Tag Archive | mental health

After The Sugar Rush

After The Sugar Rush (2016, mixed media on paper)

My last drawing of 2016. Literally finished at 11:20pm on December 31st.

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After The Sugar Rush (2016)

A Grief That’s Been Gagged and Buried (2016)

A Grief That’s Been Gagged and Buried (2016, mixed media on A3)

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I don’t know when you could say such a time began (maybe at some point during the past decade or even earlier?), but I sense we are overdue some grieving time. And that’s because our civilisation (specifically our faith in a capitalist model – one based on exponential growth – to bring well-being and prosperity) has died. Grief is a natural process in order that we can rehabilitate so as to move on to the next stage of life, but it has been emphatically denied us. Its existence has been denied, and the denial has been played out in a turbo-charging forwards with the persistence of now-dead beliefs. And look at the pain that it is causing; to be forced to work harder for something deep down we know is not only going nowhere, but is in a process of perpetual deterioration. It has made knowing-zombies out us, an anxious-undead, clutching our Iphones, trying to climb out of the daily dread. But it has to give-way at some point. More and more of us are suffering under the psychological strain of knowing we will have to work harder and harder for diminishing returns from a dead/dying system, and all around you can see people cracking up. Nobody knows what this outcome will finally lead to, but there is potential for a rebuilding, not so much physically, but culturally. However, right now we are in need of an healing process.

This work will feature in the Wakefield Redshed section of Fighting For Crumbs (Art in The Shadow of Neoliberal Britain

Fighting For Crumbs (Art in the Shadow of Neoliberal Britain) is a group of artists from Yorkshire working amidst the after-effects of Austerity Britain 2.0.

The project was inspired by the film ‘Invisible Britain’ (based on the work of Sleaford Mods) that looks at overlooked UK towns and cities, and motivated by a request to contribute to the 50th anniversary celebrations of ‘The RedShed’ (Wakefield Labour Club). The event is based in Sheffield and Wakefield and explores the position of art, and artists, in a period when we are all being pressured to ‘strive’ for crumbs – a time when wages are low, and the market dictates creativity

Gage Gallery, Ball Street, Sheffield, S3 8DB

Monday 8 August: Opening night. 6:30 – 9pm
Friday 12 August. Music and poetry night. 6:30 – 9 pm
11-4pm

The Redshed, 18 Vicarage St S, Wakefield WF1 1QX

Saturday 13 August. 1Pm onwards. Film-viewing, and talk by JD Taylor
Normal gallery opening times: 8 August – 13 August, 7-11pm (call 01924215626 to check room is not in use).

England’s Nervous Breakdown

Lost for words

…not strictly, but they are wrapped up in a thick cloud of confusion and contradiction. But I’m putting out there EXACTLY how I’m feeling in the wake of last week’s referendum vote.

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Sheffield, 25 June 2016

Is this the nervous breakdown of a country? It’s becoming an unavoidable truth that what I’ve seen happening over the past few years has gone into overdrive since 23.06.2016. People around me having some sort of meltdown – something I suspect is happening because the strain and the pain of DECADES of Thatcherite Britain has suddenly become unbearable. Brexit, like it or not, seems to have worked it like an accidental alarm-switch.

Was Brexit an unexpected exercise of a country’s nervous breakdown, long overdue? And was this unexpected exercise the last, skewed, but true exercise of democracy we had left?

It is without doubt that there are people in places around the world enduring a hell the English (as this is mainly regarding the English) cannot imagine. But has this country, the first capitalist country on earth, finally broke down under the experience of late capitalism? Has life under this faded-glory-stained neoliberal project hit saturation point?

Last week I was off work, but, after failing to set up a postal/proxy vote, I wasn’t confidently care-free enough to miss voting. So I decided to spend my days off work heading a bit further than usual. It seemed the right thing to do upon a terrain that could, so to speak, be shifting under my feet.

On Tuesday I cycled all the way from Barnsley to York (exhausted, dehydrated, thus all the more porous to the Northern Europe-like feel to North/East Yorks – the red-tile rooftops could convince you there was no body of sea between Yorkshire and Denmark). YORVIK . On Wednesday I went to London, endured a far-more than customary level of alienation at Frustration at the all-out ‘Remain’ consensus congregating around the Kings Cross-based leafleters (even though I voted Remain myself). I felt wounded and inarticulate in a London that felt self-congratulatory-soaked in something that was promoting a cause that had no idea of the type of wounding I was feeling, a wounding I KNOW I’m not the only one feeling, because the wounds are slumped in the city’s streets corners when it bothers to acknowledge them. An anger rising up through the drains of Thatcherite Britain.

But I had too many friends with too many SENSIBLE reasons to vote Remain and too many frightening reasons not to vote Leave for me to take such a reckless leap for the cause of the anger I’ve been feeling for so long now. And on Friday morning I was stunned into inertia just like everybody else.

Aren’t we all lost right now? Heads boiling with a million voices all at once. Looking for blame victims. But I won’t blame 17 million leave voters by calling them stupid or racist. Calling people stupid for what for them is a genuine concern leads to nowhere, except a self-congratulatory flurry of Facebook ‘likes’.

“The Cunt with the gut and the Buzz Light-year haircut…calling all the workers plebs” (The Sleaford Mods)

In recent British history nothing has been as divisive as the destruction of the working class base, built over years of struggle, fucked over by Thatcher, and the market fundamentalism then driven between us all. Yet we overlook ‘the war between all’ conjured by this, and we parrot the words of a more affluent less trapped metropolitan elite for whom issues of race and gender are solely moral issues, and nothing to do with class stratification. The result is what you see in the video above. A top down, media perspective, which doesn’t even need to be based in London to be London-centric, looking at all those intolerant, stupid places like Barnsley -cherry picking the mixed up and politically incorrect voices.“Oh why, oh why can’t they be like us decent London Folk?” A slowly bubbling rage.

“I work my dreams off for two bits of ravioli and a warm bottle of Smirnoff “

 

So, these places where the majority voted ‘Leave’ – what do we do with these people who refused to do “the right thing”?

In 2015 the documentary Invisible Britain followed the music group the Sleaford Mods on a tour of towns not on the ‘cool-list’. Not just ignored by other music groups but also by the London-centred gaze of society. Invisible Britain is perhaps the only contemporary documentation of the great ignored that hasn’t stuck to a preconceived, condescending stereotype, laden with mockery or contempt. Expensively-educated Sacha Baron-Cohen springs to mind…

When you hear the Sleaford Mods, the lyricist Jason Williamson’s anger, if you ask me, is like a momentary placing of the head back on the shoulders of the decapitated and disempowered body of working class rage. Williamson’s seething anger at the alienation and humiliation of a contemporary life experience many can relate to gives a voice to this rage when the world is made to feel so unaccountably chaotic that the only tools for understanding it available are tools to blame yourself with for the hell that surrounds you. But, as the film states, they are still largely a lone voice.

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Manchester, 24 June 2016

That which informs racist anger isn’t born out of fresh air. Nor can those who spout it vanish into fresh air  – which is what I often feel many on the diminishing liberal class long for. Out of mind out of sight.

What do you do with these people, then? “Get rid of the buggers? “. Create two separate States?  One called ‘London‘, for the ‘tolerant’ ‘open-minded’ folks and ‘the rest‘? Actually, doesn’t this petition already exist?  The ‘I’m alright Jack-multiculturalism’ mantra conceals an hidden contempt.

The Leave result has clearly blown everything else out of the water. And as denial against it kicks in, the truth of what has simmered underneath the seeming tolerance and liberalism of the past few decades is coming out. It’s nasty, and I’m sorry to say the most upsetting things aren’t just coming from ‘racist idiots’ but from the younger section of the Remain supporters, chatting away in the cooler parts of town. Behind the ‘coolness’, their inherited social Thatcherism is rearing its ugly fucking head. Their contempt isn’t for the migrants, it’s for Britain’s socially immobile who will “probably never leave their home town never mind live in another country” (actually heard!). It’s an hidden hatred for the existence of those who “clearly haven’t tried hard enough to better themselves” and join aspirational and cosmopolitan Britain. It’s not a contempt for people from other countries, it’s a contempt for the working class of this country, and it’s equally toxic – if not more due to its invisibility.

I’m sorry to say this but they may have just sunken your cosmopolitan dreamboat…

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London, 22.06.2016

I can’t help but be convinced that, even though what evidently galvanised the victory for Brexit was a deep concern about immigration, the anger isn’t really meant for immigrants, but for the ruling class of this country, as inarticulate as the anger was. As self-harming as Brexit could potentially be to everyday people – it’s an anger about being ignored, overlooked and even looked down upon. And I’m not saying I don’t now find it all scary as fuck.

The same present day top-down reasoning bemoans the ‘loutish’ English for their seeming preference to take to throwing chairs and punches at other football fans than taking to the streets like the French. But after nearly 40 years of destruction of class consciousness and a narrowing of political horizons,  creating a state of stuckness that Mark Fisher calls ‘reflexive impotence’,  Brexit is a seismic working class revolt, even if it ends turning against the working classes.

The Ignored is geographical in nature, but it is fundamentally underpinned by class.

“The sorrows we suffered and never were free” Decades, Joy Division

In an article looking at why white working class children,  out of all ethnic communities, perform so poorly in the school exams they sit before joining the adult world, Paul Mason says that “Thatcherism didn’t just crush the unions, it crushed a story”. Far from pitting different working classes against others, Mason looks at what happened to a specific story. This was a story of a long history of struggle, from the satanic mills and mines of the 18/19th century, towards an increasingly equal and better country for the working class, propped up on paternalism and solidarity. But, he adds, “suppress paternalism and solidarity for one generation and you create multigenerational ignorance and poverty”.

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The Vale of York. 21.06.2016

Left to endure the hell of ‘prole-life’ with no explanation to the pain felt, or meaning to guide you through it, it’s clear that migrants, who are nearly always thrown into the very same Ignored-lands, are mistaken as being the cause of this pain rather than being effects of the pain being felt.

After 30 years of misdirected rage towards the neighbours, the headless zombie of working class rage reacts in a destructive manner. I’m not saying what has just happened is a good thing by any stretch of the imagination, but the limits of my own imagination saw that something like this was bound to happen in the UK at some point. The cause for either a leftwing Remain or Leave were not being heard because they appealed to how they thought people should think rather than how they actually felt.

In a competitive world everybody wants to speak, but nobody wants to listen.

A Psychic Timebomb (2013)

A Psychic Timebomb (2013)

Blair and Cameron’s  Britain…so much to answer for…

… a Negative Hedonistic Britain

Humiliation. Aimlessness. Shame. Anxiety. Anger. Dead-end pleasure-seeking.

Drink to take the edge off the pain. Drink to run away from the pain. Drink to locate the nature of the pain. Drink to find a way out of the pain.

Sooner or later you can’t see anything else. And I’m not even alcoholic –  I just can’t deal with it all once the sun goes down.

I’ll be honest, I’ve hit a point in my life where I don’t think I can carry on in this manner much longer….I’m hearing you England.

Regarding the past ten years I can’t yet express the pain at the deep regret at the world I’m supposed to function in. It bursts out in drunken self destruction- it’d be articulated in sober tears if I hadn’t become so walled up over the years.

“Keep calm and carry on”.

It’s very hard not to internalise negativity. After all, it’s encouraged by a process that has seen this island become increasingly private and lonely over the past few decades.

“Feeling uneasy? then stick your headphones in and drift into private inertia”.

But with each passing post-2010-year I’m finding that what I thought was MY Story – that my struggle with depression has felt to have been caused by a loss, and REVERSAL of a sense that the world was becoming and fairer, more tolerant, less cruel place –  was actually lots of other peoples’ too. It’s just that it was experienced in loneliness. It turns out that through the last decades of the 20th century many of us thought the millennium would be the harbinger of something better, and the cost on general well-being from the reversal of this conviction must be so huge.

Post-Rave. Post Britpop. Post Binge-drink Britain… what next?

And so to Friday 24 June…

As my train traveled through Manchester, and as a country tries to function after the morning’s news, I look up at the hills that circulate the world’s first modern city. This is a nervous breakdown!  It sort of comforts me in some odd sense, because I feel like I’ve been heading towards one for a long time, and it looks like the rest of the country has found its rightful place beside me for this mass collective breakdown. Things could get very dark very quickly, if the racist incidents being caught on film are anything to go by, but I’m in a Kate Bush-methadone right now, as I listen to a slightly slowed-down version of her Wuthering Heights. It seems to always stir a deep conviction of there being something better beyond, for which the pennines (whichever side of the pennines) seem to become a more than adequate threshold to. Some of us can’t give up on Utopia.

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Barnsley. 27.06.2016

LET IT BLEED…

Hearing that the English national football team had lost to a country with the same population as the Wakefield District (and  I think the problem is mainly just about England),  it felt like a symbolic act of surrender on a much larger scale. The country needs to collapse into a weeping mess, because if it pretends it isn’t having a nervous breakdown than the pain will just be extended and aggravated. Let this ‘pumped up’ ego-bloated nation, deluded about its place in the world, deflate, otherwise the pain will intensify.

This is as much a note to my easily beaten self as anything, but: right now, in the midst of what currently seems Dystopian, let’s not be swayed by the common rhetoric over the foolishness of Utopian dreams.Beneath my pathos, the pain I showcase idiotically at times is a unflinching dream of that better world.

Works in ‘Soul Searhing’ exhibition, Dewsbury

Although Dewsbury has always been a nearby town, the exhibition I was part of allowed me to discover parts to it I hadn’t seen before, as I climbed up the hill from the train station up to Crow Nest Park. I got a view that stretched back over to Woolley Edge, reminding me of the strangeness in how the industrial towns of West/South Yorks fold into different valleys from where transport connections and communication are almost non-existent in relation to their general proximity.

The exhibition is called Soul Searching and is…

An exhibition of mental health related artwork, on display in the 2nd floor galleries at Dewsbury Museum throughout the first quarter of the year.

The exhibition has been curated by Mark Milnes, of Creative Arts Hub. From a large number of submissions received via curatorspace and by email, we have selected a wide range of approaches to the subject. Work has come in from across the country; and we also have artwork from Canada (Emei Ma, nascentscienceart.org), and from Austria (Klaus Pinter).

The work is broad in scope, some of it exploring the dark recesses of the mind; others focusing on the transformative power of art, used as a means to overcome mental health problems. Featuring work from individual practitioners, and from organisations – including Women Centre Kirklees and Calderdale, Hoot Creative Arts & Glenside Hospital Museum (Bristol), the exhibition offers a serious exploration of a challenging subject which visitors will find to be raw and thought -provoking, and equally positive and energising.

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‘Soul Searching’ – Upcoming Exhibition

I have 4 works (The Planet’s Mental Illness, Disintegration, Not Humanly Possible, and The Index For Child Wellbeing) in ‘Soul Searching’, an exhibition exploring mental health through art and poetry.

'Soul Searching' Dews Museum poster

 

I’ve never shied away from explaining that mental health has had a continual place in the compositions I make; never shied away from telling people about my own history with mental health issues; never shied away from saying it as I see it: that the unrelenting injuries of life under a 21st century capitalism, that sustains itself through disbelief and cynicism, work overtime against our wish for a good happy, meaningful life. Which doesn’t make it impossible – but fucking hard, that’s all.

Tired of Life (“I Want To Leave Myself”)

Tired of Life (“I Want To Leave Myself”) 2016, ink on paper

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All I need to add about this drawing is that the title isn’t necessarily referring to me, and my state of mind. It refers also to a general mood in an age where I believe our increasing dependency on the ‘matrix’ is nihilizing us, daily; draining any colour from the world, and its eroding all mystery. These are the qualities things which make our time spent in this world more than a the knowing dead-end of unit-shifting pleasure-seeking.

Lost Bus Routes and Pre-Election Reflections

Lost bus routes.

Crofton

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P1030483“We drive down from Wakefield centre towards Crofton on a pleasant Thursday teatime, the time of the optimist if ever there is such a time. The road into Crofton provokes many memories for Michael. A perfectly sized-rape seed-covered hill that became terrain for (old skool)Doctor Who-provoked nightmare-scenarios; catching a bus all the way to Leeds; a ten pence bus ride to Wakefield centre. Memories of growing up here. We pass by a series of ‘Vote Labour’  placards, in contrast to the more countrified nearby village of West Bretton that is drenched in big, and no-doubt costly, ‘Vote Conservative’ placards. I am worried that size sometimes makes a difference.”

“1960’s (70’s?) small shopping/flats complex [a similar complex in nearby Outwood]. It is now part-derelict, and facing fenced off wasteland where a pub used to stand. Such complex’s intrigue me, evoking an urbanity of a Lost British City, introduced into these proletarian outcrops sticking out of farmland – known as former mining communities.”

“Cutting through large playing fields around the back of a council estate, a familiar experience to people born into the 2nd half of the 20th century all around the UK. Massive Gardens. One of the gardens is fenceless, merging with the field, something once quite common but now almost unthinkable. The smell of freshly cut grass, young people hanging out on a warmish Spring evening. It brings back memories of another life; a mixture of my own memories and no doubt those of my parents’ generation. This memory of council estates is far from an unpleasant one, and is far from being in line with the contemporary narrative of them. Fond memories, of world that seems to have only half-vanished do much to counter the negative, and (of course) ‘undesirable’ ‘un-aspirational’ press that council estates get. Which makes me realise that this story isn’t time immemorial. We walk towards some newer, yet never-finished, private, aspirational hovels –  no doubt casualties of 2008. They remind Michael that he hasn’t stepped foot down here for gone 30 years.”

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“As I catch my breath walking up an unusually steep suburban street [Wakefield is by and large ‘flatter’ than other West Riding towns], a long-lost vitality seems to be knocking loudly at the inner walls of the half dead person I have become. I know why this is. Yeah, this election doesn’t really offer much; but the unusually-high level of uncertainty regarding the outcome has conjured an emotional fidelity to the chance of a different kind of society, one where I can look to the future again. This feeling of vitality, like a plant that only flowers once a generation, is checking the atmosphere to see if it could become suitable. In this moment I recognise just how closely tied my chances of a better life are linked to the chances of there being a better world. It was certainly not planned, but emotional stakes place on the election result seem to have grown higher over the course of this day.”P1030500“After about an hour, we get back into the car and travel towards similar villages on the South and West Yorkshire border. Between the villages of Ryhill and Cold Hiendley, on these windy old lanes that link up all these former mining communities. Why, after 20+ years since all the spoil heaps and slurry pits greened over, hiding the near past, do many of us still feel the urge to say “this landscape’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Maybe it constantly feels like it needs to be restated due to the nature of mining communities; they are unique amongst other former working class strongholds, because they are a proletarianised workforce cut off in the middle of fields, whilst the politics and ownership of the ‘green and pleasant’ ocean they are lumbered in hasn’t really changed since feudal times. This became all the more absurd once the pits went, making the mining communities look like somebody had literally taken a knife and sliced a few rows of houses out of the city of Manchester and chucked it into a field. The opposing interests in close proximity around here has become all the more apparent again since the political placards appeared.”

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Lost Bus Routes. Mapplewell, Darton, Kexbrough. 7 May

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“This Thursday evening still feels young as we arrive in Staincross, still under daylight. Memories of May 2000, on the day we left school. Walking through this pathway of gnarled Oak trees, towards an old quarry nicknamed ‘the plantings’, which mimics a mountain top’s rocky outcrop vantage point over the surrounding landscape. All of these things, alongside painted graffiti-covering of the rocks, some of which date back at least to the early 1970’s , well, all of these things are that which the social conditioning of high school, which we were all secretly desperate to escape by then, had blinkered-me-through-fear from even contemplating, never mind discussing, on these obligatory school ending piss-ups that took place up here. Caught between schooled uniformity and anxieties that were too much in their infancy to realise their causation, I vividly remember throwing a full crate of Fosters lager, can by can, into the bushes when my friends were not looking, whilst walking down this very path. Today it would have been the opposite. Maybe I knew my psychological limits better back then…”

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“We walk back down the hill towards New Road, still in Staincross. Recollections of the long-gone 235 and 391 Yorkshire Traction buses taking me back from college in the infant years of a new millennium too young figure what it was yet. Fond memories of getting time on this somewhat longer journey homewards to let new music saturate a still-maintained-happy-ending-outlook. As I waded through cassettes, zoned out from the social world, in the days before we were all lost to our Ipods. A calm point before the storms. I’m speaking of late 2001 here, and if the world momentarily stopped in the wake of 9/11, so too did my anxieties in a brief moment of art college-enabled reflection.”

I lead us towards Valley Road [Mapplewell] for a very specific reason. My most lasting memory of the 1997 New Labour general election landslide plays itself out on this road. Aged 13, myself and my school friends took advantage of the general election-instigated inset day to go on a bike ride up to nearby area of Woolley on what I recall as a gloriously sunny Spring day. Having just purchased plentiful icepops from the now ‘all-propertied-up’ corner shop, we laughed at the seeming absurdity of somebody driving around in car shouting ‘vote Labour’ from a megaphone, when the election had been decided last night. Today, in hindsight, it doesn’t seem so absurd, looking back on what can now be seen as ‘the mood of the mid-nineties’, which New Labour rode. Utterly different to what was really happening back then, was this feverish spirit; a conviction that these were ‘good times’. After catching the back end of the Britpop virus, I was far too unclued-up and optimistic not to be swept a long. What, with Oasis, The Prodigy, Pulp, and later The Verve, it truly felt like the working class were back in charge, after what seemed like an awful 80’s. How bitterly wrong this sense of things proved to be. The mood on Valley Road is different now. A huge Union Jack moves in the very calm air, in the garden in a housing block of ‘good intentions’, built in the 1930’s to move people from the slums, betrayed by the past few decades. Will there be cause for celebration tomorrow? It’s funny how you never see any joy or celebration when the Tories win power.”

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“We park up in an area that used to be called ‘Darton West’, get out and walk up towards the recreation ground in Kexborough, which is across from the 1970’s-built cul-de-sac – the only place I still know as ‘home’. Yet on returning it doesn’t quite feel like home anymore. Yet I do feel quite emotional as we approach the first block of council houses to go up in Kexbrough for the miners in the 1930’s. It’s different now, as when I lived here I left and entered the place with ASAP-speed, with the notion of home then being too caught up with my fears of falling into dangerously depressive states. But now I see it as I remember it before all that shit; as it felt when I was a child. The rows of 1930’s/1940’s houses, they are still here; they exist. They exist in their own right just as much as any yuppie tower blocks are doing right now in some place elsewhere.”

“Michael picks up on the clear divide that constitutes the area I grew up in. One road literally slices the Kexbrough/Darton area into 2 separate places; one of council houses built for workers in the long-gone industries, the other a more aspirational, commuter estate, built up after the opening of the M1 motorway that slices through here. The two sides of the village have never really interacted. Yet there’s a divide even in the commuter-built area; between large detached houses with sandstone fronts (for managers, lawyers, doctors, headteachers?) and the oddly-named Roman Road area, where smaller brick-fronted detached houses cluster slightly more heavily. I can’t explain why it is called Roman Road, but it has changed much since I was young. Like everywhere really. There was the 391 Yorkshire Traction bus that came along here, an hair salon called Caesars, now just another house, and many children playing out on the street. Now there is nothing but passing cars, straggling dog walkers [the only acceptable walker in a car-dominated and paranoid estates], and us, looking weird now the sun is going down.”

P1030522“As we head back north towards West Yorkshire we drive past the large door making factory at the bottom of this hill, where a pit yard once was. Acknowledging it in my vision produces a knot in my stomach, and a poker-faced defiance against a slow sliding down toward even worse work and pay conditions, for those (like myself) caught in the headlights between 40hr-working-week dependency, and a sheer lack of job-hunting guile. “I hear […this factory] treats its staff like utter shit”. Michael responds by talking about stories of fist-fights on the factory floor borne out of misdirected misery and frustration. We don’t even need to confirm to each other our sheer disagreement with working conditions having to be this way.”

“The mood of earlier has certainly dissipated, and there is a shared silence confirming that this day is done for as we part company in Wakefield centre.  The updates about early signs of a Tory election victory begin to come through, there’s no hiding from it.”

A Cognitive Austerity

A Cognitive Austerity, ink on paper, A4

A Cognitive Austerity

My Creative Output Throughout My 20’s – A Retrospective

This may well seem a little indulgent. However, being just days from leaving my 20’s behind, my sense of self-worth is considerably less than secure, and I felt ambushed by a feeling of sheer inadequacy earlier today as I waited for a train at possibly one of the most neglected major railway stations in the UK, a feeling I felt I had to shrug. I have tried to shrug this feeling by ignoring what I haven’t done during the past 10 years, and what I have done. So here is a chronicle of things I have made during the past 10 years (some of the stuff I wouldn’t wish to show as my main body of work now, but it isn’t stuff I should try to deny was ever made also).


20 years old (2004)

P1020923The above painting was an attempt to make a landscape that resembled the experience of being locked under the control mechanisms of eating disorders.

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Mind the drug-the body the victim

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The Grim Reaper Snowman (a character used for my Things To Worry About t-shirts)

Image   Image  No Escape

Image   P1020927The Smog Monsters (character used for Things To Worry About T-shirts)

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Music:

Demons

Head In Hands

In Balance

In Balance written just before my 21st birthday; this recording made in 2007


21 years old (2005)

the mob

Images of my The Last Rainforest piece, possibly the first injection of irony into my work.

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ImageImage self portrait, rooted by worry

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Loosing Bits of Myself As I Get further Back into the Social World

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Everytime I Go Under I Lose More of Myselfeverytime i go under, i loose more of meE

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Images from UltraMarket

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ultra market (buy emotions) 5

Music:

Everything Goes Away

I Wish

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22 years old (2006)

The Phone Sharks (preliminary Tide of Society piece)

Image    Grim Expectations

ImageLike Bullets to the Skin

Image Barnsley After the Sea-levels Rise (Happy Ending)

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Barnsley in Bloom 2020

Image Image Green Graffiti, Junction 38 tree

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Barnsley After the Sea Levels Rise (Unhappy Ending)

Image Britain 2050: the Human Condition

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Music:

The Uniform

Change of Heart

Gotta Get Those Melodies

Red Carpet

Straight Lined 


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23 years old (2007)

Barnsley After the Sea levels Rise (Happy Ending)

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barnsley after the sea levels rise (happy ending) 2

Barnsley With a View of Other Towns

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awd

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Self Portrait in Co-existence with Nature

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Comfortably Blind

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The Underlying Pessimism of The 21st Century

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The Revenge of a Discarded Friend

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House-Hunting 2050house hunting 2050

If You Don’t Get out and Walk

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Music:

Mellow Out

Everybody Needs to Be my Friend

Generation Slut

I Can’t Keep a Secret

World: I’m not Taking This

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24 years old (2008)

Humans In Cages, art project. Drawing title: The Odds That Were Against us

The odds that were against us

Image Humans In Cages, art project. Drawing title: Land of Opportunity

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The Hole in My Stomach Is Making The Hole in The Sky

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This Hole Cannot Be Filled in a Carpark Overspill

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People Factory

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The Sprawl

The Sprawl (1697x2400)

The Sprawl (in situ)

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The Healing Process installation, Hive Gallery exhibition

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Music:

Sound Salvation

My Useless Concern

Kill Me Car

Planet Internet

Blind Eyes

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25 years old (2009)

Central Bombardment

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ImageGlobal Pillage

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The Alpha Forest installation, Emergence exhibition, Barnsley

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We Are Watching Ourselves Sink

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Looking For Truth installation. Part of Truth and Tribute exhibition

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Images of Tunnel Vision to Copenhagen exhibition, Barnsley. Set to coincide with 2009 Copenhagen climate summit

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Books:

Going Nowhere, Writing Letters to Nobody


26 years old (2010)

“I Believe in Capitalism”

Image Installation at The Working Artist exhibition

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The Logic of Neoliberalism

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A Final Acceptance

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Global Ghetto, 2045, Marks the Centenary of The Defeat of Fascism

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Books:

The Tide of Society

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27 years old (2011)

The Index For Child Well-being

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Image Image from Making a Mark exhibition, Hive Gallery, Barnsley

Image Image from Globalsapiens exhibition, Sheffield

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Image Image from Globalsapiens exhibition, Sheffield

Image of Achieving and Getting Things Done installation from  Globalsapiens exhibition, Sheffield

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ImageImage of Achieving and Getting Things Done installation from  Globalsapiens exhibition, Sheffield

In The City…

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Books:

Inner Workings (writings to accompany exhibitions)

Blogs

The Outer conflict reflects the inner conflict (thoughts/feelings after attending March 26 demo)

A Past returning to haunt and all roads forward blocked

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/2-sides-of-the-same-band-why-primal-screams-screamadelica-and-exterminator-are-the-same-album-just-different-emotions/


28 years old (2012)

Who Would Want To Listen To This?

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The Democratic Umbrella

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Heartbeat Gallery, Exhibition, Sheffield

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Image of Mary Rose: we are sinking installation, from Borderline Ballardian exhibition

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Image of Mary Rose: we are sinking installation, from Borderline Ballardian exhibition

Image of Memory Hole installation, from Borderline Ballardian exhibition

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The Planet’s Mental Illness

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https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/desperation-witnessed-on-a-facebook-wall-and-desperation-on-the-railway-lines-on-our-endless-commutes-going-nowhere/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/ghosts/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/i-wanted-to-know-the-exact-dimensions-of-hell-eating-disorders-are-caused-by-the-totality-of-global-capitalism-not-just-advertising/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/daft-punk-discovery-late-dreams-of-a-capitalist-hyperreal-utopia/


29 years old

The Place of Dead Ends

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Mind Camp

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ImageA Psychic Time-bomb

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West Riding of Yorkshire: A psychogeographical Account installation, at An Unofficial Alumni exhibition

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Books:

West Riding of Yorkshire: A Psychogeographical Account

Blogs:

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/just-where-the-hell-are-we-in-time/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/thinking-along-the-hallam-line-leeds-wakefield-barnsley-meadowhall-and-sheffield/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/our-dark-hearts/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/why-i-couldnt-stay-in-london-and-why-barnsley-may-be-my-beast-of-burden/

https://johnledger.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/the-blanket-of-malaise-hanging-over-2013-can-it-be-torn-down-in-2014/