THE BADGER, THE RUST KING AND THE SHATTERED GLASS

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I wouldn’t say that I’m clumsy, just over enthusiastic and prone to rush without thought of consequences or safety. This is why my phone case is one of those pieces of equipment used by the military, that can be dropped from high buildings or fall into deep waters, with no ill effect.
The fact that the indestructible glass on this case shattered whilst I was taking a photo at a week long exhibition/event that I recently co-ordinated, could of course show a design fault, but I think it is more likely an indication of how much adrenaline was flowing through me at the time.
I stopped organising events many years ago in order to focus on my own work. Sure I still organised exhibitions for myself and others but until now I’d managed for eleven years to avoid organising a large group of artists, performers and other creatives.
Some things are to be expected, such as fellow artists throwing up from fear and stress, integral pieces of equipment being lost, and contributors who needed a complex set up arriving from another country an hour before the preview party. I’m used to that. I’m an artist who buzzes off working with others, so stress, neurosis, chaos and drama are part of the equation.
What I had forgotten was how people find it difficult to appreciate and accept something that is free and unconditional as well as the invariable mean minded suggestions of ulterior motives on my part and the businesses that refuse to promote the event because of petty grievances or insecurity despite already working with some of the artists involved. All of this could have dragged me down if I’d allowed it, but I was too thoroughly immersed in stress and organisational logistics to fully register this, except in retrospect.
I put on an exhibition that was a backdrop to a creative morass, designed to inspire and stimulate.
It was a wonderful event but reminded me that often, that which has no obvious currency is regarded with suspicion.
When I was in treatment, the woman who ran the refuge gave me a nightgown, new, beautiful and still wrapped.
I was suspicious and angry. Why did she give this to me? What did she want?
Some twenty years later I gave a safe platform for art and change and community, and the reactions and aftermath are just as much part of the event as the event itself.
Now I’m very tired, but feeling good. No comedown, and this analysis will lose any emotional impact as soon as I write it out, although hopefully the insight will last.
Strangely enough, on the first day of ‘Rust,Blood and Bone’ I received a call from the hospital to tell me that my treatment for hep C had been approved and I’ll start next week.
Every night after we packed up the exhibition, I’d see the Mortuary Chapel’s resident badger ambling among the graves, looking for any left overs we may have scattered.
Transformational art magic with claws!

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About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
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