottpshaikucity.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/haiku-no-15/ ‎

The theme of today’s haiku is housework – not one of my regular activities… But the ‘challenge’ of creating a haiku-per-day – and adding to that a fone foto or two – has been a spring cleaning for my spirit.

CreativityHaiku

The artwork above was created in March and based around a haiku composed at the beginning of that month.  This untitled piece features water-colouring & collaging of my now-shredded New Internationalist journal diary from 2009.  Having begun my gender transition in 2007, this diary would not offer clues to my hidden transgender nature (as investigated in the Retro Diary Enquiry category of this blog).

Creating art, however, has been a lifelong – and mostly regular – activity that has seen me through the challenges of not knowing/understanding my genderqueer – and bipolar and Aspergic – nature…

More haikus featured on this blog back in February:

https://offthetrolleyproductions.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/haikus-have-their-say/

 

 

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Homage to SE & SW Coastal Travel…

26/03/2014

SaltdeanBusCafe

Now that I live in Brighton & Hove, I find myself at least once a month taking the bus out of the city to Saltdean, for some therapeutic bodywork.  The bus route follows the coast eastward from the Pier, alongside the promenade out to Brighton Marina, mooring harbour for both millionaire yachts and working fishing boats. Then onward, the sea ever in view, through Rottingdean: pebble-dashed Sussex village, once home to poet-novelist, Rudyard Kipling and Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones.  Saltdean is the next seaside town with its art deco swimming Lido and restyled Thirties apartment buildings.

Return27BusPier

Three years ago, living in Devon my coastal travel took me, once a month, on the train from Totnes to Taunton in Somerset; I was travelling to the female-towards-male support group for the South West, like other Trans persons coming up from Cornwall or down from Bristol or Wales.  This train journey ran alongside the Teign and Exe estuaries in Devon – and the sea between – on the now-famed railway line that collapsed at Dawlish during the February storms.

Seeing that the beautiful coastal stretch of that rail line may now be quite defunct, I am delighted that I spontaneously captured it on mobile camera in June 2013 (returning home to the South East) when I found myself at an open train door window whilst waiting for the loo to become vacant! Here now – for posterity – is my fotovideo of that coastal travel:

 

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TransGenderQueer Space: in homage to…

20/02/2014

This post is ‘queer art homage’  –    in the form of a fonecamera fotovideo.

TransPrdBnrJL0214By way of introduction.

The following text is very close to that which I presented (alongside the premiere viewing of the 5-minute-long fotovideo below) at the Trans* History performance event at Brighton&Hove’s Jubilee Library on Saturday, 15th February…

 

http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/WhatsOn/Pages/LGBTHistoryMonthatJubileeLibraryFeb14.aspx

When persons gender transition, it becomes hugely significant to them that they have appropriate spaces to go & facilities to use according to their gender identity.

That means for me that it is really important, for instance, that I can go swimming at a pool where there is a unisex – or gender neutral – changing space.

Luckily I dress pretty much entirely in recycled clothes so I am very familiar with the ‘gender-free’ charity shop fitting room  (as has been homage’d in the mid-90s with a sonnet ‘Ode to the Cubicle’…)

Most significantly, as this is a daily necessity, is for me to be able to find and use gender-neutral toilet space and that means mainly using an accessible toilet. (This is also necessary for other trans persons – especially in the early days of their transition.)

I  feel Aspergically and sensorily more comfortable (and safe) in a solitary and more spacious ‘loo’. I take Aspie pleasure in their architectural features, and in the fixtures and fittings.

The fotovideo is a celebration of the accessible public convenience  as transgenderqueer space.