Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Handwriting - A lesson learned the other night




Handwriting


The other night I came across an old man on his own in his motorized wheelchair struggling to find his way home (?).

As I made my way to meet my other half I saw a taxi drop off a severely disabled man in what seemed a rare place to do so as it wasn’t the easiest place to maneuver a wheelchair. We asked him if he was all right to what he responded straightaway ‘No’, half mumbling but trying his best to be coherent. He couldn’t talk properly, we realized he had some sort of speech impairment and we hardly understood his desperate words but could sense that he was determined to get to his destination and needed, more than anything else, moral support.

After some juggling we made out that he needed to get to the main street in town, somewhere near Debenhams but was disconcerted and although he recognised the area he didn’t seem to know where he was in relation to the place he wanted to reach. We took to guide him to where we thought he wanted to go. It was freezing and he wasn’t wearing enough layers; his bony smooth hands were very cold and he kept searching for mine in order to feel some warmth. He kept embracing my hand firmly to his chest whilst repeating the word ‘warm’ as best as he could. He stopped several times sighing and taking a breath, trying to find his bearings. We repeatedly asked him if he knew where he was going or if someone was meeting him. He kept saying ‘No’ and other words we were unable to understand until he reached for my hand, extended my palm and with his finger “wrote” each letter of the name of the place he had in his mind. Five letters: COSTA! I pronounced loudly, he nodded in satisfaction and his face lit, at last we were able to communicate clearly and effectively.

We carried on and after a few more stops finally got there. We helped him in, he managed to stand up wobbling to reach his back pocket for a few coins to buy a warm drink. Meanwhile I went out to get help, not a police officer in sight but after a little while we realised that the staff knew him and was one of their regulars. We said goodbye and left.
What I learned was that this man, within all his vulnerability, disability and apparent frailness is a very strong willed human being, resilient and determined and he is not prepared to give up just yet, he is a fighter. He also taught me that although communication is vital to help someone in need, we can make ourselves understood non-verbally in very ingenious ways, his approach to tell us where he wanted to go was simple yet very clever. He wasn’t only tactile in the mere sense of “writing” on my hand, but what he really touched was my soul making me acknowledge that this is what being human is about.

I was awoken in the middle of the night by the thought of him, I wondered whether someone else had helped him reach his home safely.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Time does fly indeed!


Time flies! It was almost a year ago that we took part in the Being Human Festival held at The University of London with our Mexicans/UK project and we have only just realised that we never uploaded any pictures of the exhibition! Oh well, better late than never although it would have been better if we had done it sooner than later!

On the festival's opening night people we photographed for the project came along to have a look at themselves in the portraits we shot; it was nice to see familiar faces and hear their thoughts on the project. 

Those that could't make it made time to visit the show coming all the way from Sheffield, Manchester and Cambridge. A big thank you to everyone!

Mexicans/UK was awarded funding by the Embassy of Spain’s Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs and was one of 41 higher education and cultural institutions that were awarded grants to participate in the Being Human Festival (http://beinghumanfestival.org), the only UK-wide humanities research festival led by the School of Advanced Study (SAS) at the University of London. The exhibition ran from 12–22 December 2015. 


















Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Visiting our exhibition at Lakeside Arts







Today I visited our Uncovering the Invisible exhibition on display at the Wallner Gallery in Lakeside Arts, Nottingham and attended the artcodes workshop led by Horizon Hub where we learned to create and power up our own artcodes. It was a great experience to see how this technology works and listen to visitors comments and suggestions regarding the content of the show in combination with such codes. Finally after a three year wait we did it! Pablo and I would like to extend a big thank you to The University of Nottingham, Professor Catherine Davies who was key in making this happen alongside the invaluable support and input from Laura Carletti and her colleagues at Horizon Hub, Boriana Koleva and Susan Ali.
The exhibition is open to the public until 11th September 2016 and is free for all.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Delivering Mundos Posibles, a photography workshop in Mexico!





Finally the day has come! After much planning and Skype calls with my good friend Grisel Alcantara who runs the El Cine Club project in Playa del Carmen, the awaited day has come and we are so happy to be able to make this happen. We'll be delivering a photo-mural-yoga-film workshop for 5 days with children right by the beach under the title of Mundos Posibles (Possible Worlds). It promises to be fun, entertaining and experimental culminating with a exhibition and film screening. Also, Wilbraham Primary School in Manchester will be taking part in the form of a cultural exchange creating artwork to share with the kids in Mexico. Amazing!






Saturday, 21 May 2016

Process, a Bankley Studios members exhibition




Happy to be part of Process, a Bankley Studios members exhibition in our newly refurbished gallery. I am taking part with images of my Diary series. 

I keep somewhat like a visual diary since January 2015; I take or pick an image every day. It shows the process of my life, my interests, the places I’ve been in, the people I coexist with and to some degree my state of mind. It is an exercise that encourages observation and reflection, it makes me more aware of the moments through the day that I want to keep hold of.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Bucket List - Panel discussion at The Lowry Theatre

Very happy to have been invited to be part of this panel discussion about the work in progress of  the play titled Bucket List by talented Mexican actress Vicky Araico at the Lowry Theatre on the 11th March at 8pm.

Bucket List tells the story of Mexican orphan, Milagros, her journey from the sweatshops of Ciudad Acuña to Harvard University, and what happens when the promise of a better life begins to unravel. Part rags-to-riches, part revenge story, Bucket List utilises an extreme style of physical storytelling, live instrumental music and song, to explore themes of social mobility, neo-colonialism and freedom versus fate in modern Mexico.

http://www.theatreadinfinitum.co.uk/