Francine Davies Artist | Self Actualisation, Brexit and ‘i’
A discussion of the connections between Art, Brexit and Language from the perspective of an Artist living in Wales, UK
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Self Actualisation, Brexit and ‘i’

Self Actualisation, Brexit and ‘i’

Self Actualisation, Brexit and ‘i’

 

It has been a while since I have written a full blog. I have always appreciated it can take a while for the content of my creative chaos to find somewhere to comfortably sit in the depths of my brain.  It feels as if for too many months I have been at the mercy of every single creative thought, experience, sight and opportunity that has come in to view.  Thus, whilst nothing much has changed, today as I walked the dog it felt like everything had changed.

 

As Sugar and I approached the coastline this morning we were greeted with the most inspiring scene ever.  Through the gate, on to the common the waves were enormous, higher than the horizon.  As usual my instinctive response is to let out a guttural sound that is not at all flattering but I have long since realised I have little control over the way the sea makes me feel.  My insides just seem to melt and I perform a strange standing foetal position as I shrink and yet expand at the same time.  It is this creative tension that drives me to paint it.

 

As I walked, watched and absorbed the energy in front of me I felt quite overwhelmed by the scene.  Everyday I look at the sea and manage the cacophony of paintings that my mind creates in a single viewing.  One walk equates to potentially 100 possible paintings.  Is it any wonder I’m so exhausted?  My phone’s Camera and Gallery are also exhausted by the images they have to hold every morning as I try to capture something new in the movement of energy through the water.

 

Something strange happened today, though.  When I looked at the waves they stirred something different in me that I could only attribute to a feeling of boundlessness.  As I greedily sucked in those healing negative ions I was rewarded with an enormous clarity about so many things that are bothering me at the minute.  I could see what I needed to do next and why I would need to do it.  My next piece of work would be an enormous piece of artwork to somehow try and tell the world ‘not to worry!  It will be ok’.  But the most surprising part of this epiphany was that I would entitle it Brexit.

 

I worry about most things and Brexit happens to be one of them. Looking out at the waves today they seemed so out of control as they powered in one after another and all I could think of was bloody Brexit.  Here in front of me was Brexit in action.  Each charging wave followed by another taking out whatever was in it’s way. For the first time ever I fully appreciated the inevitability of Brexit.

 

I am a staunch Remainer and nothing will change that and nothing upsets me more than hearing about how that we have become a population that believes it’s own individual needs are more important than anything else.   This is why I could never ever be in politics. As soon as you align yourself to a political party you are expected to reject all other political thinking and the simple act of defining a Political Party leads to so much exclusivity, propaganda and alienation that the whole process becomes flawed and I have no respect for it.  Never in my life have I felt so oppressed than now by the current political scene.

 

As I watched the huge powerful waves roll in this morning the destructive nature and power that each wave suggested simply reminded me of how destructive Brexit has been.  After all, waves are quite simply a reaction that happens because a huge energy is passing through the water.  This reminded me of Brexit which is also a reaction to a huge energetic force passing through the British population.  The only difference being that the energy that comes from the sea is good for it’s negative ions.  It is interesting that it is the negative ions that are the reason why we feel so uplifted by the sea and it is the positive ions that are harmful as they are lacking in electrons and missing something vital.  Positive ions are more likely to be found in more polluted environments whereas negative ions are representative of clean air extra charged with this valuable negativity.

 

Thus if we apply this analogy to the Brexit experience I feel closer to understanding how we have got to where we are.  If you can remember, the Leave Campaign focussed purely on all the so called ‘Positive’ things that would be gained by Britain leaving Europe.   The public were encouraged to believe it would be come more “positive” for their lives.  However, the Remain Campaign was dealing with all the ‘Negative’ charges that were deemed detrimental to Britain and individuals.  Well I have never been one to expect anything for nothing and I have always believed in a karma that balances our lives.  A campaign that promises only ‘Positive’ outcomes was always a flawed campaign.  A campaign that appreciated the imbalances in a union is a campaign that is real and not based an ideological myth.

 

Think again about why the sea makes us feel so wonderful and uplifted it is because of it’s ‘Negativity’.  This ‘Negativity’ means each ion has more ions.  Thus it is richer more helpful yet it’s name ie. ‘Negative’ has been programmed in to our brains to suggest bad, wrong, even harmful.  Furthermore, this analogy helps us appreciate the term ‘Positive’ does not necessarily equate with good.  Infact it can mean quite the opposite.

 

I truly believe we do not look to the natural world enough.  I firmly believe that we focus too much on what we haven’t got and never ever really truly appreciate what we have got.  I heard a great quote the other day.  It went something like this:

 

“Of things unseen there is no desire”

 

We have all been exposed to so much through the media and as such it has become increasingly easy for a population to be left feeling deprived.  Having two children to introduce to the material world I feel I am failing shamefully knowing what I know.   I am not immune to sometimes finding myself thinking “I wish we could do that or have this …” etc.  There is so much unhappiness at the moment and I would not want to dump it all on Brexit but it helps me understand where Brexit came from.

 

As someone who suggests so much of her work places great value on perspective and the perspectives of others I am gradually coming to terms with the whole Brexit experience.  Whilst I believe that there is little positive to be taken from the result of the referendum 3 years ago the one thing I will say I am grateful for is this:

 

“The oppression, sadness and overwhelming powerlessness I felt the day the result came through made me aware for the first time of how large sectors of the British population may have felt for many years when decisions were continually being made that had no relevance to them and if anything served only to make their lives worse.  I can genuinely state I feel a new empathy for people who feel misunderstood, misrepresented and oppressed for whatever reason.  Everyday, so many people are oppressed, their lives ignored, their perspectives brushed aside or worse still- abused.”

 

This new awareness didn’t take away the unhappiness and oppression I felt that day but it has certainly eased the pain of all that has happened since.  It helped me appreciate how disabled decisions can make you feel.  To feel like you have no power over the actions that will change your life is a truly humbling experience.  To truly acknowledge that no one is more important than another is the very mantra that I strive to live by.  I hope no one tries to interpret this and categorise me using religion, politics or some other modal categorising system. The truth is I ‘sense’ my way around the world.   I gave up looking for answers when the unexplainable started to happen many, many years ago.  All I strive to do now is be able to live with the experiences that present and try to understand them and increasingly communicate that understanding as creatively as I can.

 

Painting and other forms of creativity for me have become so important as a way expressing things that for so many years I never felt confident enough to perhaps say.  Also I think I felt my thoughts and feelings were not quite formed enough to be voiced.  However, over the last two years in particular (but mainly because I have such a bad memory that’s as far back as I can go) I can see that through my art work I have said far more than I ever said in the other 40 odd years.  Unfortunately for the rest of the world that has made me feel very empowered and I am in danger of now never shutting up!

 

The subjects I have tried to touch upon throughout this blog have shown me how powerful words can be. Words can be interpreted in so many ways and whilst in one breath this can be considered an exciting prospect it can also have many more negative implications if we do not take time to consider what we are being told.  I do not ask you to agree with what I am saying but I would urge you to consider it and see if it provokes thoughts in you.  I think we all need a voice these days.  It really pleases me to see my own children with a fire in their bellies full of opinions and ideals.

 

I would like to finish this blog with one further play on words.  I would like you to consider the following words:

 

WALES, SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, GREAT BRITAIN, EUROPE, NATURE, EUROPEAN UNION, BREXIT, POLITICS & ENVIRONMENT.

 

Did you notice that there is no “i” in Wales, England, Scotland or Europe or Nature.  Furthermore, there is no “i”  sound in the Welsh language.  I find that really pleasing to be living in and part of a country that is more than just “i” I would like to think it is more of an “us” country.

 

However, did you notice that there is “i” in GREAT BRITAIN and also in EUROPEAN UNION and unsurprisingly in POLITICS and ENVIRONMENT.  Infact there are 2 “i’s” in both GREAT BRITAIN and POLITICS.  Whilst I appreciate I am simply playing with words I think it is quite interesting to see how it seems that the bringing of countries together and making a collective creates the need for too many “i’s” and perhaps not enough “us”.

 

I think this a worthy thought as Brexit and Politics have fed off this idea and done it cruelly.  I always knew each one of us mattered and that my needs were no more important than another’s.  It’s easy to come to this conclusion when you see how easy it is for anyone to become homeless, subject to abuse, poor health etc.  But for Politics to use these vulnerabilities to trick people in to believing that they see them as individuals is shameful especially when they did so at the expense of respecting the importance of an “us”.  I have always known I am an individual and was lucky to be part of a family which then also made me part of an “us”.  That family has evolved but the “us” helps me develop as an individual as well.  I have also noticed when I make it all about “i” the “us” doesn’t work very well.  This is the same if one of the other “i’s” in the “us” makes it all about “them”.  It shows “us” we need to re-balance.

 

I think Brexit is all about “i” and nothing to do with “us”. It is so unbalanced weighted only on one side.   I only hope the balance can be realigned and “us” can be re-formed with Europe.   Just like a wave: the water climbs and climbs until it falls, crashing over. I just wish Brexit would just crash over and blend back in to the ocean of life and as another wave forms it is a fresh start with Europe who welcomes that we are still an “us” and that whilst it is not yet a perfect ‘us’ it can be an ‘us’ that is willing to explore the depths of the relationship further and become stronger for the whole experience.

 

Enough! I am off to order an enormous canvas and begin planning out my Brexit painting.!  I feel I should apologise rather than sign off but I really needed to get it out there!  Finally, I will leave you with a poem from my Iceland exhibition.

 

Francine Davies Art, Acrylic painting, Iceland Exhibition, Iceland Embassy, London 2018, Gerouberg Basalt plates

 

Gerouberg Basalt Columns

 

I believe Nature in Iceland is an excellent guide

Always offering examples of how to take things in our stride

At Gerouberg we see energy deep down in the earth’s core

Revealing it’s efficiency through scientific law

 

Hexagonal columns are the highlight of this show

Maximum impact with minimum fractures below

A perfect example of cause and effect

A simple explanation of something that looks so complex.

 

Most of us beings think we are in control

Yet more often we forget about nature’s role

If ever without answers to challenging questions

Consider the laws of nature and scientific suggestions.

 

However, on occasions there may be no answers at all

Perhaps in those instances, on the Hidden Folk you could call

A landscape continually forming from the inside out

Is a constant challenge to those who doubt

 

Whilst developers may be led by a belief they know best

They are soon re-aligned when hidden folk put them to the test

A land that is steeped in geological histories

Is equally rich in culture and folk stories.

 

 

 

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