Tag Archives: art

Do not trust JobcentrePlus staff – they do not have your best interests at heart.

I turned the broken beyond repair door into an art project for our Out Of Sight Out Of Mind exhibition at Summerhall as part of SMHAFF 2016.
DWP Calling

I’m in the Work Related Activity Group of Employment and Support Allowance so I have to talk to a JobcentrePlus person at least every six months. At my last “interview” the JobcentrePlus employee, “P”, lied about where it was supposed to take place. He told me I was supposed to have attended the Jobcentre itself which is a lie because I got it changed to a telephone appointment and my MP’s assistant remembers me making the phone call to make that change. P is a liar.

P then tried to force me to take medication and therapy against my psychiatrist’s advice. My psychiatrist says I’m as well as can be expected and I’m not to rock the boat. Medication does not help me and there is no specific therapy available for my condition in my area. P thinks he knows better than my psychiatrist. P also gave me incorrect information about the Mental Health Information Station at the Walpole Hall. He told me they do therapy there. They don’t.

By the end of the “interview” he’d harrassed me so much that he’d pushed me into suicidal ideation. Instead of ascertaining where I was and who I was with (he knew I wasn’t at home) he sent the police round to my house. The police broke down my door leaving me out £150 for my insurance excess as the door was beyond repair. He did this to me despite my warning him just how fragile I am. I felt bullied and threatened and intimidated and I still feel that way. I freak out whenever I hear someone with a similar accent to his. The police were furious with him too. He wasted their time and by not giving them complete information he potentially jeopardised my life. He didn’t give them my mobile number, just my address and he knew I wasn’t there. The police only found me because my mobile number was on a crime I’d reported back in 2002 and I hadn’t changed it. If P had asked where I was and if I was alone he would have discovered that I was with my carer who is capable of dialling 999 if necessary. My carer chose to talk me down rather than needlessly escalating the situation. It would have worked if Jobcentre P hadn’t been so incompetent.

I’m terrified I’ll be sanctioned because I refuse to disobey my psychiatrist. I cannot comply with JobcentrePlus demands because my psychiatrist will not give me medication. What am I supposed to do? Buy random psychoactive substances on the street? I’m terrified. I honestly don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m fighting suicidal thoughts every single day but the actions of the DWP/JobcentrePlus just make it worse. They claim they’re doing this to help us but they’re not. They’re making things worse. Much worse.

Wankers Away

“Cunts are still running the world” – Jarvis Cocker

This country is currently being run by a bunch of wankers. They control parliament, the media and have a tight hold on “popular opinion” with their carefully crafted words of violence against the less fortunate people in society. They twist the facts, use deliberate lies, deception, demonisation, spin, manipulation and obfuscation to turn people against each other whilst they keep their privileged positions of wealth and control. This to me is wrong and I reckon we’d do much better as a society without them.

The almost completed Wankers Away artwork from the 2015 Out of Sight/Out of Mind SMHAFF exhibition at Summerhall. There are still two empty spaces on it. I think one is for Rik the Prick and I’m saving the last one. The newest addition is Philip Davies. The Tory MP who promised to speak up for Carers in parliament and did so. He deliberately spoke for 90 minutes so that a vote on free hospital parking for carers wouldn’t happen. He also wants a debate on an International Mens Day (19th November you ignorant piece of shit) and votes against any legislation that would force landlords to make their properties safe for human habitation. Guess where a chunk of his income come from? I emailed him to let him know I was adding him to this piece. He replied with five words, “Thank you – I am flattered”. Those words confirmed everything I already suspected about him.

Keep Calm and Take Your Meds – An Omnibus of Lunacy

My life long friend Eeyore models my book.

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I wroted a book! It’s the omnibus edition of the book project artwork of a similar name, Keep Calm and Take Your Meds (A Library of Lunacy). The original project was about my experience of being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and what happened next. People have been buying it. It’s all rather scary! I just need to sell another 3 books to break even. The money from anything sold after that will either go to charity or be put aside for the next print run assuming people keep buying it.

On publishing a book or WTF have I just done?

Back in early-ish 2014 I decided I might create something for the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF). Technically that’s more indecision than decision but I don’t do decisions. I can only do big, scary things if I can convince myself I’m not doing them. The result was what I call the Book Project and what everyone else knows as Keep Calm and Take Your Meds (A Library of Lunacy). It was exhibited in October 2014 at Summerhall during SMHAFF. It was fairly well received and one of the most common comments in the Little Book of Comments was a request to buy a copy of it. I’d had vague plans to turn it into an ebook or an omnibus edition but I’m terrible at finishing what I start.

One of the visitors to the exhibition was Jennie Renton who runs Main Point Books, a delightful little second hand bookshop in Edinburgh. She wanted to exhibit my work during MentalHealth Awareness Week which is in May. I agreed. In the process of finalising details for the mini-exhibition and a Meet the Artist event on 14th May, the subject of the Omnibus came up. Three or four full days of work later and the final proofs have been sent to a printing company in Glasgow. My book should be ready to sell at the event!

Argh! What have I done? I’ve created a monster! My brain is struggling to process this. I’m torn between pride and joy in having accomplished something, albeit with a HUGE amount of help from Jennie – I could not have done it without her, and terror because it’s terrible and awful and a mess and badly written and the artwork is horrendous. Several people, mostly friends, have already ordered copies but I’m terrified they’ll hate it when they actually see it. I wish my Evil Brain Pixies would just let me enjoy this moment but they won’t. They’re loving every minute of this. I’ve gone and done what I desperately try not to do. I’ve given them ammunition andthey’re shooting the good parts of my mind like it’s a zombie infestation.

Anyone know of a decent Evil Brain Pixie exterminator?

dad's army doomed

In which Lauren does art.

For the past eight years the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival has run during October. This year it was the biggest it has ever been. Exhibitions, films, theatre, workshops, music, poetry, book launches, awards and much more.

This is my third year of being involved although I don’t really consider making one item for an exhibition as involvement. I had a brush with it in my first year. Last year I became much more involved and for my sins ended up on a few planning committees. And I contributed to and invigilated at an exhibition.

This year things spiralled out of control. I ended up on even more committees and planning groups, even attending national team meetings, helped out at several events, submitted artwork and invigilated an exhibition.

2012
In 2012 my “Living with Borderline Personality Disorder” clock was exhibited at the Edinburgh University Chaplaincy Centre. I can’t find a picture of it at the moment.
Update 27th May 2015: Found some!

Living with BPD clock

Living with BPD clock

2013
In 2013 my Prisoner Cell Block BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) piece was exhibited at our Out of Sight/Out of Mind exhibition at Summerhall.

Myself and a few others being interviewed by Summerhall TV
A review of the Out of Sight/Out of Mind exhibition.

2014
Keep Calm and Take Your Meds (A Library of Lunacy)

An interview by Summerhall TV about the 2014 Out of Sight/Out of Mind exhibition at Summerhall featuring all new work.
A review of the Summerhall of the Out of Sight/Out of Mind exhibition. Wayback Machine archive version here

A review of the Ocean Terminal part of the Out of Sight/Out of Mind exhibition featuring new work and some work from previous years.

2015
Wankers Away

 

Passion

“Mental illness killed my passion”

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