Sunday, 22 May 2011

That other skin - Sunday Features - 22/05/11

Today’s features are an exploration of ‘that other skin’; the skin that both protects and hides us. The skin between the different parts of our lives, our beliefs and our relationships both with ourselves and others. Here the artists and poets question these issues in a way that is profoundly moving and often challenging. They make us think.

The features were inspired by the wonderful image and poem by Alenka, below. Here she questions the meaning of organised religion and what it has meant for her as a woman.

that other skin by © Alenka Co

and then there’s religion ….. by © Alenka Co
and then there’s religion
that other skin
the one you’re wrapped in
after they dunk you in water
to wash away some sin
you hadn’t committed
but blackens your soul
with guilt for the suffering
of a saviour
you didn’t ask to save you
ahh, religion …..
that other skin ……
the wrap of community
of comfort, consolation,
of culture, of bliss,
explains why we’re here
where we’re going
lays down the rules
and if those rules lead to good lives
then I bow with respect
but, please ….
don’t threaten me with damnation
I know when I do wrong
and I suffer for that
in a hell of my own making
please …..
don’t tell me God tells you what I should do
He’s God
He can speak for Himself
please …
don’t presume to speak for Him,
don’t judge me in His name
don’t use Him to justify
what you want to do
please ….
don’t make God in your image
be an image of Him

The next image and poem are in contrast to each other, both exploring the concept of ‘beyond belief’ in different ways. MoonlightLover is expressing her views about our society and religion whilst Liesbeth has dedicated her beautiful image to her father in law who did not believe in an afterlife.

Come Tenderness by © Liesbeth

Beyond Belief by © MoonlightLover
At twilight in the eternal city
Here`s tragedy in life without no pity
Crowds of onlookers pray for peace
While pagans look for the Golden Fleece
But in the fountain of disbelief
There is generally little relief
They say the Holy Virgin Mother appears
Her blood and tears are souvenirs
Forgiveness and insanity matted in her hair
It’s short walk across to St Peters Square
The papal legacy hidden torture of despair
You can smell the stench of guilt in the air
Cherubs with evil smiles
Hang from shops for miles and miles
And priests that have never been put on trial
They stand in the aisle with a pedo-smile
Suffer in silence little children
Just follow us on our holier than thou pilgrim
Coins thrown into the Trevi fountain
Could never maketh a golden mountain
There is no true God
The Papal state is run by the mob
So say whatever you want to say
Heathens know that Sex and Money rule the day

I placed the following image and poem together as they both spoke loudly to the viewer, both exploring the concept of speech and communication, both being inherently engaged with the concept of truth.

Seeing Red by © Janis Zroback

VOICE: What Will You Spread Today? by © Kristin Reynolds
Have you ever noticed how strange
the human voice is?
Be it spoken, written
or drawn—
rendered as any medium meant
to carry said strange human voice?
How it stands apart
as the exception to the expression
of every single
impression of man?
Voice is the perfect programming tool
for expressing either truth
or lies.
It is a singular tool for man’s possible evolution;
or subsequent immanent failure to become.
To be.
Even more than that:
it is a means by which to exponentially further either
the sun,
like a Buddha in the shape of a bird
busting out from the chest;
or create a sucking black hole
of nursing idle dis-ease
feeding inside of the self:
fully erect and holding,
it’s teeth like lucky treasure found
in a tomb made of buttery meat.
Voice is meant to be heard!
To spread what it sees inside of itself,
Cancer or Light:
what will you spread
with your most strange
and glorious gift?

I love the following image and poem, dealing with the meaning of togetherness and friendship, such important concepts for us women.

The Bird Watchers by © Cynthia Lund Torroll

A Better Letter by © mermanda
A better letter
to a dear friend
one that says more than
“Hey, how ya been?”
something from my heart
hidden deep within
The world is full of
and sin
people who look outside
and never question
why is the world this way?
we all need to wash it away
start fresh with a new day
let the sun burn away evil
and at night
let the stars refresh our souls
still giving us light
This I promise you
as a true friend
one that will never leave you
hanging in the wind
that when the rain falls
and you feel cold
when life feels like
its loosing its ground
like your spinning around and around
not feeling bold
and can’t hear a sound
I will reach out
stop the blurry world from
from going round
umbrella in hand
give you my hand
stop your rain from falling
and make you understand
that when darkness falls
I will protect you from it all
reach inside
suffocate your fears
strangle them with my tears
powerful they are
my pain makes you better
breaking your fall
I’m reading your thoughts
now your seeing clearer
rage starts to die
can sense it getting cleaner
heart beat is stronger
hear it beating slower
sweet rhythm it thumps
My will is working
this power to feel
must be for something
rather than sit inside
and be for nothing
if it saves some
who cares about myself
what I do
who I am
you’ve seen it all
is this the end
or this my true call?
save the souls
heal the meak
then in the end
feeling weak
I would do it all again
to know your ok
sacrifice myself
to make your pain go away
a true friend does this
again and again
until the end of days
until my time has ended
and to float away in the wind

Now to the theme of real skin – and what ageing makes us feel. Here we have a beautiful image and poem celebrating growing older.

Acceptance by © madworld

Age is Not Just a Number by © RhythmImpulse
Lets unravel the ribbon of time,
Loosen its noose around our necks
And slip back to the age
When we napped behind
The ribcages of silken clouds.
We can swing from candy-striped vines,
Soaring until the vast skies embrace us
And filter our veins with the same
Robin’s egg blue that powders its cheeks,
So that way
When the rope tightens and our skin sags,
When the clock screeches and
The sunlight devours our vision,
We will bleed sapphires instead of rubies.

The final image and poem questions the stereotypes that we face on a daily basis. Both are so strong and powerful. I love them both

Stereotypes by © Beth Consetta Rubel

No Heroines by © Sybille Sterk
Skinny girls in skinny skirts
Pouting for the camera
Showing off size zero figures
With not a word to say
Hard-working mums in sensible shoes
Hiding behind big bags
Juggling family and job
Ever reduced to the sidelines
Celebrities with big boobs
Posing for their audience
Spouting gibberish
Splattered on today’s news
Clever lawyers and doctors
Doing their jobs every day
Saving lives, putting away criminals
Supporting actors not lead roles
Politicians shaking their locks
Mouthing approved policies
In businesslike suits
Mostly unheard by the masses
Where are the heroines
Showing girls of today
To aim for the sky
And take no less
Than all that could be theirs
Where are the role models
Showing the girls of tomorrow
That their bodies are theirs
That make-up doesn’t make the woman
And size zero is just nothing at all
Where are the leaders
Showing our daughters
To be whoever they want to be
To hold on to their dreams
And to never ever let go


PS. The features are posted on the blog first this week as Anna is away for the weekend, they'll be posted on Redbubble tomorrow. :-)

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