Sunday, May 5, 2019

what's heard in the womb...

So... the real reason for my absence?

I've been avoiding the elephant in the room.

It's taken me forever to finally look at this but it's been nagging away at me for quite a while.

I'm fed up with how my desire to be accepted by the world has gagged me.

There is a part of me - mostly pretty well buried - that knows I was not acceptable to a culture, a community and the Catholic church.  I was an abomination.  An Irish bastard not to be tolerated and shipped to England before birth.  Not legitimate.  There must be many not acceptable children of Irish descent living in the world.

Along with many other women in this predicament who were living in an uncaring time and world, my mother must have, at the very least, endured intense pressure from her family and the nuns and priests around her.

Watching 'Philomena' Martin Sixsmiths' story with my lovely adoptive Mum a few years ago we were horrified.

I know it wasn't just the Irish mentality however I am deeply angry at the Catholic church (perhaps any church too - the hypocrisy, abuse of power and lies) for its perpetuation of these terrible acts against women and children.

I remember as a very young child being grief-stricken when hearing other children crying.  Might this be due to spending the first few months of my life between living in a children's home and a hospital without any parent? 

So my exploration under the heading 'In Search of The Real:...' is and has been a search to try and discover why I was born when I wasn't wanted by my people or church, what is 'The Real' in terms of Life, Spirit, Holiness, All That Is and whether The Real God rejected me too...

In Encountering Light Gonville ffrench-Beytagh talks about the disciples wanting something 'more real', that's what I'm looking for.  Jesus began his prayer to "the Father of all life ..." with "the Jewish baby word Abba.  Later... some religious evangelist who felt that 'Abba' was too intimate... added 'which art in heaven' in order to put God back where he belonged, 'up there'.  In fact heaven is not where God is...."

The "religious evangelist" in this instance is just another example of a busybody interfering control freak, belonging to the church, changing a fundamental way of doing something to suit their own purposes and to control the masses i.e. you and me.  Denying us access to who we really are.  Creating a huge mess along the way and responsible for who knows how many deaths in the process.

ffrench-Beytagh goes on to define 'Abba' - "all that fatherhood might be in terms of belonging, care, strength, comfort - and that's what 'Abba' means."   Notice the word 'belonging'.

It seems ironic that the images I have been working on for so long are so full of light.

ffrench-Beytagh, G.A. Encountering Light Fontana Books 1975

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Borders: An EDGE show

So, another PhotoHastings and we put up some work at the station.

In the concourse and at the edges.

We all put up three images. One of mine seemed to stick to every darn thing except the window - grit, air, flies.   It looked so unbelievably nasty with all that stuff going on between it and the window that I took it down today.

Perhaps the two that remain sitting opposite each other work.

The other work works.

It's a good show.

Come along and see for yourself.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What if?

What if we used this question every day: 

What if...?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Stretching a Line at Hastings Railway Station

New work, new EDGE exhibition

Really happy to be involved in this group who individually produce such interesting work and collectively help me to remember why I do this and the benefits of it.

The show has just gone up, there's an amazing diversity to the interpretation of the theme 'Line'.  It's in the two waiting rooms and on the bridge. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The mystery of Existence

Today I found a book that might help me more completely determine my position, and that of my art.  Where it sits in relation to my thinking and belief compared with philosophical thought. 

What surprises me is how thin this book is, given the weight of its contents.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thinking about making new work


In considering a call for proposals around and celebrating the work of Fay Godwin, I discovered I was interested in Peter Stokes question “How many more Aveburys will be there, perfect under future moons”

Referring to Godwin's work 'Land' Stokes wrote that she is 'dealing with issues of exploitation and industrial damage;  albeit with the possibility of a suggestion, in the way in which the material is associated, that all things pass, and that the land will heal.'

I remember writing 'This too shall pass' on my wall at home in thick blue paint in utter frustration and in response to a particularly nasty relationship. We sometimes have a nasty relationship to the 'other'. Witness politics. Tara Brach calls 'the other' 'unreal other', it means that we can feel able and justified to hurt 'the other' partly because we are afraid of it/them and partly because they don't exist to us, so far removed from us do they seem. This can relate to animal, vegetable, human, mineral, the sea and the land. We choose. Our rubbish litters the land, the sea and the air making it difficult sometimes to see, to breathe or to move about safely regardless of the physiognomy.

As a vegetarian heading towards veganism I find it difficult travelling past sheep and frollicking lambs on the marshes soon to be travelling to the abbatoir. We used to see lorry loads of animals on their way to death. Now it's rare to see that. Is it that there are now abbatoirs in every town and village? Everything is being cleaned up in terms of what we are allowed to see, so we aren't so inconvenienced or distressed, despite wanting to buy 'meat' at rock-bottom prices which has to equate to rock-bottom humanitarianism. It might be better if instead of 'meat' we selected an animal with an identity at the supermarket. Let's face it, if you're going to eat animal why not have it's name and species branded on it, cheese and wine have to declare what they are. My sister-in-law once yelled out the train window at the sheep at the top of her voice 'RUN!' but then she had visited an abbatoir. I share her horror at what will become of them, a shank on a plate. The rot, in our country, is not just in our minds its in our bellies too, via our attachment to the hog roast. Godwin promoted the organic route not for nothing.

I'm interested in how, as Margaret Drabble wrote (Guardian... ), Godwin's change of diet contributed to her recovery from “advanced cancer”. If our cancers are related to the desecration of the land and life, Godwin's concern over our sites of mystery, pilgrimage and contemplation becoming lucrative sideshows devoid of meaning and mostly untouchable identifies them as also troublesome. Mass conscious life that is out of touch with its centre, with little spirituality or deep meaning other than a monetary drive for survival, allows us to treat each other as unreal and develop deeply rooted psychological pain as a result.

Looking to the sky at night when the land and our destruction of it has disappeared into a shimmering blackness offers hope. The twinkling lights of distant stars, light years away, scribe their images onto my hand-held lens as I, who wobble while looking upwards (not being a tripod), am inconsequential beneath them. Is it my subconscious that has me wobbling an image that might be the equivalent of an ancient chalky white horse or a long man scribed into the side of a hill? 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In Search of The Real: Spikes

Really pleased to have had my Spikes film selected for the curated film event,  Altered States, as part of Coastal Currents 2015

Altered States / Electro Studios Project Space / 29th-30th August 2015
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Altered States / Electro Studios Project Space / 29th-30th August 2015
Altered States is an immersive multi-screen show of the latest experimental film and video work curated by the Hastings-based filmmakers Toby Tatum and Mark French. Altered States features moving image by over seventy of the most fascinating international moving image practitioners working today, much of it unseen in the UK.
This exhibition includes the fruits of a worldwide search for works that articulate film’s power to initiate heightened states of consciousness, transporting us across the threshold into a mind-expanding visionary state. The programme features a selection of cutting edge films that imaginatively reshape the base materials of the everyday world into something rich and strange.
Featured artists:
Michael Woods, Sandra Crisp, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Diego Barrera, Ellen Wetmore, Maximilian Le Cain, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh, Ema Čulík, Duncan Reekie, Helga Fannon, Alex Carmichael, Helena G M, Leslie Supnet, Juliette Liautaud, Patrick Rowan, Theo Tagholm, Sandra Bouguerch, Philip Sanderson, Guli Silberstein, Lucinda Wells, Shaun Blezard, Sirin Bahar Demirel, Maria Niro, Grant Petrey, Mike Stolz, Alex Dickson & Greg Adsley, Eden Mitsenmacher, Tessa Garland, Joseph Curran, Anita Spooner, David Ian Bickley, Laura Focarazzo, David Asher Brook, Jeannette Louie, Laurel Beckman, Josh Weissbach, Stephen Broomer, Dalia Huerta Cano, Andrew Littlejohn, Joel Cahen, Peter Rose, Helen Flanagan, Juan David Gonzalez Monroy, Enrique Piñuel, Stuart Pound, John Davis, Alex Hovet, Disinformation, Ben Barton, Michael Fleming, Margarida Sardinha, Richard Ashrowan, Brice Bowman, Demian Skogr, Zachary Finkelstein, Asha Tamirisa, Nicholas Bunch, Gabriel Rud, Hans Lucas, Alisa Berger, Mirjam Bromundt, Pako Quijada, Josh Yates, Harold Charre, Evguenia Men, Michael Betancourt, Jason Bernagozzi, Mark Street, Chiara Ambrosia, Rui Hu, Kera MacKenzie & Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Caryn Cline, ana b. & nuno m. pereira, Callum Costello.
Electro Studios, Seaside Road, West St Leonards, TN38 0AL
Sat 29 August from 6pm – 10pm
Sun 30 August from 2pm – 6pm
Altered States continues at Butlers Gap, George Street, Old Town, TN34 3EE on Sat 5 September from 8pm
Altered States forms part of the 2015 Coastal Currents Arts Festival film programme.
For more information visit:
Copyright © 2015 Coastal Currents Arts Festival, All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I'm languishing, making work, being a bit more organised.  Teaching.  Meditating.  Developing myself.  Enjoying the new work that is appearing.

Friday, May 1, 2015

How to follow anything?

Really, it's a tricky question.  For example, how do I follow a post that has a title like 'The Greatest Thing Ever Known'?  Is it possible?  The other day I was reading about Entanglement, it's a particular interest, along with the Observer Effect.  So it's possible that while I am struggling to imagine what kind of post could follow the previous one, it might already exist and be resonating or lighting up elsewhere which saves me the bother.

In order for you to read it, you'll have to look for it, notice it and then look at it but don't for goodness sake interfere with it because that will set off a whole new chain of events.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Greatest Thing Ever Known

Hmmm, it's been a while I know.  Remember my post about warm Italian air?  Today I found a book that looked really promising (imagine something so promising yet only costing £2, which is very nearly the bus fare one way into town) but, being wrapped in its original sealed film, is tantalisingly inaccessible.

Googling tells me that it was originally published in 1898 and that this copy was probably published nearly a hundred years later, that's longevity for you.

I can't bring myself to unwrap it on account of the potential to be disappointed.  Does that point to a poor attitude?  Possibly.  But to discover that The Greatest Thing Ever Known wasn't would be a bit like finding out that I didn't like Limoncello after all.

Meanwhile new work is emerging from the depths of my consciousness around the idea of air.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I see that my memory has let me down, it didn't prod me to follow through with my promise of 21st September 'Coming soon'...  I vaguely remember writing exactly those words another time on a different blog and not following through with that either.  It's safe to say now that if I ever write 'Coming soon' I don't mean it.  My conscious mind has the good intentions to want to do just that but is contending with the unknown and hidden aspects of my sub-conscious which is always a little tricky to negotiate and is clearly trying to sabotage me. 

Brighton and Hastings have again been hotbeds of photographic activity and it has at times been difficult to keep up.  The 'Coming soon' that appears here referred to some emerging work that can be seen in Brighton in the PhotoFringe as part of a group show curated by Sue Steward for PhotoHubGroup also part of PhotoHastings 2014.   My offering consists of three images each from separate strands of the overall growing body of work 'In Search of The Real', including Glitches, Spikes and Pixels.  The image below is included and it's the second time this year it has been seen, the first was on page 16 of Trash'd.

Page 16 from Trash'd fanzine, Trash Cannes Festival 2014
The exhibition at Vantage Point, Brighton continues until November 2nd 2014 and includes work from Myka Baum, Alex Brattell, Cathryn Kemp and me.

We're at the end of a long corridor of collectives work but it's worth the walk. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

...of the silv-er-y moon

Image courtesy of
Tracy Jones


I swam.  Today.  Tonight.  The very fat full harvest supermoon overhead shone it's light towards my gaze and I sunk myself into the sea and swam.   Hurrah!   Breaking a 7 year bad habit and immense fear.  The water was amazingly warm, it's gentle but huge ferociousness horrifyingly worrying and yet calming once in it!  I know: what a scaredy cat.    Couldn't have done it without my lovely friend Tracy Jones (check out her work - it's really good).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ha! It's been a while.

And it has. 

Meanwhile I've been looking around as ever.  And been affected by what goes on around me. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

East Sussex Open

Getting ready for tonight's opening of the East Sussex Open at Towner Art Gallery that beautiful gallery on the south coast that I wrote about in a much much earlier post (

'In Search of the Real: Glitches' (digital video, 2013) was selected by 'Exhibitions Curator Sanna Moore ... (and) ... guest selectors, Matthew Cornford, Professor of Fine Art, University of Brighton (and one half of artist duo Cornford & Cross) and Hastings based artist Becky Beasley, whose work has been exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally.' (Towner Art Gallery).

I sneaked a view of the show's installation while dropping off my work and it promises to be a fascinating, thought provoking show.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This is a crucial moment...

Him:  (He waves his hands in the air) I'm in the middle of eating my dinner.  I'll put it through your door after the ... (what was it he said?), it's a crucial moment.

Me:  No (emphatic) NOW.  What can I do to help (me trying to be forgiving/diplomatic)?  Him:  he points upwards and mouthed something at me.  Me:  It cannot continue.

The first conversation with my neighbour of 5 years.

Today started at 2.38 am.  With an intermittent high pitch beep.  I looked out the window, nothing but black and the beep which seemed to move around the garden space so that I couldn't be sure of its source.

Man-made beeps are not nearly so beautiful as birdsong.  The day before I was woken by birdsong at 4.38. Man is behind the times clearly.  Or aggravatingly before.  The birds today remained silent or went elsewhere - the ugliness of the beep drowning out any possibility of joy.

After 12 hours - what took me so long?  I called the council.  They could hear the beep during the call.  Them:  We don't normally hear it over the phone.  Me:  Can you help?  They came around.  The beep mysteriously stopped on their arrival.  Sod's law isn't it.

A little later, after 5pm - beep.  Then more and more and more.  It was back.

What to do?  The council are shut.  Deciding on a plan - that is: to visit each of my neighbours to see if they've heard it and know it's source - I go next door.  There are no door bells.  None.  The wires are all hanging out of the frame in a huge bundle.  But I can hear the beep loudly through the door.   Aha.  I call loudly through the letterbox.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELLO.  HELL-O.  A light goes on and a door along the corridor opens.  A woman appears:  Yes, Yes, Yes?  The beep is ringing in her ears.  It's a neighbour's beep not hers and she is so tired of the incessant sound. 

She lets me in and I climb the stairs to the freeholder.  He doesn't answer my knocks or my hellos through his letterbox.

I go home.  How would you get hold of a neighbour 1 storey up with no doorbell who won't answer his front door?  I'm elevated too.  I get a pole, write a note, attach it then wave it in front of his window while calling out his name very loudly.  KEVIN.  It worked.

I could see him through the window with his headphones on - he turned around with surprise and gestured through the window at me - a hand to the ear - a moue - then that shrug that people do from their shoulders to their hands hopelessly.  I carried on waving the homemade flag and pointed downstairs.  He knew why I was waving - his headphones gave him away.

Damn beep is still beeping away.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The undeniable

Remember the post: 'the imponderable' 21/5/2010 - consisting of merely this...


A photograph of some sky blue doors.  Closed off to me.  By me?  Not wishing to contemplate what lay beyond them, paralysed by the outer potentially reflecting the inner. The lack of handles adding to the mystery (or horror) of what they shut in or out.  The only suggested access via what might be a key-hole or worse still, lots of them on their surface.  The green foliage on the outside suggesting that the outside was by far the better place to be.

Is it always to be the case that things are often not what they seem?  And if so, how much do we miss through our avoidance of really looking.  Had I allowed my inate curiousity to look a little bit closer or more accurately, more openly then I would have seen earlier what I now have seen.  It's not that it wasn't that bad, it's more that it was so incredibly good.