lindumgreene

A Creative Life Collection


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Sense of Place

Last Saturday morning at Kettle’s Yard…

A workshop was being delivered by Artist Lora Avedian, making collage in response to the new Exhibition, ‘Alfred Wallis Rediscovered’. I had the great honour of giving two house tours, each to a group of five whilst the other half were given a talk by Curator, Eliza Spindel on the Alfred Wallis collection. Unusually, we started our tours in the lower extension and in doing so, I wanted to use the opportunity to draw on a speech Jim Ede gave at the opening of the extension. With Prince Charles present and a concert given by Jacqueline du Pré & Daniel Barenboim, it was a grand affair.

The article from which I drew the speech, was written by David Owers an Associate of Leslie Martin Architects and published in the Cambridge Review, 29th May 1970. It’s a fascinating article, but most importantly, the quoted Ede’s speech presents Kettle’s Yard in it’s entirety. The essence of which is as important today, as he suggests it might be as it was when he originally spoke these words:

It is a sadness, that the House is once again temporarily closed for this second lockdown, but I encourage you to go on the website and learn about it…

Ede was an Artist, his vision following in the footsteps of significant Artists before him such as Morris, Ruskin, Wilde and Lawrence to name but a few:

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ -William Morris.

This is an incredibly valuable lesson at this time, especially under the circumstances whilst we spend more time in them.

Taking this sentiment and applying principles of balance and harmony when placing things around a given space, we are able to create sanctuaries in our own homes. That which you already have, remember how you came about owning it, perhaps you purchased it because it caught your eye, was it a gift, a souvenir?

Treasure these things. They hold memories and are more valuable than anything money can buy. If it is a bad memory, don’t hold on to it, let go. Gift it to someone else, or a charity shop if it is worthwhile, turning a negative in to a positive and doubling up on your good deed. One persons ‘rubbish’ is another persons treasure.

Many of the objects in Kettle’s Yard, are repurposed, found, gifted. Each has it’s story of provenance. I hope you find time during our second Lockdown to make space for yourself, to encourage wellbeing and ease the difficult situation we find ourselves in; and in the future look forward to an opportunity to visit Kettle’s Yard and see for yourself.

Stay well x rLG


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25 years of Artworks ‘95 to 2020

So I’ve been rediscovering the world of my GCSE through to Uni Artwork. It certainly tells a story. I’ve always held on to my work, many times over the years I have considered destroying the lot.

I would encourage people to let go of their work as it is created, and especially for myself now, because I believe it is holding me back. However, I also look upon it as a time capsule. Much of this work I created before my brain haemorrhage; when I was told by my Neuro-surgeon that I may never be creative again, I took it quite literally to heart. I felt bereft and for many of the early years of my recovery during Art School I didn’t believe I’d ever be as good as I was at A-level. And so it’s like letting go of a part of myself, that I believed lost all those years ago.

A lot has happened since and I don’t have the capacity to hold on to it anymore. So, in order to move on, I would like to create a book, chapters as project’s, interspersed with some of the poetry I have written over the years and some of my favourite quotes and reflections in relation to all that has come to pass.

To make this a reality, I need to raise some capital, so I’m looking at ‘auctioning off’ nearly all my works to the highest bidder. I originally thought as one lot, but I’m guessing that is less favourable, so I will arrange it in themes. Life drawings; GCSE/A-Level; Foundation work; University Project Briefs x y z. That kind of thing.

(And as a little teaser) This is one of my Foundation Briefs in Printmaking – Identity.

Watch this space, or if you are able to help in anyway, please get in touch…


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Più Vivo

‘Più Vivo’ (Homage to the Hens) is repaired & back up…

The repairs are not discreet, steel wire now bracing the lid to the palette, reminding me of conversations with luthiers about whether a repair should be visible, or not (evidently, I believe they should be visible: I am an advocate of Wabi Sabi and Kintsugi).

Scars, or repairs are an intrinsic part of an object, or person’s story. We should not feel the need to hide them away for the sake of an ‘homogenised’ perfection; so many scars already go unseen, either mentally and in ourselves, or as skeletons in our histories. However, that does raise questions about labelling & our perception of the other.

Yesterday, I listened intently as two brilliant women talked about their lives growing up. Very different to my own up bringing, notably as I am white. One grew in London, listening to the stories of her grandmother’s experience as a first generation Jamaican migrant. The second growing up in South Africa, in the early years post apartheid.

Growing up in the military afforded me an unusual start in life, moving every 2.5 years from birth, everything changing except my family and the objects that defined the home. In the first instance the culture of a ‘dependent’ overseas was shielded within the confines of the base, culture from Britain filtered through and infused with culture of other places too. It was a good start in life, albeit a transient one within an institutional framework.

At the age of 11, my father recently commissioned in to the officer ranks, I left my parents and sister to get some continuity in my education. When my family delivered me to the school I asked them not to contact me for several weeks, as it would just make it harder and heighten the home sickness (similar feelings arose at the beginning of lockdown). So here I was, in another institution and after several weeks of feeling miserable I considered my options; carry on being miserable and have a terrible time, or accept this was where you were for the next seven years (apart from holidays) and make the most of it.

I chose the latter and had the best time I suspect I could have. Looking back I undoubtedly had dyslexia: terrible spelling and a preference for creativity; gazing out the window & doodling. So no doubt my school grades were better, in classes less than 20, than they would have been had I gone to any one of a number of high schools I might have traversed through…

The experience set me up to get on with life whatever it may throw at me, which in my 39 years has been some considerable events. However, everyone has their story and our ability to cope with and respond to events is informed so much by our formative years. For all the changes in my early years, there is no doubt I had a loving and privileged up bringing. Something not everyone is able to say, and whilst adversity can and has made some of the most astonishing people, it is certainly not with out struggle.

Listening to Louise Power and Myra Cooke on the Power Hour yesterday reminded me of this and I found myself reflecting on some of the films I have watched over the years: Tsotsi at the BFI in 2005, when I was making selections as a Committee member for Lincoln Film Society and the one which profoundly effected me watching it on a visit home when I was 11 or 12; The Power of One. Both of which I recommend giving some of your attention to…

Today marks a significant and auspicious time, as the day with the greatest moments of light. Reflecting on some of the events in our recent and past histories, the traumas experienced & perpetrated by our ancestors call for healing, as does the planet, Mother Earth, our home.

Please let us now move forward to a time when we see our differences, acknowledge our scars, lay skeletons to rest. Receive one another as equals & celebrate our collective achievements, for some of the horrors in our pasts have ceased, by an effort oftentimes, carried out by those most deeply and severely effected. Can we hold them (metaphorically) & perhaps even carry them with honour, out of respect to those who paid the price? In doing this, will deep and true healing come? To finally set firm foundations for a better tomorrow…

Considering again the piece of work, I have now repaired… Remarkably the oxidising and deteriorated areas of this piece withstood the gusts that otherwise affected it, some parts which did detach have now been placed as decoration. The story of this piece: a palette placed in a tree, on which I sat & studied the rescue hens as they pecked & scratched beneath. The oxidised form, a garden incinerator in which we cremated the hens after a fox paid a visit. Their ashes now dug in to the earth, under the tree from which I watched them. They taught me so much, without saying a word.


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‘The Machine Stops’ by E. M. Forster

Today, 7th June 2020 marks 50 years since the death of author, an Alumni of Kings College Cambridge E. M. Forster, know for his Edwardian works such as Howard’s End, or A Room with a View. The latter being made in to an exquisite film by Merchant & Ivory.

Recently, however, in a reading group with esteemed colleagues, I was introduced to an usual piece of writing for him; a Sci-Fi short story, less than 30 pages called The Machine Stops. An incredible work, cognisant of the time we currently find ourselves in, a parable of sorts, or cautionary tale? Though with slightly harsher Earthly conditions, given current trajectories not far beyond the realms of possibility. Fitting also, in respect to our ancestral troglodytes, whom we share with Bonobos and Chimpanzees some 6-8 million years ago, but I digress. We can reflect on Will Self’s Great Apes on another occasion…

To return to the Author of the day, E.M. Forster, if you have never read any of his writing, The Machine Stops is a good place to start. Alternatively, returning to the text a few weeks ago, I had fun making an audio of sorts, each chapter about 30mins long. Please excuse the odd pop & crackle and miss pronunciation, this was a first attempt. I also made the recording across devices, to try and evoke a reel-reel, distant, down the tubes sound & accompanied myself on the Rav Vast2, a delicious instrument I have recently found much healing through… Enjoy?!


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Month of May, 2020

The following text I drafted to share through the RSA as I had been accepted as a Fellow. I didn’t get round to publishing it through them and there have been several posts made by people in a similar vein, but I wished to share it as it holds true now, more than ever. Please let us be better as a collective, people, for the sakes of all our futures, for the future of the planet and all her children.

Original Image -JD Magwitch, Words -Shakespeare


In this month of May, 2020 I am delighted to have been accepted as a Fellow to the RSA, as an organisation that strives to effect positive social change. To mark this significant personal event, I wish to share a few words recent events have given me cause to write.
The Seven Stages of Man a Progression in Human Knowledge & Culture – A collaborative piece.

At a time when we have been called to make significant changes to our daily regimes, are seeing loved ones, friends and strangers affected, or befallen to a unseen predator; appreciating those who labour on regardless, when reflecting on the current Global situation I am reminded of the words of Shakespeare, as spoken by Jaques in As You Like It:
“All the World’s a stage…and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” Wishing to share the words more broadly, I looked through some of my recent works and photographs for an image to pair with the lines, when a friend shared his work through social media. The image was something he had drawn back in 2015 when he was in prison… it seemed appropriate, so I put the image through a few in-App filters & added the words.
Reading and re-reading those words alongside the image (above), especially having learned the story of the man behind it; considering the work I have done with people at all levels and on both sides of the Criminal Justice System; digesting some of the lectures witnessed via the internet, and a few articles recently read online, I find myself thinking further about this place in time we find ourselves. Given some of the considerable failings at a selection of top level world leadership, married with the relentless work of those who are managing things and working at the frontlines; to the individuals caring for their neighbours, listening to those in need; to everyone rallying to make PPE where there are shortages, or if it is found lacking. I am drawn to see a ‘Grassroots Movement’ that like the wind unseen, moves all it passes over.
Over the last two decades with the advances in mobile technology, we have seen a swell in inter-global communication, education and for some, sharing our personal outputs has become ubiquitous to the point of saturation. If there is a niche to meet, no doubt a search engine could deliver. Look at some of the amazingly creative ways recent technology development has enabled many to do things, when perhaps they wouldn’t have due to impairments. Advances in technology have also made this time safer and more palatable for some of us. Facilitating essential works and meetings at the forefront of scientific investigation, to coordinating and implementing beds, people and strategies. And for those of us lucky enough to have access to the internet, feeling the pressures of being stuck at home, we have been able to escape our confines by binging on Media Platforms, engage in weekly workouts, performances and exhibitions beyond our wildest dreams. That is not to say I am blind to the darkness that prevails at times, all things have their opposite, but we do now have a Kaleidoscope of new and varying perspectives, which contribute to a broader understanding. At the end of the day, it is where you place your focus that matters. Technology, when presented with malcontent, certainly for me increases anxiety, raises fear and mistrust of what our future may hold, but if we, as a collective, can learn together and come to understand that these developments stand to benefit us all internationally, we can make them work for good in life.
Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull is quoted as saying “Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.” This is true of what is within us personally, and also within the vision of our world and our societies. There is a lot of wisdom yet to be appreciated from these indigenous peoples, the world over. It is our responsibility to ensure that we learn all that we can from them.

Technology already has some solutions and may yet offer us many more, but this cannot be at the determent of our natural world. Wildlife and nature is resurgent, more so once the conditions are right (as we can see). We need to maintain and improve what we can of these conditions for theirs and our best possible survival and for the benefit of generations to come. This is also our opportunity to implement strategies to see that we deliver a world that will still be beset with problems, but less catastrophes.
Several months before ‘lockdown’, I had the privilege of visiting the Great Room of the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce at the Adelphi and seeing the work of James Barry RA. The series of six pictures illustrates the ‘progress’ of human civilisation depicting some of the greatest thinkers of our time, and in Barry’s own words ‘endeavoured to illustrate one great maxim or moral truth, that the obtaining of happiness, as well individual as public, depends on cultivating the human faculties.’
One thing is clear, things will never return to how they were by the nature of space and time, change is our one constant, but we can strive for higher ideals.
Our job and personal responsibility is to make sure we act with love and kindness, to the benefit of all. Whilst the stages of man are often depicted and illustrated in terms of age, I understand the stages to actually be those of our consciousness. If we can move beyond the constructed echo chambers which are underpinned by miss-representative algorithms and machine learning, perhaps the world at large, will now come to understand we are all one. Both in our humanity and in respect of all life on this planet, we call home.
Rebecca Lindum Greene FRSA
Honorary Artist in Residence, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge


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Sunken Garden Mural, Institute Of Criminology, Cambridge 2019

The last few months have been a hive of activity, hence the silence! However, one of the projects I have been working on has come to the end of it’s development. I’m sure there will be opportunities for further people to add their prints, but for now it has drawn to a close.

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The Mural was commissioned to mark the Institute Of  Criminology’s 60th Anniversary since it was established by Professor Radzinowicz in 1959. Following an Artist Residency in HMP Whitemoor last summer where I worked on murals in two areas, the Fens Unit & CSC. I spent 100hours working with the men over 12 weeks and with a small group of them during their therapy break painted tree trunk and branches then invited the wing to create the canopy of leaves with their hand prints. As many of the researchers at the IOC work in Whitemoor, it seemed appropriate to creat a sister mural in a disused area of the building which until now had born a striking resemblance to a segregation exercise yard.

On the Sidgwick site, in front of the IOC are planted a series of Silver Birch trees, so taking that theme I painted the trunks and branches and invited all people present in the building to create the canopy of leaves with their finger prints. As each did so, I took a photo of them from behind and have created the following montage, which captures the development.

The magpies are a feature, although a bird which has always been of significance to me, it is even more relevant as every evening at dusk a “parliament of magpies” congregate on the buildings around the area, before roosting in the trees for the night. I’m sure it speaks to their intelligence that the ‘Thief Of Birdom’ chooses to hang around the Institute Of Criminology. And so, I have painted Two for Joy…

Enjoy!


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Eosturmonath

I have had the great honour over the last year, of doing the flowers Fortnightly at the Cottages, Kettle’s Yard, alongside colleagues Sabrina & Nastasha. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, this practice was a great counterbalance to my work in high security prison HMP Whitemoor, with a variety of challenging, yet fascinating individuals.

Creating the Flower Art Works is always a pleasure, but has become increasingly so, since the arrival of Anna’s Flowers: where as before we would go to the market and select the flowers for the arrangements, I now arrive at the Cottages to find what surprises we have in store. Never failed to be impressed with the mystery delights found, its like a floral ‘ready-steady-cook’ …perhaps even, the makings of a new TV series with ‘celebrity’ Florists? Who knows, but here are a few pictures of the recent works:

 

In the words of St Bede, Happy Eostre!