Unashamedly Positive… (Already 2012 Where did the Year go????)

Well it’s been a while, but I’m back and inspired to write my blog. It’s now February 2012 and the year has really flown by…Good and bad events that have marked this year as an anniversary of a House move and the Passing of my Uncle. And also a year of Exhibiting Art in the West End of London which has been a new experience and the meeting of new friends/contacts. The last few months I have been stitching many, many Red Ribbons…the total at this point in time is 4026 and I will continue as the Dress Template is only near completion for the fitting and once that’s done, we can crack on with the Real Dress and then the huge job of attaching all these Ribbons. This month, as I said earlier, is my first year in my new flat; it’s also sadly the Anniversary of my Uncle's death, my Father’s brother. My Father had been estranged to myself and my sisters many years ago and when he died, his funeral brought me and his brothers family back together after a period of 12 years. My son was only 6 at the time and had obviously never met his Grandfather, but my Uncle and Auntie became as close as Grandparents could to him and we visited regularly and kept in touch with many phone calls and photos. My Uncle became seriously ill when I was first told of my new home. While visiting the flat for the first time I will always remember my delight at the visit of a Red Robin (Bird) perched on the fence that was around my garden. I was so happy as had never had any bird life in my last garden maybe due to all the cats and also the close proximity of the railway? I wanted to share this news with my Uncle as he loved wildlife and fed all the birds, squirrels, badgers..anything really that happened to wander into his garden. My Auntie kept updating me about my Uncle's condition while he was admitted to hospital. Some days he seemed to be perking up and getting better..There was real hope? I told my Auntie about the Robin and how my first reaction to seeing it was to inform my Uncle as I knew he would appreciate the news. At this point he was in and out of consciousness but she did tell him and she said he smiled. I was back and forth to my flat decorating. The Robin appeared again but shortly after this appearance I had a message on my Mobile from my Auntie saying that he’d taken a real turn for the worse and a further message asking if she could ring me? I knew in my heart then, that he was gone. Even now as I write this and recall it the tears roll down my face but I did feel a sense of comfort in seeing this Robin and his mate appearing again and again. It was almost like a message from my Uncle and I could imagine him smiling. I put a birdfeeder and birdbath etc in the garden and have had many other birds visiting and to my amazement I have a pair of Woodpeckers that visit every so often as they love the peanut feeder. I love to watch the birds from my window while I’m usually on the computer or busy making things or stitching Ribbons. There is a real sense of community when they all collect around the feeder and their different tastes in seeds/nuts etc? The Robin and his mate are probably my favourites as they are so fearless, while digging over the soil in the garden one was swooping down to get at the fresh soil for the worms etc. They have a real tenacious character. I started making a piece of Art based on a Birdfeeder, It was about representing a community all coming together for one common need… I once again made many of my HIV tablets as they were to cover the feeder like the nuts and seeds appear to do? A long, long process from pouring the plaster into the empty tablet blister packets, waiting for them to be dry enough to be released without breaking, leaving them to dry long enough until they could be sanded down ready for painting their recognizable colour and fully dry for each of them for me to be able to write in incredibly small writing the make of the table on each individual one. It’s an incredibly long process and I always ask myself ‘Why did I ever start this?’ but once the piece of work comes together I am always happy that I persevered with it. I did originally try to make the birds myself and made a pretty successful Blue Tit but it was disastrous when it came to the making of the Robin…I don’t know why? Maybe the pressure as this was the favourable bird…but this bird got bigger and bigger and scarier and scarier that it really had to be put away in a drawer. I managed to find some small identical Robins (Christmas Decorations) which also colour wise really went well with the medication on the birdfeeder. I attached these and drew small Red Ribbons on each of them. This piece represents the HIV Community coming together at the clinic either for their regular routine check up or for their medication at the Pharmacy…This piece is titled ‘Pharmacy’. It also represents how brave many of this community, like the Robin with his/her curious tenacious nature tackles their everyday lives. I see these qualities in many HIV Positive people I meet and we need to continue to stand tall and proud of whom we are if we are to beat this battle against the virus and stigma and discrimination. This piece is also a memory to another ‘Outspoken and tenacious’ Robin who sadly died back in 2004. For all the tenacious Robins out there…… Life is Art Art is Life




Khumo Ditsele's picture

I am touchesd by this ;it is really good to see a person likening people who are discriminated against to a tenacious lot or people because most of the times they are not viewed in that light, they are given all sorts of horrible names. You Go Girl. I like the metaphor.


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