In Advice

The arts have supported me big style.

Art taught me so many lessons in 2014 – when I needed support more than ever before.

 Most influential arts of 2014:

The National’s Medea

I cried for the 1st 25 minutes (sorry Lisa and Will – 1 week before your wedding, I believe it was) and then sporadically throughout the whole of the play (fun times!) Euripides develops her character so completely; he communicates the pain she has experienced and the way she continues to deal with that pain throughout the play. Seeing art reflect life was a bizarre experience that helped me to deal with betrayal. It brought my pain to the surface – it was therapeutic to see an exposition of how one woman channels that pain to ultimate revenge (don’t worry – I didn’t take her example too literally).

The National Gallery’s Seurat the Bathers

I stopped working in 2014 when I couldn’t make decisions, was vomiting repeatedly for six weeks and stopped sleeping. While looking repeatedly at this painting, I thought about what I was going to do next. Newsflash – I have not become someone who bathes at lunchtime in a Parisian suburb in front of a romanticised version of French industry.

Virginia Woolf exhibition – the National Portrait Gallery

Considering Leonard Woolf’s devotion to Virginia despite her fragile mental state at times, helped me to understand how supportive a partner can be and helped me what I might need (though to be honest he dealt with a lot!!!!)

The Ambassadors – The National Gallery

I first met this painting when I was 15 – and visiting this again allowed me to remember what I was like when I first saw this. It brought back to life emotions and feelings I had before – I realised that I had lost who I was – pretty much like Taylor Swift in the song ‘I knew you were trouble’.

The Notting Hill Carnival 2014

I was taught how to shake my bum (with Peter) while dancing behind a float at the carnival this year by a group of women (whose clothes were covered in chocolate) from Tobago. We felt the collective power of dance and communing with music.

The King’s Speech

Don’t know whether you watched this film……but this is a good ‘overcoming of a challenge scene’ with an understanding of all the complexities of the external world – and the soundtrack is my favourite music – the Allegretto (my favourite version of this below).

In the King’s Speech, Colin Firth (the King) speaks over Beethoven with the words ‘calm, firm, united in this time of trial’ ‘we shall prevail’ – nice ideas…….sometimes the modern world seems to have moved so far away from old-fashioned morals….but sometimes we need to remember what they are

Je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaf

These lyrics mean everything to me now – they are correct for me. They helped me to understand what I needed to do next and anchored me. I listened to this a lot (sorry Graeme!)

Be Festival and Michael

Mike moved me into his bedroom and made sure I was alive.

At the same time, his festival (founded with his friends) surrounded me with artists and performers from all over the world. When I was extremely fragile, their performances and their openness meant an awful lot to me and was a great source of support. Poor Mike had to listen to me repeating myself again and again and again.

 Art is amazing

Art is amazing (worth repeating) – it is a saviour. Collective thinking, exposition, giving space for me to be an individual and to reach my own conclusions. Art – I salute you.

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