he flow of motorised vehicles is taking back the main roads. I can’t help but wonder why. Are all those people going to work or coming back from work? It’s an odd time for such traffic. Are they all driving to different places for their daily outing? Are they visiting family?
I know full well what will happen. Either my partner will take the lead or I’ll mumble something incomprehensible, get confused and bright red in the face, and repeat in a much simpler way that I heard she would like eggs and we have some, so here take this box out of my hands before I self combust.
My eyes dance between the timer and the thermometer until finally the alarm on my phone rings. I spur into action. Out with the water, in with the developer. I press start on my phone timer and begin to agitate the tank for a minute. I put it down and dip the bleach-fix (blix) solution in the hot water bath.
Findings - Week 12
BP Portrait Award 2020 and The Barber Shop Chronicles
One of my aim for 2020 is to be more conscious of the time I spend reading/listening/watching new (to me) creative projects. I want to actively make time for other people’s work and creativity in my life. One way of achieving this has been to be more focused with my time but as the year gets busier, I am going to to lose that focus. To combat this, I am going to publicly share a list of works I’ve been enjoying on a weekly basis.
BP Portrait Award 2020
I have only recently developed an interest in portraiture and what better place to explore the genre than the National Portrait Gallery. I have visited it many times, returning often for its temporary exhibitions, but not this year. As Covid-19 keeps the doors of museums shut, we cannot contemplate art in person.
So second best is the Internet, and the National Portrait Gallery is doing a good job at it. They have create an online tour for the BP Portrait Award 2020. Each year this award is aimed event aimed at encouraging artists to focus on and develop the theme of portraiture in their work. Many of the selected portraits are hyper realist in this year selection, every details painstakingly applied to the canvas. Seen through a screen, the paintings appear photographic like.
I spent an enjoyable morning ‘visiting’ the exhibition. While it was a pleasant experience, I cannot deny that I missed being able to see the textures, to feel the sizes of the paintings, and to let them wash over me. That will have to wait. For now, you too can get a taste for the selected portraits here.
Inua Ellams – Barber Shop Chronicles
Every Thursday, the National Theatre, airs a play on YouTube and week was Barber Shop Chronicles.
The play takes us through barber shops from Europe to Africa where African men gather. We are a fly on the wall of those barber shops. We listen to the lives of the men on stage, the shop morphing into a confessional, living room, political stage, refuge, and anything else the people who walk in may need.
Lightly written, the play never cast a judgment on the opinion expressed. We are presented with different lives and experiences, all valid, all needing no justification, all safe while they are in the space of the barber shop.
What have you been enjoying this week?
My partner guides me through aerobics movements and stretches before we repeat the run up the stairs, press-ups, stretches, sit-ups, and back downstairs. And again. And again. My arms collapsing, I announce that I have had enough. We stretch our aching bodies before stepping into a warm shower.
‘I’m not in a good mood,’ I tell my partner. ‘It’s that day before my period where nothing is right. Be gentle please,’ I ask. I know I will be prone to overreacting and lashing out at the slightest annoyance.
‘Oh you know.’ She pauses for a second. ‘It’s all nonsense isn’t it?’ There is a strain in her voice as she says the words. I do not need to look to see her face long and worn down by worries. It seems ages ago when I saw her smiling, her eyes filled with joy. She had just bought a new caravan then. It has been laying dormant on her drive ever since.
I open the boot of our car, put the shopping in and walk home. There I will unload the car, my partner wash each products, my clothes will go into the washing machine along with my face mask, and I will step into the shower. I hardly have to think about any of it.
There is no news from work yet and this uncertainty weighs on me. I try not to think about it but it stays at the back of my mind like a leech unwilling to let go. They need time to sift through the government information, to check numbers, and make informed decisions. I understand this and in a way it is a relief.
remind myself not to worry, not yet. I have been clearly ordered by work not to show up at my desk today. The message has been reinforced with an e-mail this morning, but as I watch the news this evening the word ‘manufacturing’ rings in my head. This is my industry, where I work. So maybe I will have to go back to work, and what measures to have to fight this?