Could have, should have, didn’t. UPDATE

It’s almost a year since this touching article spewed out of me. I don’t mean to offend when I say it almost takes another artist to understand what it means to have to exorcise that thing that’s running around inside your head. It’s like an emotional release that can almost claim to be the main reason you resumed sleeping deeply again.

Still there were lingering thoughts regarding why the sad event happened. Even among the community that suffered the losses, there were questions, hunches, blame and rumours. The painful  story was expressed already and as the flowers have dried and the caskets have been filled and buried it makes no sense for me to personally revisit the event in any detail, so here’s how The Guardian puts our questions to rest.

Photograph: Reuters
Press Association Tuesday 20 October 2015 12.51 BST

Shelley Christopher denies two counts of murder and one of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

A woman killed her partner and their four-year-old daughter to prevent the world being taken over by vampires, a court has heard.

Shelley Christopher, 36, was mentally ill when she stabbed 42-year-old Richard Brown 29 times and her daughter Sophia six times before inserting wooden objects into their bodies.

Christopher also attacked another child and put a pencil in her body, but despite her injuries, the girl survived, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors. She cannot be identified.

Christopher, of Notting Hill in west London, went to a mental health unit in north Kensington in February, two days before the killings, and told staff that someone was out to get her. She refused pleas to stay at the unit and went home.

She is on trial at the Old Bailey on two counts of murder and one of attempted murder, which she denies by reason of insanity.

Opening the trial, Aylett told jurors: “I’m afraid that this is a distressing case which you will find both terrible and tragic. Ms Christopher was later to tell a psychiatrist that, on the day of the killings, she had received a signal instructing her to kill her family in order to prevent the world from being taken over by vampires.

“The signal had come from a lightbulb in the ceiling. She had done – or tried to do – what she was told. After she had attacked each of them with a knife, the lightbulb had told her to put something wooden into each of their chests in order to stop them from becoming vampires.

“That Ms Christopher must have been mentally unwell at this time is borne out by the findings of the doctors who examined the victims. From Richard’s chest cavity, the pathologist recovered part of a child’s paint brush. The pathologist who examined Sophia’s body retrieved part of a pencil.”
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A psychiatrist concluded that Christopher, who is now in a secure hospital, had been suffering from a psychotic illness, most likely paranoid schizophrenia, at the time.

Aylett told jurors that when a defendant enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, it was for them, not a judge or psychiatrist, to decide the case on the evidence.

Police found the bodies of Brown and Sophia when they went to the family home on 27 February, days after the killings.

They discovered Brown in the bath and Sophia in bed with a towel over her face, the court heard. Her chest had been covered with coloured plasters and a plastic flower was placed in her right hand.

Social services alerted officers after Christopher attended St Mary’s hospital with the injured child the day before. When doctors operated, they removed a 6.5cm-long broken pencil from the child’s chest.

After her arrest, Christopher told a psychiatrist the colours red, orange and green had become significant to her, with red meaning that she or someone in her family was going to be killed.

She said she had left the mental health unit at St Charles hospital before her assessment was complete because she thought there were vampires there.

On 19 February, she said she had received an orange signal instructing her to kill in order to prevent the world being taken over by vampires. First, she attacked the surviving child, by strangling and then stabbing her with a plastic flower and a small knife.

When Brown arrived with Sophia and asked what was going on, Christopher said: “You’re one of them. You’re a vampire.” She then stabbed him repeatedly in the chest.

She told the psychiatrist that Brown’s eyes had changed colour and he had tried to bite her with his fangs. According to her account, Sophia cried out “no mummy!” and when Christopher asked her if she was “one of them”, the girl replied “yes, I am mummy,” so she stabbed her too.

Aylett told jurors that if they agreed with the assessment, Christopher would receive a hospital order and return to the secure unit where she would remain “for some considerable time to come”.

The case continues.

Article from The Guardian 20th October 2015

How Local Businesses see KPH

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Photo by Angel Lewis

You will have already read our blog about the predicament facing the Kensington Park Hotel and what it means for the local area.

We thought it would be interesting to follow this up by gaging local reaction to the news that KPH might soon be closing to make way for flats for the rich. Rather than stating the obvious (that the public supports KPH and opposes the building of more luxury homes,) your intrepid dandies set out to ask local businesses what they thought.

Methodology: We asked everyone, indiscriminately and inclusively as long as their business was situated a stone’s throw from the KPH…

 

  • Music Village (we can throw a long way).

Receptionist: ‘I’m not from the area, nobody in here is’

UD: ‘What? Nobody? About 50 people have passed through the reception area since we’ve been here’

‘Nobody’

UD: ‘But what do you think about the fact that a local music venue is closing?’

‘                                                               ‘

An inauspicious start, but we headed north, away from their mirrored windows, closer to KPH…

  • Fish Monger

‘They should let it run, it’s a good place for music. They bring lots of people, they should keep it open’

‘It’s a charming venue. The area is much more diverse now since they improved it’

‘It’s a shame especially because they spend lots of money here, the KPH buy from here’

‘If they become a chain they will buy elsewhere not from local shops’

UD note: Chain being the pertinent word as this would break many links in the chain of supported stores.

  • Dry Cleaners

‘They are our customers, he uses our services’ (her colleague looking on curiously)

Why?’ (distressed now) 

‘What’s happened?’

We explain

‘Oh no! That’s a shame, it’s a very nice place. I know the staff working there, I go there a lot. I never go to the other pub, this one is friendly, everyone is going there, why they want to close? I think it’s not a good idea.

UD: ‘Why do you like it so much?

‘It’s just KPH’

‘I would like to live in this area because it’s nice; rich people live here, poor people live here, it’s very nice, it’s not like this everywhere’

  • The Bank

(Staff member expressed surprise when we informed him, bearing in mind you don’t normally go to banks for a chat about local goings on, but we’re just UD and we had to seek that balance) 
‘You mean Mr.Powers (sic)? The Mean Fiddler? I’m local to the Mean Fiddler so I know him’ (What followed was all positive but off the record so the iron eagle doesn’t swoop on this friendly soul)

  • Furniture shop  

‘It might be closing? I didn’t know, but good I’m happy. The manager keeps parking on our premises without asking. So I don’t go there. Well, I went there once, but not any more’

‘Compared to the way it used to be its a lot better, the clientele is better. He should just ask and I would probably say yes if he has the decency but on a business level it’s a conflict of interest. If rich people move in they might buy furniture from me. We’re a mid-range furniture shop’

‘On the broader picture, I’m completely opposed to this sort of thing, it affects communities and it’s not good for society. It’s always nice to have a local pub and it’s sad to see this type of thing happening’

  • Estate Agents John D. Wood & Co

‘We go there for drinks a lot, I didn’t know that it might be closing. He turned it all around. That’s a shame, it’s been there for such a long time. It was a mess before he came in and did what he did’ 

‘We now go there and that’s testimony to what he has achieved’  

‘Yeah it’s right in the area and we go in and say hello to him. It should stay, well those are my thoughts. It’s such a shame, what’s happening in London’

(At this point I must say, it seems to sound a little scripted but in truth these are the unadulterated views of the local businesses surrounding the venue)

  • Local Chip shop 

‘I don’t personally drink but it’s sad if it’s going, it’s bad enough having a Cafe Nero over there (pointing), it’s a bit like an extension of Holland Park and not Ladbroke Grove. Like all of these coffee shops, there’s no unique coffee shops anymore, there’s no authenticity’

‘I grew up in this area, now I travel here for work and the area is changing, it’s all for rich people now’

  • Local Betting Shop

 ‘Huh? I’m only here covering for the day’ (Okay, moving on swiftly)  

  • Estate Agents Bective Leslie Marsh

(Now here’s a surprise) ‘We weren’t aware of that…I’m stunned, I didn’t know’

(A suited, authoritative looking character stands up and takes over the conversation)

‘Great music venue upstairs. I’ve been to some great gigs there. I thought it was listed as a place of community value. If people realised what was really going on they’d be gutted. 

The problem with this area is you can’t go out and drink because it was all built by the methodist church back then. If people knew what was going on….gutted. If there’s a petition going around, I’ll sign it’ 

‘Yeah I’d be happy to participate. Y’see, Golborne Road end is more community and the Portobello end is now more sanitised. We’ve seen that reflected in property prices; rich people moving to the area now want to live on Golborne instead of Portobello because they see it as authentic. The community is what gives the area its value. The property value is actually based on the community’

‘It will be sad to see it go’

  • Post Office/News Agent

Business is good while they are there, I can sell my cans to their customers for £1.00 while they are there charging £4 a pint’ (smiling)

‘I didn’t know they were closing. It’s improved a lot’

  • Florist

‘I didn’t know (UD note: nobody knows) – it’s a great pub, but it’s what’s happening everywhere’

‘The music is great. It’s weird, to hear classical music played that loud. At first, we had no idea what was going on (laughing) but it’s a great pub’.

UD: ‘The council is assisting the speculators in taking it over’

‘That’s no surprise, they would have got rid of us if we weren’t just the ground floor. Everything in this area will be flats soon’.

 

 

By Angel Lewis and Tom Charles

Ain’t Right

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When I observe my thoughts, I learn a lot.

The other day, I was on the bus and reached for my headphones to plug them in to my phone. One headphone has an R engraved on it and one has an L.

As I lifted the first one, I moved it to the right, untwisted the wire so I could see if it was R or L, hoping it would be R. If it turned out to be the L, I would then have to either turn my head or reach across to put it in my left ear.

To my disappointment it was L. My immediate thoughts, which I’m grateful I observed, were: ‘That’s typical of my life’ and ‘That’s typical of me, always doing things wrong’.

I didn’t recall specific, bigger past disappointments, but in that instant my mind remembered them and a general, crushing dismay came to me. I had failed. What happened? And what was I telling myself?

The late psychologist Marshall Rosenberg said “While we may not consider the way we talk to be ‘violent,’ our words often lead to hurt and pain, whether for others or for ourselves.” The venomous thoughts I directed at myself and the world at this apparently innocuous incident were an act of violence on my part.

Where does such violence originate?

It can be seen as part of the habit of avoiding what is happening in the moment. With a desire for constant distraction comes an intolerance of any inconvenience that forces our attention back to the present. This can lead to the ‘superego’ becoming activated.

The therapist Dr Alice Greene explains that ‘superego’ is “made up of internalised parental voices from our past conditioning. This judgmental internal voice tries to control us – mostly through self-critical thoughts, self-blaming, often vicious bullying and, sometimes, suicidal self-hatred. We can more easily recognise these when we project them onto others – the beginnings of war in all worlds…”

Having just spent five days visiting the original owners of those parental voices, it seems that my superego was close to the surface, braced for a threat – whether that be existential, or just headphones – we haven’t evolved enough to differentiate between the two.

But these aggressive thoughts of self-loathing weren’t alone. I had just felt a pang of love and connection. As I looked out of the bus window, there was my long lost writing partner Angel Lewis and his son ambling up the road. I was back and there were my people to unknowingly welcome me.

Then came the furious thoughts, and five minutes later I realised I was on the 23 not the 52. I was in Paddington not Victoria. But this time there was a conspicuous absence of violent thoughts, just acceptance (which I suppose I should call compassion) and soon I was on the crowded London Underground correcting my mistake.

I’ve spent the two days since pondering my gut reaction to the headphones melodrama and I’m glad for reminder they gave me of where my mind can drag me.

Tom Charles for Urban Dandy

De Dell Seeds – A Seed of hope

Food for thought.

More than three millions tonnes of soy is imported into the UK every year, a large proportion of which is GM.   The Telegraph.  

While I have a genuine interest in my diet, I must admit sometimes it can become a little overwhelming remembering what is sustenance and what is poison. Case in point; The empty packet of Amaizin corn chips that lay on my kitchen table. Although they were organic, they had me looking at them with suspicion like a cheating spouse.

chips

I wondered if the corn was pure. Was she true? Did she lie by omission, telling me only part of where she had been in the hope that I wouldn’t cross-examine?  Maybe I’ve lost faith, most things that tasted that good were always too good to be true. I needed to know more about corn. What I did know is that corn and soy are the easiest consumable substances…

View original post 1,818 more words

Stand 52

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Urban Dandy would like to bring to your attention the loss of a beloved community member. Stand 52 is not really what you would have in mind when asking for a half a pound a grapes but if you are from the area you would have used stand 52 many times.

Tommy from stand 52 Portobello Market, for some is Portobello Market, having supplied us with fresh fruit and veg for years. I can say from experience that he was one of the faces that you got used to seeing every morning on the corner of Portobello Road and Blenheim Crescent, arranging that lovely coloured nutrition in delicious order offering to quench your thirst and satisfy your body’s need for vitamins and minerals.

It’s interesting that with all the supermarkets popping up here there and everywhere, the question of local loyalty is underlined. I must admit within my own experience there is some guilt as I have a very specialized diet for health reasons, but that said I do what I can where I can and would only hope that most like myself will be also sad to see the end of a Portobello market legend.

Here is a man that took only two weeks off work each year. This is a very rare form of dedication. As noble as this may be, sadly it took the dreaded cancer to force a year’s break from the market.

In a brief conversation with Maureen, Tommy’s wife, I learned that his dedication and commitment to us as customers went way beyond Portobello Market and into his own domestic environment as when the question of marriage occurred Tommy was reluctant to take time off on a Saturday, so we should all feel privileged standing in the way of their wedding vows.

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Portobello Market is made up of some tremendous locals just like Tommy who really tend to smile through everything they face including the decrease in turnover based on their goliath super-chain competitors, yet they continue.

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Even those who didn’t know you knew your presence, work and commitment. On behalf of the family, extended family and every other market trader we say Rest In Peace Tommy Kane.

Thank you

R.I.P. Tommy

‘Brush’

Angel Lewis

Buy it here

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‘There was a time when earthlings were pure creators and not really concerned with external opinions to express. There was a feeling of attachment to the source and a comfort in expression. Unimpressed by visitors like me because we were closer in thought until that thing happened. Earthlings lost their minds, their confidence and self-control, it was given over to external things.

It still baffles me how this can be your norm today.

The soul reason for all of this loss was fear. Humans are still creators but all creation is born out of fear and no longer from love. How many regions are in wars from fear of being invaded or relationships for fear of being alone? The truth is invasion is very unlikely if you are communicating but you will always be alone and all you can do is embrace it for the great thing that it is. When humans can learn to think again, outside of the metaphorical box it becomes clear that being alone means being al-one….’

An alien viewpoint on the art of creating form from ‘BRUSH’ by Angel Lewis.

Whose child are you anyway?

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Ethan Minnock

Take a look in this child’s face. Look deeper. What Mother would want to give him up? Not Rebecca Minnock anyway.

After the court ruled custody in favour of Ethan Minnock’s father, Rebecca Minnock did what any sane Mother with a supernal relationship with her child would do; Run.

What? Well rather than question my odd angle on this, the question should really be– what would it take to find the courage, or to some the stupidity, to take ‘your’ own child into ‘your’ own hands? That defining  moment could only have been a moment of connection, as it is hard for me to believe that somebody who didn’t feel capable of raising their child would risk everything by running away for just a short chance to be with them. Maybe the consequences weren’t weighed up, even more to the credit of a Mother’s Hyperarousal.

One thing is for sure, several decades ago this would have been a most natural response. Has society really become so caught up in modern legislation, in the guise of law, that they can no longer appreciate what it is to be a human attached to their seed? For me, the balancing outlook comes from simply observing nature. I have seen animals, less bothered with politics and court cases, murder or even throw themselves in harms way when much more preponderant animals come within a few dozen metres of their progeny. So what’s the big deal? It’s natural.

I would like to think every Woman would at least consider this just so I know that they haven’t totally lost their power to those men with hammers in witches outfits. You could maybe see Rebecca Minnock like a Rosa Parks or a Harriet Tubman. There’s something powerful about when women become restive, it feels veracious and begins just where a male’s manhood ends.

Maybe the whole event asks a question that nobody wants to ask. I say this because at the core of it there is something innate within the soul that knows its own property, whether it’s the actual body or the body it created, even though most are afraid to act on it.

But then again as always there is another side. Less than six months ago a woman on my own street murdered her husband and child in a vicious knife attack. With such a large number of people with failing mental health within domestic environments, largely spurred through undiagnosed post-natal depression that can last more than just a few years, what can you do to protect the child and who’s business is it?

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks

In 1666, just after the great fire of London, The Ceste Que Vie Act was signed and went into action immediately. The gist of it states that, by Maritime law standards, any individual born after the said date would be considered lost at sea unless within a seven year period after berth they would come forth and state otherwise. Strange as it seems it appears to me that what is being stated here is that all men born are considered by the courts ‘dead’ unless they prove that they are not.

Well what rights can a dead man have? I’m sure all things that would be considered property would be held in trust by the state, No? If I sound crazy by translating my own thoughts on the act, which by the way, didn’t take too much thought on my part, then see what you make of it. After all it is not a belief but something enacted into your legislation.

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All that aside, there are many, many, opinions on whether or not the law is the law of the land or the law of the sea based on the Union Jack being a flag of the high seas and ra ta ta….However, whatever your position, the fact remains that decisions that only Mothers can make in sound mental health regarding their sentient child, are being made in a cold, clinical, lifeless, male milieu.

This seems quite absent of the very female spark that initiated the offspring and all offspring for that matter. One shouldn’t have to take the form of a woman to know her role and connection to decisions of nurture unless, in a Shakespearean prophetic manner, one is born of a glass tube. In this case the microchimeric cell attachment they share may well be severed but anything short of this proves that the creator and the creation remain together for eternity according to recent neuroscience discoveries.

A 'Lancashire lassie' being escorted through the palace yard, Westminster Palace, London, 20th March 1907. A young woman is reluctantly escorted by two policeman who are holding her by the arms. The woman is still protesting as she is led away. The last line of the verse at the bottom says 'For Women's Rights anything we will dare; Palace Yard, take me there!' (Photo by Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Rebecca Minnock said ‘No’, whether it was a sane ‘No’ or a psychotic ‘No’ is the question here; but the larger question to all Mothers should be where does the state get the right and is it really a right or an antiquated legislation created, not for the health of the community but the capture of booty? This would then make it no less than a raping of the soul.

But I will leave the burden of deciding with you dear Mothers and whatever you decide I will only agree because I am just a mere man, the creation of a woman.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pMNzFow40I

For Emily Davidson & Mum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVPTXmesMpo

Angel Lewis

1 x Tab Breakfast – No Mushrooms, Poached Egg, 1 x Sides – Sausage: New Stories From The Tabernacle.

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It’s pretty interesting to me how, as an Artist I’m always looking for new ways to transform one dimension into another in a multi-dimensional fashion. I find it quite cheeky because really, if God wanted sound to be visual I guess she’d have made it just that yet the interconnectedness of all things fascinates me and compels me to want to share. One such example, whether by human consciousness or universal intelligence, occurred on the  25th of May at a gallery in The Tabernacle in west London.

Artists Emma Mudgway and Alexia Villard created an exhibition of their thoughts and experiences working within the legendary building in a way that can only be described as ‘Personal’.

I met Emma Mudgway (one half of the expression) in Queensway, west London, on a fine, sunny, Thursday afternoon. I asked Emma…

UDL • Is this your first exhibition in London?

Emma • Yes

UDL • Where else have you displayed your work?

Emma • I’m from New Zealand and have exhibited there.  If you are interested in my exhibition history it can be found on my website.

We did precisely that. Emma has exhibited at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Toi Poneke Arts Centre, Wellington, NZ and Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt, NZ.

UDL • Has Alexia had any in London?

Emma • Yes she has…

Alexia has previously worked on projects such as Cinema du reel Festival, Paris Cinema Festival, Cannes festival, Feast Festival and National Portrait Gallery.

Emma Mudgway

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UDL • Is this the first time you’ve done a joint exhibition?

Emma • With Alexia, yes it is. We met in Canada on an artist residency. I was on my way to London, and Alexia was already based here. We kept in touch, ended up working together at the Tabernacle, and often found ourselves sitting around Alexia’s Kitchen Table discussing our work. That’s how the Kitchen Table Collective was formed, and how we ended up exhibiting together.

UDL • What are your feelings about working together with somebody else?

Emma • It pushes you to think differently. You make decisions about your own work that you may not have otherwise made which to me is interesting.

UDL • I know that Alexia is not here but do you think her experience of it is similar?

Emma takes off her shades, it seems this question requires some concentration.

Emma •  I don’t know we haven’t really spoke about it yet, so I don’t really feel that’s something I can comment on.

After trying to answer, a sensitive Emma apologetically replied in the best way she could with a very caring consciousness to not misrepresent the absent artist’s viewpoint.

Alexia Villard
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UDL • I understand. So what is the exhibition about in your own words?

Emma • Our idea for the exhibition was always to do something that related to the space. There are many stories that could be told about the building, its history, and the unique place it holds within the community. We began by looking back at archives from the building, and in the meantime we were collecting little bits and pieces from the restaurant. Alexia collected food tickets and handwritten notes, and I worked from the architectural plans of the building. We were paying attention to the conversations we were having with staff and customers. It grew to be an archive of sorts, of our interactions as servers.

UDL • Were your expectations met from the exhibition, if you had any at all?

Emma • I don’t think I really had any, because I was so busy right up to the exhibition with the work, and with some other important things that needed to be sorted out in my life. I didn’t have time to form any expectations. It felt like it wasn’t even going to go on the wall. If I had a hope for it, it would be that it would engage the people who the work was about, the people who are regulars in the building, and that it would get them into the gallery. People seemed to really like it, and appreciate it, they connected with the work, the people who came to the space regularly.

UDL • Your piece in particular was to me an emotional expression on an emotional expression. By this I mean in the piece you express in words as well as you express in design. How did it feel baring this all with the extra dimension?

Emma • I was a little bit worried about how emotionally honest the work was. I thought people might find the work too earnest, d’you know what I mean? But I don’t….Emma pauses to find the words… Sentimental. I think whatever I’ve made has always been tied to where I am emotionally but I don’t think it’s ever been so obvious. But what was really nice was I might have been speaking about my experiences and interactions and how I reacted to them within that space but people related to it which was nice. People came up to me and told me it made them consider their own experiences, like the last time they cried. A friend said she thought the work was very Human, for me, it was the best compliment I could have received.

Emma Mudgway
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UDL • You painted the walls of the gallery. Is this something you have done before?

Emma • No, that was Alexia’s clever idea. Because most of the work was very white, it made a huge visual impact when it was hung on a black wall. I think whenever you have a show you need to think about how it works as an installation, as a whole. The whole space needs to be considered.

UDL • As a creator myself my initial conscious expression emerged out of the culture of music in the 90s which was my introduction to the combining of genres that created something  appropriately named Hip Hop. Because of this mind state I enjoy listening to and creating various types of music equally. Sometimes I would attempt to translate in musical expression the feelings of an inanimate object such as a bike represented in phonics. I mean how would a bike talk if it wasn’t seen?  This understanding of merging platforms as an expression of dimension is similar in your work.

Emma •  Artists have the choice to work in any medium that they want and many are multidisciplinary.  It’s really about finding the best way to say what you want to say. What I’m saying is that …Emma giggles… I feel that I have to watch every word that I say..more giggles… No, you find a way that best expresses the idea.

UDL • Yes I love the idea of transferring one dimension into another dimension this is why I was so deeply affected by the work.

Emma • I don’t make work thinking about what I want to say to someone, it’s a way of processing my own thinking. If there is one thing I would like people to take from the work, it’s that it is about interaction and connection, and how that is fostered within a space. No matter how small and insignificant the transaction may seem, even if it’s just making someone a coffee.

Alexia Villard
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UDL • Have you met any other artists in London or anywhere else in the world that you like?

Emma • I have met so many interesting people in London, sometimes in the most unlikely of places; artists, creatives, people from all the around the world. I value their perspectives and have learnt a lot in the short time that I have been here. The access to art and culture here is something I don’t take for granted. Alexia and I met in Canada- I like her work because I feel like she quietly demonstrates that there is beauty and value to be found in places that others overlook. I also work with young adults with learning disabilities in an art class one morning a week, I love the quirky art they make and I find they can be as sophisticated and uncompromising in their vision as anyone else, and shouldn’t be underestimated.

UDL • Now that the pieces are taken down and packed away, what happens now?

Emma • The installation of the work in the space is finished, but there is still work relating to the exhibition to be done. For example, websites need to be updated, and there are some last little admin tasks to wrap up. Most importantly, its time to build on what we have started and the opportunities that arise from the show. On a personal level, that means reflecting on the work I made, and not losing momentum in my own making practice. Its also important to me that the Kitchen Table Collective continues to grow as a platform for our ideas, however they are manifested.

Emma Mudgway
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I feel honoured to be included or at least a thought in both Artists expression on paper. An exhibition that was every bit emotionally, touching and personal, not only to the staff and patrons of the Tabernacle but, also to those who render services (all of us) and  hold such expressions locked up deep within. I have to bow to the execution of the  many forms that these feelings have been transmitted through their Art.

Please explore more of Emma Mudgway and Alexia Villard below. 

Angel Lewis

All Photographs compliments of Alexia Villard

•  Emmamudgway.com   •   Alexiavillard.com  •

Angel Supermanathon

 If your personality is such that you can only talk ill of yourself and refrain from speaking positively through fear of appearing arrogant, isn’t that your ego? How is it that when we see extreme symmetry and perfection in other people, outside of ourselves, we give praise without the guilt? 

Very few can but one must step outside of self to see a situation as it truly is and if it is such then say it is such, whether or not they are the interested party. They often wonder why I sing my own praises.

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Supermanathon

On Christmas day after adulterating my pescetarian body with Lamb, I decided that after a six-month break the lower back pain I suffered would not notice me going out for a short run. As I wove through the streets of Notting Hill, Kensington and the on over Wandsworth Bridge I thought ‘More…’ 12 miles later, knees closer to the concrete, I felt pretty accomplished. It felt easy, especially with no training.

After a few days of pain I etched my name down for a half Marathon and started training for the body I almost had. I felt that being a Superhero must start with the idea of a superhero in the mind. Spiderman. Never was there a more perfect physique. Screw The Hulk, Superman, and all the others. The sheer fat-less frame adorned with muscle made him the ultimate powerhouse. Plus he wouldn’t seem stiff dancing at a club or odd in a suit. Yep, that’s me. The turkey waist had to go and then the rest would just fall from the body as if they were tied together, I thought. Sit-ups were really all I knew for belly jelly so I went in. 31, 32, 40…..yeah baybeee get money.

It wasn’t too long before I felt my arch enemy creeping back in. ‘Creeping Back, I thought you were dead’.  ‘Oh no, I was just waiting here by your waist for you to stretch just a little too far.’ For the next few days I took it easy on the back and started a safe abs routine so not to offer him that chance he was waiting for.

One morning as I stretched to put on my shoe, something squeezed my poor nerve and threw me flat on my stomach. It was creeping up on me again. The pain was crippling. I couldn’t move and felt thankful that I had a phone in my pocket. I called my Sister who rushed over, saw my condition and immediately called for an ambulance. After talking to one positive paramedic I was assured that I would most probably walk again. Men are such fearful creatures, hypochondriacs. This was my second visit to the hospital in two days. The first visit was for a swollen foot and that time it was the doctor that relieved my suspicions of a broken toe.

Skipping was a full workout far from back’s neighbourhood and it seemed the way to go although I could feel pain in my calf on each skip. After an hour all of a sudden my calf felt as though it had been spiked by a bulls horn. I thought ‘Okay now your fur king with me…’ Fur King Witmi was an old enemy of every about to be Super hero and even from ancient times was known to pop up at the most untimely moments. His powers allow him to change form but he only disappears if your mind is stronger than he. As a Taurean I was born the king of the Will so the stabbing pain I just wrote off as fatigue. I’m doing this Marathon. I trained again the next day and Got daymn! The whole leg swelled up. Fur king was back. He knew that it was one week before the half Marathon and if he could keep me down, stop me from training for just one more week he’d possibly break my will for good.

I suddenly realized Creeping Back and Fur king Witme were working together. Dun, dun, dunnnn. Yes, ever since I signed up for the run, for three whole months they have been after me. How did they know? Had they hacked my computer or was Creeping Back really Fur King Witme all of the time?

Okay what do we have? The Paramedic said run, the Doctor said do not aggravate the foot further, my physio said “You’ll be fine just do a short run then increase in the weeks leading up.” I hadn’t run at all, all I did was try to keep Creeping Back at bay only to be caught by Fur King. Well at least Creeping Back seems to be gone.

While resting the swollen leg, at 11:00pm I decided to call NHS direct just to rule out any possible vein coronary connection. I failed their twenty odd questions and was inconveniently advised to go to A and E. After waiting almost 3 hours with almost solely vailed women, I was finally seen. Doctor: ‘I have no idea why they sent you here as this is almost 100% not deep vein thrombosis as you’re a walking, moving athlete and haven’t been immobilised, it’s a torn ligament”.

Well that’s a four-hours-out-of-my-life kinda relief.

Walking home at 3am in the morning I suddenly became aware that without NASA, there are still those in your neighbourhood that have established their own lunar mission to search for off the shelf medication.  Astronauts, I call them. Just one small step for man and we’ll leave it at that…

I hadn’t trained for days my leg stopped swelling on the Friday and the race was on Sunday. Creeping Back was nowhere in sight but I felt that Fur King Witme was still close by and likely to spring an attack as there was still some pain and a bruise on my calf. On Saturday night I decided I’d watch the movie limitless for inspiration then get nine hours rest for Tomorrows big run but I had emails. I would address them for an hour, watch the movie and then sleep.

Fur King saw a chance to attack me by changing form and seized it. He turned into frustrating, confusing and aggravating thoughts in my brain, conversations, issues and images from the day ran around in my head causing me to panic about not getting enough sleep and how selfish and self-centred people could be and how people can appear real and be so not, my own self confidence and every negative aspect of my life, sacrifices, old meaningless relationships became more than they deserved and anything that would keep this active mind from switching off.

At 5:30, defeated, I decided all I could do was a few stretches as the only aid for my failing hope of tomorrow’s victory. Fur King left knowing she had used the most unexpected subtle form of attack to stop my progress, my confidence, my direction and ultimately break my will. 6:00am, I’m finally nodding off knowing that the alarm will sound at exactly 6:30.

vitality_demo

I dragged my tired butt to the race at Allianz Park Stadium and remarkably, fresh out of the blues, I receive a text from my dear friend Martin ‘Hey! I watched Limitless last night, brilliant’. What freaking excellent timing and inspiration, this is the timing of God, ya hear? These are the ones who, at that moment, are on the highest, highest  vibration, the messengers for those golden moments of divine love from the universe, as I told him about the movie weeks ago and he knew nothing about the race and NEVER, EVER, EVER, contacts me on a Sunday morning before 11:00, never. Even in its holiness I see it as a moment, the moment.

There were 6,000 people around me, I needed to 16th letter of the alphabet desperately. It was 9:20, the race started at 9:30, the wee line was 10 people to a porta loo. Is that the car park? Alrighty then. I ambitiously got back in the timing pen . After giving my phone and jacket to Tony, a Superfriend and ally, we were off. I pointed at Mo Farah with confidence. He looked back puzzled like ‘Is he from my endz?’ Of course I wasn’t, why I’m from ‘Best’ London but his strong acknowledgment was the energy I needed to forget I was running on e.

Vitatlity North London Half Marathon_4905

There were at least seven unexpected inclines on the course and the return path coming out of Wembley stadium felt like climbing a mountain but I continued. With no sign of Creeping Back, Fur King tried to enter my mind again with thoughts like ‘Ha it’s all uphill son ‘ and  ‘who didn’t sleep last night, remember when you collapsed at school games for less than that, woke up in hospital didn’t you’? My gait was soft and dreamy, as much as I had nothing left in me, I did not collapse and yes I finished. No, it wasn’t my best time but it was a win for me. Tony greeted me with my coat, some water and food as I crossed the line. Myself and Magdelana, an extremely fit athlete that I met at the 11th mile, congratulated each other and bid each other farewell until the next run in a few months.

The medal was worn on the train, in my bed and around the streets that week. Did you say why? Well after defeating Creeping Back and Fur King Witme, beating those two injuries and competing with just 30 minutes sleep…Yes, I may be wrong but I think that Angel Lewis is every bit  Supermanathon.