Hoping you’re all well and enjoying life. It’s been a busy few weeks, head down working on a few projects and paintings. I’ve included two recent works which form part of my Fusion Series. The works will to be exhibited shortly.
The Fusion Series is an experimentation of colour, using a variety of acrylic paints and ink, encouraging you to think about the relationships between tones and textures in paintings, how they provoke emotions and support mental well being.
A variety of health professionals accept that our healthcare environment has a significant impact on a patient’s perception of their medical care and, in some cases, their actual recovery. Health professionals continue to explore the psychology of colour and how chosen hues on walls, floors and furniture can have a positive, or indeed negative, effect on a person’s health and wellbeing.
Continuing the original theme, the attached works have been influenced by a growing body of evidence that climate change induced mental health issues are increasing. It is particularly worrying to know this is a growing issue with teenagers.
I will endeavour to share evidence and updates in future posts.
‘Children of the Snow Land’ is an extraordinarily moving, inspirational and absorbing documentary, filmed from the ‘roof of the world’ where families struggle and sacrifice everything to help their children.
From the age of 4 years old, children are sent to school in the city, hoping education means a better life. Unfortunately, this comes with the likelihood they will not see their parents and families again for 12 years. Children of the Snow Land documents the life experiences of children born in the High Himalayas of Nepal and follows the journey of three students as they embark on a perilous trek back to their respective villages.
One of the directors is Zara Balfour. Zara is an award-winning director, producer and writer with 18 years experience in all forms of documentary, film and content, specialising in films about the world we live in and people and cultures worldwide. She has filmed in over 20 countries, often documenting community projects in developing countries.
She began her career as an actress before moving behind the camera as producer and director. Zara set up Picture on the Wall Productions and has won awards at film festivals including Berlin Film Festival (winner of the Prix UIP for Best European Short Film), London Film Festival, European Film Awards, Telluride, Warp Records v Creative Review Awards and Cannes Lions. I was fortunate to catch up with her ahead of the film’s general release and ask a few questions.
What support did you get from the Nepalese Government or national agencies?
We didn’t ask for support in the beginning but the school organised a fundraising gala screening in Kathmandu after we completed the film. The Mayor of Kathmandu and the Vice President of Nepal attended. Now we have their support and we hope we can facilitate further fundraising events.
Was the filming of the documentary much of a logistical challenge?
The villages are off the grid. It was only ever two film crew plus a guide, porters and the children. Half the time it was me and co-director Marcus Stephenson or I was accompanied by our cameraman/photographer Mark Hakansson.
We used solar charger kits and backpacks, enabling us to film in difficult and remote areas. We did have porters and donkeys to aid our travel but the journey was treacherous. At times the donkeys would panic in the face of treacherous river crossings. All the rivers start in Nepal and head down towards southern Asia. Some of the dangerous moments aren’t on film and I am scared for the children going back home this year because they won’t be accompanied. It isn’t an easy journey and it’s tougher than it’s shown on film.
What about a sequel and is there anything you would do differently?
I would like to revisit the children in future to see how their lives have changed. Perhaps film them in a similar style to Michael Apted’s ‘Seven Up’ series, which followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964. On a technical level, a bigger crew and more resources would have been nice.
So what are the next steps?
The documentary will be streaming on demand and on general release from 14thMarch 2019 at Curzon Cinemas in the UK, Ireland and Malta.
The aims of Children of the Snow Land are:
To show a global audience what some young people have to do for an education – and allow the Children of the Snow Land to inspire people around the world with their tenacity, grace, courage and wisdom.
To increase awareness and help improve the lives of Himalayan children attending school far from home by helping them to stay connected with their families, and to ensure they make full use of the education for which they have made such a sacrifice. The film has already inspired donations of over $30,000 to directly help the children.
To encourage development of the Himalayan villages so that eventually children won’t have to be separated from their families to achieve an education.
Hi all! I’m please to share the video of my recent mural.Rise of the Phoenix is a recording of a commission by Phoenix FTA, an environmental consultancy. The brief was to create a mural on an office wall, incorporating the company logo and using primarily primary colours to bring the wall to life! The phoenix was adapted to fit centrally to a wall against a narrow corridor above a heater. The accompanying music, suitably entitled ‘Purple, Blue and Red’ is from the very talented Duane Eubanks and features on his album ‘Things of That Particular Nature’ distributed by Sunnyside Records.
Phoenix FTA’s mission is to empower businesses across the globe to implement practical sustainability solutions that fulfil their wants and needs. Through respectful dialogue and empirical knowledge sharing it aims to inspire individuals and help identify opportunities that will improve the effective use of global resources. For further information on Phoenix FTA please visit http://www.PhoenixFTA.com
I’m happy to share news that Black British Visual Artists, a collective of contemporary artists, presents ‘Here & Now.’ It’s a showcase of art which excites, challenges and explores multiple themes within the context of the United Kingdom from a contemporary black British artist perspective. I’m looking forward to seeing this collection of art by several black artists in the UK. The show runs from 6th to 10th of March, 2019 at the Oxo Tower. For further details please visit Black British Visual Artists on Facebook.
Hoping you’re all well and taking care of yourselves. I know some of you are now experiencing difficult weather. Here’s wishing the year will hopefully unfold with good fortune and better weather for all of us! I’m currently keeping warm in an office, working on a mural featuring a phoenix. The image is based on the logo of Phoenix FTA, an international sustainability consultancy empowering businesses across the globe to implement practical sustainability solutions that fulfil their wants and needs.
With respectful dialogue and empirical knowledge sharing, the consultancy aims to inspire individuals and help identify opportunities that will improve the effective use of global resources. For further information on Phoenix FTA please click on the link. I hope to share a short video, showing the completion of the commission shortly. Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Hoping you’re well and having an enjoyable week so far. Moving away from the arts for a minute, I would like to draw your attention to the continued efforts of the JAGS Foundation based in London. Over the last couple of years I’ve befriended its CEO Tracy Ford, who is a strong, persistant and determined individual I’ve come to admire and respect.
It has been 10 years since Tracey’s son, James Andre Smartt Ford, was fatally shot in Streatham ice skating rink. Since then JAGS was born, an acronym of his name, to campaign in reducing youth on youth violence on the streets of London. Since its start, JAGS has reached thousands with its message, from conferences to schools to universities to workshops. The organisation has campaigned in a number of youth violence specialisms, such as restorative justice, joint enterprise, female offending and supporting families of lost lives. JAGS has won multiple awards for its efforts and continues to support, educate and empower those affected by youth violence. The JAGS Foundation has its Gala Dinner at London’s City Hall on Friday 17th November and invites you to attend. If you are in London in November please join us for a night of inspiration where friends and supporters will come together to help mark the 10th Anniversary of what has become a catalyst organisation of change for young people in London.