Between 2006 to 2010, I had a very productive time both artistically and spirituality. I created a range of works that forced me to challenge my perceptions and open my mind to look beyond the walls of conventional thinking. Most of the time I did not know why I created the images I did or what they meant, however after a few days of contemplating a work I was usually inspired to name it and its meaning for me became clear.
One day I decided to take a gamble and exhibit at a Mind Body and Spirit show near Brighton, so I took a handful of art prints to sell over the weekend with my wife ‘T’. During the weekend the Art received some strange looks and some pleasant smiles. I felt like a fish out of water, but I somehow knew the work would speak to someone. In the last few hours of the show a wonderful lady came to the stand and was almost moved to tears by a piece of work. I asked her what it meant to her and the answer was fascinating. She purchased the piece work leaving my presence very happy. After that I sold a few more prints, I barely made back my travel costs, but that didn’t matter as my work had really touched some peoples hearts. Over the next 4 years I traveled the UK most weekends showing and discussing my thoughts on my Artwork.
Often waking at the crack of dawn to drive hours for a show where sometimes no more that 10 people would turn up. I never knew what to expect from event to event. From broken down scout huts to race-course executive suites, to thousands of people at Yoga shows and alike at London Olympia to tents in a secluded wood. I sold thousands of pieces of work, from small keychains to giant canvas prints, but far more importantly I met thousands of wonderful people who all had a story to tell if someone just wanted to take time to listen. So that is what I did I listened, I was just a person selling art and proclaiming nothing more woo woo than ‘challenge your perceptions’. I gave talks on subjects which I had discovered in my few years of questioning everything, I gave interviews and even appeared on podcasts. Then one day it all stopped. At a show in Lincoln my heart was broken by some Christians who told me that my work was produced by the devil in my head and they could pray it way. As someone who had been secretly battling what I thought was bipolar but we now know is dysphoria, this proclamation from them basically sent me into a mental tail spin. I walked away and never did another show.
I stopped thinking about art or spirituality. I stopped hoping and dreaming. I had always hated myself but now I wanted to erasure who I was. I change my name, burnt all my art and became a zombie on depression drugs. I ran and I ran and I ran still further away from that boy, that man who was broken by bullies and dyslexia, heartbreak and loss. As I would stand in front of my work trying to give hope to people who often just wanted to die … I kept say oh so do I, so do I.
So I metaphorically kill myself. I wiped who I was off the face of this planet.
In 2018 far from everyone and everything I knew except my long suffering wife, I went into an operating room and had my testicles removed, finally finding the ‘peace’ I was looking for all my life. I started along the long lonely path of becoming a transgender woman. Luckily I undertook this journey with the full support of my wife, who too just wanted me to be at peace. I shaved off my viking beard, lost over three stone and was as happy as I had ever been. Then twist of twists my wife suffered a prolonged sarcoidosis relapse due to MDF fumes at her work. She was rushed to hospital, and for a few hours it was touch and go if she would live. Thankfully she did. A few days later she passed out walking up a hill trying to ‘get some air’ even though I had told her to stay home and rest. She broke her leg. Due to her illness and her medication which is meant to keep her alive, her leg wouldn’t heal in normal time frames and she couldn’t risk having surgery, She was to be confined to a wheel chair for many months. Rightly or as my wife tells me wrongly, I decided to stop the transition and ‘man up’. She needed me. I had to push her everywhere. It was more than my heart could take to do that whilst being stared at because of my appearance.
As I write this it is about a year since my wife broken her leg, and now because her disease placing her on the extremely vulnerable list due to covid-19 we have not been outside for over 53 days. Like everyone this virus has shattered a whole host of hopes and dreams. But I am now trying to kick start my transition again. Thankfully I never stopped taking my hormones but my appearance is gross and I disgust myself.
I thought now is as good a time as ever to dig out my old hard drive and post some of my old works on the print site zazzle.co.uk. Not only because I do need the money, but because I remembered how much joy my art brought those who resonated with it. Going through all the old images and resizing them has been a joy and a comfort to me during this time. I only make a few pennies royalty on the postcards and greeting cards but thats okay as I do not have anything to do with all the printing, selling or shipping. I previously sold on Zazzle but took the store down over 4 years ago. All the samples I have ordered to check quality have always seemed to be of a good professional standard. So for someone who can no longer face crowds or the stress of selling my artwork Zazzle is a good answer. Over the coming months I will continue to add some of my newer photography and fun images and thoughts to my store.
If you knew of the man I once was, the one in these photos then this is what happened to him. You many find a random video or image on the web of who I was but I’m no longer going to hide who I was. That guy did some great stuff and while little ever seemed to go the way he wanted, I can’t simple forget 50 years of my life.
This post is another line in the sand and we move on the best we can.
About the Contemplation Art * 2006-2010
These digital Artworks have always made great talking points for anyone with an open mind while Also, proving popular with those that do not have conventional belief systems.
(Above my show stand for Quest – Yes that was me and yes I have change my name)
Whilst exhibiting this work throughout England , I was always amazed how deeply the concepts affected people. The creation of these images forced me to challenge my own perceptions on everything, sending me (albeit initially reluctantly) on a spiritual voyage which lasted 4 years. Then, one day, I stopped creating this work as abruptly as I started.
The messages I took from this creative whirlwind were to challenge the status quo, look beyond the wall of conventional thinking and see that validation from the traditional dogmatic Establishment has never really been required in order to feel at one with earth-bound nature and the great beyond.
Conventional thinking has often sought to discourage our natural wonder. The Establishment always seems destined to demand adherents to the ‘group thought’ of the day, encouraging the mockery of those who dare to think or act differently. From the dark days of witch burning, to the modern media equivalents: being unconventional and thinking outside the box has never been welcomed.
I love that there are still ‘rebels’ who see life differently. Those who seek answers, healing or peace in unconventional ways, people who bravely allow their playful imaginations to run free.
No matter how you initially feel about this work, I ask that you challenge your perceptions time and time again, reach your own conclusions on what they may or may not mean. And finally take what resonates with you and leave the rest.
*Formally called Visionary Art
Below are links to my Store on Zazzle. Using these links help pay the running cost of the site if you should decide to purchase something. For every print the company sells of my work I get a small royalty. Thank You your support is greatly appreciated .