Headscarves 1950s

As a nod to International Women’s Day 2017 Gillian Lawrence’s canvases in homage to the women she interviewed and indeed grew up with on her Headscarves Project can be seen for the whole of March on the wall at Stratford east Picturehouse.@SEP

Power to the workers at Cineworld striking for a living wage.wp-1471727482316.jpeg

Like a piece of art, “Untitled”.

There was a Daily Mash article about retired people flooding galleries with their s**t art and that their relatives are emotionally blackmailed into buying the trash so that worthy art never gets sold. Rubbish of course. Or is it?

Yesterday I went for the umpteenth time to Claremont in Islington’s art session to cobble up stuff for the next exhibition. Funny way to do things. The participants then put up their work for sale at high prices after they’ve not laid out for anything because the paper is free as is the choice of materials. I do not for I paint indoors all year around and submit appropriate work. There was acrylic paint galore. The irony is that for Champions I ran out of paint and managed: Can’t keep spending what with the price of Flora.

So the art session is poorly managed and prepared. The Claremont trumpets its mission as being of art and well-being. Felt none of that. Obviously I will report to the staff in my most delicate diplomatic old lady way. Not an apron in sight.  The topic was “Paradise” as we sat in a multi-use hall, with stacked chairs and dirty doors. We were neither led nor instructed. We didn’t talk to each other. Paradise is a difficult concept because it is overloaded with heaven and beaches and the after-life and because of that and empty minds then the intern photo-copied tropical beaches for us. Get out of here.

BN Neu formed “Sunrise in Space” and is flogging it for a tenner. It’ll be framed by Claremont. Mine was Paradise is Colours and is on the market for £1. In my rush to escape, I never photographed it.  Yep some art by retirees is *hi*.

But the person who shared the Daily Mash article is a professional artist who agreed with it and invited comments in the same ilk.

I came back to the beggars in Hackney. I see beggars all the time now. I bought a posh filled roll in Sainsbury’s and wondered on which bus I would eat it. The beggar outside  got it with my warning that he’d better eat it and “I’ll be watching you”. Inflation rolls when a beggar asks now for £2 instead of a £1. There but for fortune …Carrying on with this diary, reader, I went to TK Maxx to check out the posh jams and gluten free anythings. Found some coconut and milk French chocolate. Mmm. Cancelled my “Eat Like a Yogi” Made in Hackney workshop . Just tired of eating kale and earth. Made In Hackney sent out a warning that participants should eat something before the class. The “Make Meals in 15 Minutes”  sessions take two hours, backwards and fro-ing with recycle this and recycle that and don’t mention white bread. Last time, Jay put a mouthful of Mother Earth into her mouth and proclaimed “I can’t eat this. I need meat.” No holding her back. She looked at me “Can you? ” “Jay I am so hungry. I’ll eat the caterpillars too.”


Such fun, eh, all this social engagement to educate us and ward off isolation and keep food poverty at bay over in Abney Park Cemetery.

BN Neu talked to a group of we  Up Your Street ers about the necessity of positive discrimination when it comes to gathering pensioners who have little access to the internet and making opportunities for them to be computer literate. Isn’t that what Age UK was meant to do? Barclays and Lloyds do or did sessions about safety on the internet.

The Lawns in Dalston was ace  and they were through AgeUK so it all went with cut backs. Hackney Seniors Mobile run by Derek Prince is fantastic for keeping seniors in the fibred loop but of course one needs to love FaceBook to enter his world.

All these internet sessions for seniors are free as are the art sessions at Claremont and Made In Hackney community cooking treats. No knocking from me but an urge to make something good excellent.


POSH CLUB tomorrow: entertainment for the poor older working class. Their words, not mine.


Tammy WhyNot or Louise Weaver

After the pretty useless art session at Claremont I waited to meet an Elders Ambassador from Tammy Whynot’s scheme funded by the Wellcome Collection in London. That was our Sylvia of Scarf Art fame. Tammy is proposing to mobilise seniors into the techno world in order to alleviate their propensity to isolation and loneliness. Impassioned Sylvia is doing the leg work by selling the admirable idea to we would be workshop facilitators. Claremont’s Blanche was very receptive to the whole movement in an art and well-being centre.

By the way, Tammy is a hoot.

Pleased As Punch

To submit art work at The Mill Coppermill Lane E17  fiver

To submit art work at the Claremont Project N1          zilch

”                   ”               ”        Hackney Central Library and Stratford east Picturehouse


To submit work A4 to A3 size to The Tower Gallery for International Woman’s Day

and it must be framed with D fasteners ready to hang £20 (concessions. £25 otherwise).

Pulled in by and ready to sit on the wagon that is International Women’s Day I could not let a ship pass in the night. The notice for submission was one week. I needed to find an A4 piece of work on my unsold shelf (ha ha). Check and I emailed the photo to the curator. She replied telling me how to pay overnight. I felt like the only OAP on the island. I saw the photo of the other artists; not a grey hair in sight. Not a touch of diversity either.

I needed a frame. Pictorem’s cheapest is £25. I remembered the frame I’d never left out for the bins and let slide under the sofa. Tidied it up but it did not suit. I thought of a guy with a cleverer saw than mine and then of my sister who’s a carpenter. I continued to listen to The Voice UK on second repeat in the background as that early music on Radio 3 got on my nerves. My mind was made up: I would make the picture fit the frame.

Cobbled the job. Did it. Saved money. Annoyed the neighbours with my hammering but the job was done. I still needed to find another D hook. There are enough framed pictures under glass here left from my family who moved out so I’d have to steal some. There is no art shop for miles.

Pleased as Punch.

Off to Claremont now to get myself inspired to make a contribution to the art exhibition there called Paradise. Here’s one I made earlier . 50cm x 70cm. ( A4 tssh!).paradise-homage-to-westray-water-colour-on-acrylic-on-canvas-big-290117

Big Offence on No Offence. Crush FGM

So, what did you think of the FGM treatment/pitch on “No Offence”? There was a tanned/ olive-skinned as they used to say Egyptian woman of colour cutter with pink ears. I need to check the actress there.
In real life the police officer under cover as a young woman wanting circumcision to please her husband and to produce for society a boy (Insha’Allah) would need counselling and months off from service after her traumatic experience. In the play she said she was okay.

uys-iwd2016-02-09-19.50.15.jpg.jpegInteresting that there was a quick black versus white argument between the suspected cutter and the cops about vaginal enhancement being okay for white women in Harley Street clinics and so it should be accepted that in other cultures, cutting clits is good too. Too shoved-in a scene.

In this week’s episode of a thrilling serial cop show the cutting was to be carried out for £2000 in a private so-called clinic with an nice line-up of surgical tools and no rusty razor-blades. The PC posing as a client was stifled with a rag of ether or some other gas rather than an injection to knock her out. She was pinned down by the cutter’s female heavies. I suppose it’s all based on a real event.

Yes it was a shocking scene.

Evidently some medics are saying that FGM should not be stopped as it’s a cultural event. Sh’up. Leaving girl babies on cold walls for the wolves was a cultural thing. Belting your kids and boxing their ears was UK working class culture so was a cultural thing. Heads out of sands, docs, for FGM is child and sexual abuse. If someone forces your legs apart to scrape your bits that ain’t no culture but criminal. Child or woman dies. We call that murder, you backward shite.

Some describe FGM as barbaric. No space for PC here. I say backward people practise Stone Age ways.

So yes a suspected child abuser or mother assisting her adult son to be a child abuser spills out at her luxurious home during an end FGM party with cakes sporting vulva shaped icing sugar on top, that in her home village a woman died due to childbirth complications caused by genital mutilation. As a deal with the female senior cop the suspected criminal wants the cutter imprisoned and that would be a first as prosecutions in the UK are nil.

There, so many issues about FGM in one episode.

Vaginal enhancement in white women
FGM for men’s sake
FGM to get a son because Allah prefers that.
FGM as culture
FGM as a cause of complications in childbirth
FGM as a private procedure payable in mega-bucks.
No prosecutions yet in UK
Egyptian cutters exist and travel freely
Wider highlighting of what is known as an overseas problem whereas FGM is common in the UK especially amongst Somali and Nigerian women/children
FGM is a crime
FGM is child abuse
FGM is sexual abuse
FGM is practised as a cultural norm.
On a TV programme women police officers deal with FGM criminals.

Hibo Wardere Gillian Lawrence et al are championing the fact that FGM is child and sexual abuse.

Up Your Street Issue 5

Sun 12th Feb   free 10-12 walking wild at Walthamstow Wetlands. Check at Eventbrite for any spare tickets.
                          free 1.30-4pm Valentine’s Crafts at Vestry House Museum. (Thanks to Sba Shaikh for sharing).
Mon 13th Feb   free 11-12.30pm Workshop for making display works aka art for “Paradise” at Claremont , White Lion Street Islington. Free paints and paper. Become a member on the spot.
                         free or a fiver donation.7 for 7.30pm William Morris Gallery. Radical History Workshop and exhibition by Red Saunders A joint meeting by the Waltham Forest Radical History Workshop and the Friends of the William Morris Gallery. (Thanks to Roger Huddle for sharing). See WMG website for more details.
Wed 15th Feb £5  POSH CLUB in St Paul’s Church Hackney. Book in advance with Tracey Smith .(See previous notes or at Up Your Street Facebook or at https://www.upyourstreet.wordpress.com)

Sat 18th Feb     free 11-2pm CreativiTEA with Amanda Whittle at Hale End Library. Art for adults. Theme being assemblage or box art. Need to book. Not really. Always empty seats.
Sun 19th Feb    free 12.30-3pm Made In Hackney food preparation with an Ayurvedic-following Yogi.
                                  Need to book. Takes place in a Cazenove Road basement kitchen in Stoke Newington. No disabled access. No sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Now one of the pioneering mission statements of Up Your Street was to get seniors online and using it. I still get messages from subscribers saying they cannot access a web site for example. In the case of  East London Radio. Go to your search engine, often Google or Bing, and write “East London Radio”. The website will pop up and then you will see an arrow indicating “Play radio” and you’re in. There are catch up pod casts.
Made In Hackney. Same procedure. William Morris Gallery.  Same.
Advance notice. In March I will be exhibiting my art called “Champions” at Hackney Central Library and at Stratford Picture House, “Headscarves 1950s”both celebrating International Women’s Day because I can.
And art by women begins on March 8th at Tower Gallery Plaistow for International Women’s Day. “Lily At The Swim” will be there.