Here is a list of all the people who so generously took part in ‘The Two of Us’ Festival Fundraiser and their social media contacts and websites. I have also included the details of Reel Rebels Radio where the event was held, as well as renting out rehearsal rooms at competitive prices the entire residence is available to hire for events - email@example.com http://reelrebelsradio.com t:@ReelRebelsRadio
We also had Dee doing the security – so for those of you who put on gigs etc. she’s the person to get in touch with at Security4u - firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally the event would not have come together had it not been for my great team Alba, Chikodi, Laurence, Nathalie Teitler and my co-host Rishi. Rishi and Alba are on the list of writers. Chikodi is busy working on her novel and not on social media presently.
You can find Laurence here i: @moniasseartistmuse and https://www.moniasse.com
Nathalie Teitler – t: @natteitler i:@natteitler
Photographer Simona Jausovec was there for the first set and I have included some of her photographs below. You can find her on instagram @simjau72
I have put the writers in the order that they performed.
Olumide Popoola - https://www.olumidepopoola.comt: @msolumide
Alba Frederick t: alba_writes
Leo Boix – https://www.leonardoboix.co.uk i: @leoboix i: @boixleo
Rishi Dastidar – t: @BetaRish i: @betarish
Karen McCarthy Woolf - https://mccarthywoolf.comt: @KMcCarthyWoolf i: @karenmccarthywoolf
Cath Drake - https://cathdrake.com t:@cathdrake
Guido Garcia Lueches – t: @ElGuidoGarcia i: @elguidogarcia
Amaal Said - http://www.amaalsaid.com i: @amaalsaid t:@amaalsaid
Keith Jarrett - http://zoneonetosix.blogspot.com/p/more-about-me.html t: @keithjlondon
Roger Robinson - https://rogerrobinsononline.com/ t: rrobinson72 i: rogerrobinsononline
Antonia Atwood - http://antoniaattwood.com/t: @Antonia_Attwood i: @antonia_attwood
Annika Cox - t: @annikamcox i @annikamcox
Zara Carpenter - http://www.zaracarpenter.com/t: @zaracarpenter i: @zaracarpenter
Celine Marchbank - http://www.celinemarchbank.com/ t: @CelineMarchbank i:@celinemarchbank
Michelle Rodrigues- i :@diaspora.daughter.dreams
Rachelle Romeo - https://rachelleromeoart.wixsite.com/rachelleromeoartist t@rachelleromeo i@rachelleromeoartist
Amaal Said - http://www.amaalsaid.comi: @amaalsaid t:@amaalsaid
Paloma Tendero - https://palomatendero.com/ t: @PalomaTendero i: @palomatendero
Elsbeth Van der Poel - https://elsbethillustrations.wordpress.com/t: @StudioElsbeth i : @studioelsbeth
Kathryn Watson (My Illustrated Mind) t: @017kat i: @myillustratedmind
Jasmin Woddis Caron - email@example.com
Naomi Woddis - https://www.naomiwoddis.comi: @naomi_woddis t:@NaomiWoddis
Amy Jenine Wong – http://amyjenine.com i: @letmeabc
Danny F - i@dannyf_the_artsloth
Artist Diane Goldie - https://www.dianegoldieartist.comt: @dianegoldieart i: @dianegoldie
What with the festival fundraiser for my radio show ‘The Two of Us’ and trying to balance such an undertaking with my ongoing health issues I have hardly picked up the camera. I have been feeling a bit disconnected with my photographic practice, that was until I picked up my Fuji x100s. I have a number of cameras, film and digital, but my Fuji is my go to when I need something user friendly that allows for good quality images in lower light conditions. The more I develop as a photographer the more interested I am in sequence and narrative. My friend Celine Marchbank is an inspiration as always, if you don’t know her work she is well worth checking out.
For the past few years I have stop sending Christmas cards and keep present giving to a minimum for my mum, brother and niece. Instead I give the money I would have spent on gifts to a local charity. This year I put a shout out on both Twitter and Instagram and asked people to suggest their favourite charities. Here’s the lis so far in case you feel inclined to share and/or make a small donation yourself.
Love always, Naomi x
Yesterday afternoon I had a really inspiring time at the ‘Looking for Details’ workshop led by photographer Celine Marchbank at Free Space Project in Kentish Town. I will be following Daniel Regan’s lead with his Visual Scrapbook and using this blog to post occasional photos and work in progress. Here’s my effort from yesterday. Enjoy !
Some years ago I had my very first radio show ‘The Conversational’ on Reel Rebels Radio. I became ill in 2011 with Lyme Disease and the unrelenting fatigue meant that I could no longer continue with the monthly show. A great deal has happened in the years since. I’m still unwell but I’ve become more accustomed to it. It would be a lie to say that I’ve either learnt the fine (and impossible) art of pacing or that I’ve reached a state of acceptance.
Two things have made a massive difference to my day to day living. Firstly I’ve plucked up the courage to call myself an artist and not wince when I say it. And secondly I’ve discovered podcasts. These two statements are connected. I can’t say for sure whether my artistic ability has improved, although I’m confident in saying it hasn’t got any worse. However my relationship to my work has shifted. I’m more interested in personal story than ever and more recently (the one I love and bed) have found ways to integrate my photography, writing and interview, for example Whoever Was Using This Bed .
Being ill for such a long time has intensified my contemplative nature. My love of podcasts has a direct link to my social isolation. On better days I go for what I call a local ‘photo potter’ a camera in hand, headphones hon listening to On Being,Made of Human, Invisbilia or whatever I've carefully downloaded and curated before I began my walk. Story telling and story listening (whether in words or images) have become an integral part of my life in the last 7 years. Chronic illness brings with it a number of emotional hurdles. Lyme has gifted me with high end anxiety as a near constant companion. I first experienced depression after my parents divorced when I was 11 and it’s been a part of my life ever since. Luckily the treatments I’m having seem to keep it under control, that is until I have a flare and I can spend months housebound and often to bed.
Even though I live with depression and anxiety I believe I have a great capacity for joy. One of my greatest pleasures is found in human connection and satisfying my endlessly inquisitive nature. I never know quite where I get my ideas from. It rarely feels like I’ve made something up myself and more that it plonks itself at my feet and I’d be a fool to ignore it. As my love for podcasts began to develop I knew that I had a real craving to do another radio show. I just wasn’t sure what. I was clear about one thing - unlike my other show where I had two or three guests a show - now I wanted to explore the long form interview and have just one guest.
Two of my favourite, albeit somewhat gruelling, podcasts are Terrible, Thanks for Asking and The Hilarious World of Depression. The latter began as interviews with stand up comedians but has now expanded to other performers. Inspired by both of these shows I decided to talk to writers and from all disciplines about their experience and the result was The Two of Us, aired on Reel Rebels Radio.
Writing is home for me. I think you’ll find the writers here, Joelle Taylor Miriam Nash and S K Perry incredibly articulate and generous about their own mental health journeys. I decided to focus on both mental health AND emotional well being as I believe it’s like the flickering of a candle flame and most of us move from one to the other and back again throughout our lives.
I’m also interested in lived experience and intersectionality. Mental health doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it cannot. I wanted to create my own mini mental health awareness campaign and to include exuberance, survival and complexity. The three guests that have appeared so far have been fearless in their honesty and shared breathtaking work.
I'm working hard on my new exhibition 'The One I Love' which explores the relationship people with long term invisible conditions have with their pets.
Where : Free Space Project, Kentish Town Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew Road NW5 2BX
When : October 23rd - December 14th
Private View : October 23rd at 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Hope to see you there !
Back in 2013 I did an online photography course with Vivienne McMaster. Vivienne's work encourages her participants to "discover tools that will help you to cultivate a relationship of self-compassion both through the camera and in your every day life" (her words from the website), the premise being that self portraiture can help us look at ourselves with love and lessen the hold of self-criticism. It can be a radical act to show up in front of the lens and direct that gaze, that multi-facted honest gaze towards our most bullying critic - us. We can feel the earth shift when we direct a look of love towards ourselves instead.
A year before this I began using photography as a way to deal with living with chronic illness. After feeling trapped in my body I felt an enormous sense of relief capturing what was happening to me on camera. I was both the photographer and the subject and that allowed me to explore my feelings in depth without having them overwhelm me. The camera was a tool for both investigation and validating my experience. I began my self-portrait journey wanting to record the truth and the last thing I wanted was to 'play nice' for the camera. As I continued my work with Vivienne I learnt how to enjoy being in front of the lens. I found out that I was a worthy a subject as anyone I had turned my camera towards.
A few years have gone by and I'm still adapting to a life I did not choose, still looking for my own story in the midst of change. The past 6 months have been very tough and I've got puffy and swollen in my face. This shouldn't matter, but it does. In an attempt to self-validate I forgot one thing - the constant passing of time. When I look at the photos above, all taken and processed on my phone, posing, pouting and beaming - I can also see someone trying hard to pretty herself for the lens. Looking at these pictures something is missing. Where is my body ? It's no coincidence that I live with an invisible illness. I've managed to hide myself from myself.
Looking again I can see that even the most processed of them are a part of my story. Some days I let my vulnerability show, others I shine with joy and then there are the times when I feel the only choice I have is to 'say cheese', hold my gaze and face the world.
Peter Pan Loses his Ability to Fly
My parents left me to defend myself with only sticks
and a few bad words. I open my milk-tooth mouth,
I've not even the jaw to bite. The inside of me is dust.
I want good fortune to stroke me
with a mother's bed-time touch.
I keep waiting.
My dreams are full of ghouls, angry fang-tooth dogs,
and dark corridors lit by just one flame.
If only I knew good things then my cottoned feet would lift
from the rubble of the earth, the split and splintered timber.
If I was happy, and not scared
I would rise like a bird
the island below my kingdom
and me, king for a day.