“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda
February came and disappeared in a blink of an eye, this meant my first week of March not only came as a swift sharp slap in the face, but also this meant I had to emerge from my winter hibernation and get straight to work.
Luckily I love my work and have a lot of exciting projects on the go at the moment. For the first time in my life all my education and studies are coming together to fulfill and make my career possible. It even feels like I may be seeing through the trees again and coming out of the woods. Proving again that no knowledge is a waste and not following the “correct” path sometimes pays off. It is your attitude and determination which gets you on your own path.
Over the last 9 years I have been building upon my knowledge even though at times I wondered what the point was to all of this, I questioned myself and my abilities time and again. However I knew that I had a mission to continue on and this was part of it. Upon reflection it is my next chapter I was preparing myself for. A sense of purpose has always been something I have struggled with, feeling that any purpose was diminished as my struggles got harder. This was just a test of strength and endurance which I had to face head on.
My areas of study are:
- Fine Art
- International Relations
- Languages French / English / Spanish
- Communication Studies
What I am working on this year…
- Finishing my last module in my Philosophy and Psychology Degree. I have just written my psychological study dissertation, which was a phenomenological study on EMOTIONS and ART. I created the study and performed it on two participants and asked them a series of questions on their emotional responses to being shown certain paintings. Then had to write up my report and results. I now have 2 essays left and an exam. I also just registered for my final degree course which is my 60 credit honours subject, you can do it in anything you like so I have chosen to do it in level 2 CREATIVE WRITING as I have about 5 books waiting to be written, on my experiences, art, philosophy and psychology. I can’t believe by October I will be in my 6th and final year of my degree.
- Regarding my own ART and upcoming exhibition in 2016, I am still working on my new collection and hope to be finished by December THIS YEAR!
- As you may be aware I run a nonprofit organisation called ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL and this month is CELEBRATION OF WOMEN month in honour of International Women’s Day which was on the 8th of March. We have had over 1000 female artists submit work to be involved and to gain a place to be featured on our ASLI blog and NEW E-magazine coming out at the end of March. I am the editor of this magazine and am very excited with this quarterly art publication.
- Also I shall be doing more illustration work later in the year (more details released soon)
There is no turning back now….
Originally posted on ASLI:
CALL FOR ARTISTS
We at Art Saves Lives are so excited about our first “Celebration of Women Month”
This month of March was chosen in honour of International Women’s day on the 8th of March, however we decided a day was not enough!
So we decided to dedicate the entire month to women who use arts to better the world.
We are looking for female artists and creatives from all disciplines for our first ever ASLI E-magazine which will come out in the last week of March. Which will be filled with beautiful art, articles, stories and more…
We are also running campaigns on our website and social media sites about important concerns which women and girls face on a daily basis all over the world. We have asked artists to contribute art, creative writing, poetry, music, performance pieces, blogs and articles on these 4 topics:
Equal Rights for…
View original 92 more words
In the past 2 weeks I experienced a relapse and have been struggling with day to day life. Being so overwhelmed by emotion, feeling unable to move or speak. My ability to self analyse had gone, my perspective skewed and my continuous questioning of reality was a preoccupation.
Unable to take my own advice and “paint my feelings”, not able to put pen to paper to explore the thoughts swimming around my head. So I lay there watching time do its thing, with every tick tock acting as a reminder of my own failings and stagnant mood.
So a few days ago I slowly moved towards my paint brushes… Inspecting paints, finding colours and tools, making sure I did not invest too much energy for the fear of disappointment.
A blank canvas stared up toward me? Begging me to surrender myself, asking me a million questions at once. The void of white seemed oppressive and scared me back into submission.
I decided to go to my art room and look through my paintings in search of a connection to something, which I felt had seemed to have been lost. However I did not get to do this as I was distracted by a stack of unfinished paintings. Looking sad and abandoned, five paintings waiting to be brought to life but like me were stuck.
So I bundle the paintings into my arms and scurried towards my sofa, I got water and a large palette on the way. Managing to create a fort of warmth was my only real concern on such a frosty January night, determined I got the biggest blanket I could find (that I did not mind splashing paint on, as this was an inevitability with me) and I arranged the cushions into a area of ease and comfort.
Then in pure bliss I began to paint, not with any particular emotion but more a sense of ease and fluidity. I found that by concentrating on the colours and strokes of the brush I was “in the moment” being mindful and able to focus on everything I was doing as if I were in a trance or meditative state. As I was working on 5 paintings at once I did not even get to break my concentration as I had organised myself into a conveyer belt of art, continuously creating…
This is not always a possibility with my conditions but when it is there is this feeling that I am complete when creating art. As well as reaffirming that there is meaning in the action and doing of art. In the application of creativity you can arrive to conclusions and acquire clarity without any of this being involved in the image you create. This session which I managed to self medicate with in my hour of need was cathartic, the reality I was so unsure of became less important and the moments of focused clarity became the ideal and the goal which my mind has set its sights on.
My advice to everyone is that in order to silence the negative thoughts you must become proactive. Allowing the intrusive thoughts to swallow you whole will only lead to an immobile mind and body. This is not to be confused with the “autopilot” mind set, this does not lead to clarity and release, in fact it can be even more dangerous as it allows the mind to go through the motions without any awareness. Which some may argue sounds wonderful, but it gets you no where.
This is not a post to tell you all your problems can be fixed by art or painting specifically. This post is to tell you, I am struggling with it all, life in general but I am a fighter and sometimes a begrudging survivor but one all the same. There is no option but to keep going against the odds and for me sometimes picking up my paintbrush is all I can do to survive these cruel mental fragilities.
Here are the 5 paintings…
If interested in my art please visit my official website
Thank you for visiting
So it is a new year and with this comes the assumption of an internal reset button which one can press and start again. As far as notions go this is not a bad one if approached correctly with a positive attitude and an openness to whatever lays ahead.
I do not make resolutions as this kind of fait accompli put upon oneself is a recipe for disaster and failure. It does not allow for the mystery of the upcoming 12 months and what life has planned. So instead I set goals which do not have to be finished by 2016 but have to be started in 2015. I move forward with dreams and ambitions and make sure I do at least one thing I have never accomplished before. You may think I am just rewriting the new year resolution mantra and that it is not much different, however the difference is I do not “expect” things from myself, instead I imagine my future and am lead by my dreams and encouraged by my fears.
Last year was great. I became a published illustrator with The Wishing Machine which I am very proud of. Also I had 2 exhibitions one in Portsmouth and one in London, after 2013 I decided I would take a step back from exhibitions and concentrate on new collections. Myself and Sadie Kaye decided to take over the old ART SAVES LIVES and renamed it ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL. This meant I was Artistic Director and Co-Founder with Sadie.
I also joined forces with the talented Lisa Reeve and we are working together on a new book, a new online boutique selling handmade and recycled items as well as art from ourselves and selected artisans.
In late 2014 ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL was handed over to me and I became Managing Director along with my husband Mohammed Farhan and Lisa Reeve. Sadie Kaye remains Artistic Director but has taken a small step back whilst she concentrates on many other personal projects as well as her beautiful expanding family. We have decided to reinvent ASLI, with a new mission and plan. With ASLI set to become a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in early 2015 and already with a calendar booked up with exciting events, we are excited with our new venture.
NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH on the 6th of January – http://www.artsaveslivesinternational.com
This brings me back to my new beginning…
My plan for 2015 is to move forward and allow for my dreams to get even BIGGER!!
So with this in mind I better get started. No time to waste!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.
Art to end the Silence on Rape
Since receiving reliving trauma therapy for PTSD my mind has swollen and over-spilled with flashbacks and night-terrors. This intensive therapy has hurt like a thousand knives piercing my brain and heart. But with all intensive therapy it gets worse before their is any relief. I have yet to feel any deliverance. The word ‘rape’ used to be an utterance I was unable to speak or think. The mere word would send me into a detached state, a shut down and escapist way of entering a safe place like dream world. It took me 10 years to confront the word, not the act, just that word ‘RAPE’.
I had now accepted the word and what it means. But I had still not truly accepted what had happened to me. I would go over and over the incident and would have the voice of society, bullies and the disbelievers ringing in my head. Telling me “but you fancied him? How could you not have wanted it?” and “But you are crazy, why would we believe you?”
Everything you could think of was used against me. My clothes, mental health, home life and how well I knew my rapist were used to justify what happened to me and I felt blamed, confused and as if I was deserving of it all. Even after internal and external surgery caused by the rape, it was still said “she is so crazy she probably did the injuries to herself” The doctors, surgeons, police and mental health team all believed me and repeatedly told me it was not my fault and that the damage was clearly from forced intercourse and the bruises and marks were conclusive of restraint marks, but they were unable to undo centuries of victim blaming and misconceptions about rape, the world around me was singing from a different hymn sheet and I could not hear their support over the loader voice, saying “you were asking for it”.
The person I needed to believe me was not my friends, family or even society, it was in fact me! I only managed to do this this year and strangely enough it was exactly 15 since that day. Through reliving the rape in my therapy I was able to separate myself and all the other voices and see the truth. Although it was a relief to finally say to my 15 year old self “I believe you” it was as if it had just happened again and felt more real than ever. I am still struggling and receiving treatment. But as a survivor I decided to speak my truth, to be part of the change and help others like myself.
As an artist I have decided to raise awareness and help end the silence.
Here is one of my first pieces from this collection, which is accompanied by a poem.
Chained – By Charlotte Farhan
I was chained by my fear, after you held me down.
I was chained by your force, when my life was turned upside down.
I was chained by peers and the social pressure to conform, with not wanting to be different or to cause a storm.
I was chained by my clothing, which was used against me, as well as my self loathing.
I was chained by the trauma, which haunts me to this day and the wish for life to serve you your karma will never go away.
I was chained by you, by them, by me.
Chained by the idea that “I was asking for it”
I am still chained and wish to be free.
Thank you for reading. Please share this post, be part of the change yourself.
For further advice and support :