#myfamily “I always wanted you to be an artist”

480668_445916048817605_107682250_n
I’ve been having all sorts of difficult and interesting chats about my art today and I have ended up writing about my MUM!? Hey whatevs its #mylife! Let me introduce myself though I’m an artist & have films showing in London here I’ve been asked is my latest parody reality series anymore than a piss take, whats real whats not real. Wheres the art – how can you make something of meaning. How can you embrace the everyday and your love of mainstream without it becoming vacuous.
.
Hey! All I know is I’m trying to figure this out too. My art draws on my family and what I see around me! OK my latest manifestation is a glossy persona Megastar I don’t know if I created her or she created herself, she can spout bollocks online in a vain fashion, takes a lot of selfies but whos to say she may not use her glamour to question stuff. I also had a glamorous empowering granny who I believe used beauty and glamour for good I mean look even during my music video I made a friend of a local elder (above) we connected over love of gold sequins – maybe this glossy endeavour is meaningful art it certainly engages! I learned from the best and you can see the film trailer for Agog The Grandmother Diaries here. My muse!
.
I believe my art is navigating through family, friends, contemporary celebrity, glamour as potentially empowering and humorous take on belonging. What you BELIEVE is another thing. Im not just an artist whos done her MA read the theory and such, I have also had another EDUCATION from the women in my life. What can I say I’m navigating both powerful and intriguing life lessons and figuring my own way.
.
Let me introduce you to #myfamily. My art education is one thing but my family are an education in themselves.
.
I was reminiscing today about when Mum dropped me as a child at an ambulance centre with my friend Lizzie for national ‘take your daughter to work day’ Neither of our parents worked there! Mum felt the work ethic concept was empowering for girls and it need not be aligned to an actual parent she has always been such a maverick mamma. Needless to say we made the most of it our highlight being having our photograph taken with the ambulance from tv programme Casualty. I wasn’t even a fan of Casualty but it just seemed exciting at the time in that way when in ones youth anything out of the ordinary happening is kinda a bonus. We also embarked on some terrifying role play where they had set up real life accidents and there was a mad man who had attacked a woman and we had to say what to do next after some minimal education – I don’t care that it was role play I felt I was ill equipped to administer advice to the wailing woman and to be honest I’m not sure if I even knew they were acting, it was very realistic and I was too busy freaking out myself about where the attacker was.
.
The things my Mum sent me to as a child and teen and my god probably STILL now always involved some kind of participation and community drama. She even ran our local drama club as kids – I was sent behind the curtain for violating the enjoyment of the other imaginary rabbits by telling them “what are you doing they’re NOT REAL” (Mum said everyone had a beautiful rabbit and they were all stroking them) Hey you gotta be a rebel right? So traumatised were we by Mums enthusiasm for improv that to Mums disappointment me and my siblings ended up shit at drama. My little sister by all accounts was the most traumatised looking clown in a local production in the town hall we all attended. Mum still weeps about the vulnerability of the pale faced child clown and her frozen smile on stage and I didn’t even make it through the auditions at school for plays – Mum was gutted lol. We loathed Mum’s desire for drama you always fight against what you are encouraged to do. However if you saw me my sister and bro out we’re all loud show offs but we’re all quite controlling of where we will perform usually to each other is our favourite we don’t like to be told to do anything!
.
Mum’s ethos was education education education comprehensive school that is she didn’t agree with private schooling but you can chuck in an alternative in there! My Mums proudest moment wasn’t my 1st for my degree or winning a scholarship for my MA… both big achievements right? It was when I told her I was dyslexic. She almost threw a party – she rang all her friends. She was so proud that I had studied so hard and re-written things a million times that I got myself to 21 without it being picked up! She is a good Mum – she always helped with my work. My friends still laugh that Mum would book me into a local B&B so I would concentrate with no distractions on my revision. “Meg you were never free for socials” my friend recently told me laughing about me at school! So keen to encourage us to embrace all backgrounds and all people we were to go to every type of event, festival and workshop. She would get me and my friends to African drumming workshops as grumpy teens smirking as we learned the language of the drum. We were handed around a tribe of women she wasn’t elite about what we learned everyone skills were up for grabs. Arts yes but she thought we needed to learn cooking so I remember being sent to Normas and watched how she cooked chocolate pudding in the micro and my sister went to an old ladies house Margaret and learned how to drink coffee. Freda taught me Shakespeare in my attic bedroom and then danced naked in the rain in our garden with Mum as apparently the elements also needed to be appreciated in the thunder storm we were mortified! I went to Judo, woodcraft folk, girls brigade, brownies, guides, tap, jazz, extra poetry and writing classes and ALL sports I was a raging tom boy, petitioned for a girls football club in junior school and I obviously thought gender shouldnt restrict me and I insisted on wearing swimming trunks in public swimming pools as a little girl! Mum even enrolled us in a summer sports club for posh school kids in Bath. We may be from a comprehensive school but we must have been the only kids from Trowbridge to learn to play lacrosse. Not only that but she convinced the sports group to keep taking us in years after we’d past their age range, so we stuck out a mile as bigger than the others as she didn’t want us limited by our own schools lack of equipment. Mum met us after the sports with picnics – my friends still laugh that mum classed spaghetti bolognaise as a picnic food and she’d bring her own portable camping gas oven lol.
.
My strangest Mum appointment was me finding myself at a brain gym convention in a business centre which was all about water and the brain and was really science-y and we had to introduce ourselves and there were people there who were child specialists and learning difficulty specialists and I had to say “I’m Meg and my Mum thought I should come to this to help with my GCSE revision.”  She took us to all music festivals and Glastonbury festival her fave -  we’d come back to school sun kissed with a hair braid and leave on our festival wrist bands till they rotted off. Hey Mum was cool sometimes we thought!
.
And back to take your daughter to work day I honestly can not explain how all this happened I’m sure no one else would get away with telling an ambulance centre to take two girls randomly on a take your daughter to work day for Dads lol. Not only this but mum believes in community and equality when it was our birthdays she said it really important that all the bullies come too. So we’d have class parties from school where the whole swimming pool was rented out and for a few hours the bullies and the bullied were made equal through mutual love of over-sized floats and inflatables!
.
She also took us off school to attend her drama therapy workshops with people with mental difficulties, which now I think is wonderful but thing is when you’re little it all feels uncertain to what the fuck is going on in their play and trying not to look scared. If it was our birthday Mum tied a balloon to the confused dog and met us from school this was our treat. I really liked it! Mum’s punk rocker friends hosted our birthday parties they dressed as pirates I don’t remember why but my friends seemed to like them. One had a snake that my sister unwittingly hugged as it was wrapped around Punk Sean’s waist under his clothes – Sally never got over the experience. Mum hired a whole disco in our house and my friends were encouraged to be different animals. Mum STILL hires a DJ just to play in our kitchen! She believes dance is essential and should be inclusive. We always had to make friends with stray children on holiday and we had to dance and encourage the shy to dance with us or we’d get the glare from Mum! haha! Think what you like about my mum and my family – think we sound annoying – fine all I’m saying is if my mum told you to be an animal in a house disco you’d do it! And you’d feel bloody brilliant when she praised your giraffe-y moves!
.
Mum always filled us with dread, intrigue and love. What the hell who the hell are we being made to embrace next! So I have hit my 33rd birthday and somehow its come OUT and I have been instigating my own traumatising art and community events that I cant say I enjoy more Im compelled to do as I have a huge imagination. Recently one of these was making my home town of Trowbridge join me on a two year adventure into Trow Vegas where life was glitz and glam and I was ‘Megastar’ Read about this film here.
.
I celebrated my birthday with Mum in London, as standard we saw an alternative circus performers in LIMBO and then a film about gay flight attendants  dancing to “I’m So Excited” having spiked passengers drinks with mescs on a plane.  After discussing my show in London Mum looks at me and smiles “See you’re using art and drama now aren’t you.” With a twinkle in her eyes she says “I ALWAYS wanted you to be an artist” I sharply quipped back  “No you didn’t!” Mum laughs “That’s true I wanted you to be an actress but artist was my SECOND choice”
.
And with that I present to you #mylife my current exhibition of films on at Jerwood Visual Arts Project Space!
.
Go see it and follow me as Megastar on tumblr
.
This entry was posted in Community Art, Meg's Blog, Megs Grandmother, Trow-Vegas. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>