I’ve finished my entry for the ‘In My Head’ category in this year’s Grayson Perry’s Art Club . Ta-ta! Here it is in all its multimedia glory. If it doesn’t end up in the exhibition it will go on display in our own living room and disguise some annoying wires. It’s a depiction of what’s flying through my head when I’m meditating. If you could take its top off like a boiled egg you’d be able to see what was gong on! Common wisdom suggests that a mind in contemplative mode is meant to be little clearer. Sadly mine has other ideas. It wanders off in all sorts of directions. As you might notice some of my meditation sessions are scuppered by falling asleep or the need to pop off and make a big cup of tea!

There’s concerns in the old noggin that are pretty commonplace. I would imagine most of us think about the big issues: money, friends and family, time, our mortality and love won and lost. My worries range from the global, which is why the Ukrainian flag is there, to the more mundane. This includes the very British problem of whether it is going to rain or not.

More personal to me is a problem with keys that was an issue for over a year, a prisoner to denote my work and the seal that has nibbled me in the cove. He could well pop up while I’m trying to quieten my mind. Will he bite me today on my swim? I might muse instead of focusing on that elusive breath. I’ve also included my neurological traits. The bat represents the lesion resulting from a stroke a few years back. He has a red cross on his chest to denote my thoughts about personal health issues. And my wonky left eye isn’t there by accident. I had a squint when I was younger. Although it was operated on I still perceive the world as if I were cross-eyed.

It’s not all doom and gloom. I might get distracted by an amazing idea (the lightbulb) or my Duolingo Spanish learning as represented by the owl. Then again I’ll sometimes drift off and think about the next mosaic I’m going to make. That’s represented by the rainbow of tiles. I’ve tried to capture my spiritual life too hence the angel. And the butterfly represents my belief that I can manifest what I desire. Follow this link to read the story of how that came to be.

I’ve gone through a mental health crisis in recent months. Making the mosaic has been part of my own therapy. It has caused me to reflect on whether it might be rather too busy up there. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to make version two of my self portrait. Maybe with time the gap between my eyes and that grey hair will be a little more peaceful.

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  1. Just fabulous!
    I have a noisy mind as well. My thoughts are erratic and I have never managed to meditate successfully.
    I hope Grayson chooses your lovely mosaic. It is a corner.

  2. This is awesome. I have a terribly unquiet mind and I love how the flow of the tiles really capture the “swirling” way thoughts can come and go and resurface. I really like how you’ve captured the texture of your hair too – that must have taken some planning to get the flat, square tiles so… Curly!
    I’m really enjoying your exploration into mixed media, here giving you a sort of short-hand to describe some of the facets of your brainswirls.
    How large is the piece?
    Greyson’s gotta love it!

    • Thanks for your lovely thoughts. So the piece is 60 x 30cm, not big enough to fit in all the stuff that goes on in there. I have a bunch of old floor tiles in this size so there’s going to be a few makes on them! There’s a special word for the placement of the tiles, andamenti. Differences in the way that they are aligned can give the piece different energies as you’ve deduced. The curves are put in with cutting the tiles. Many people do a neater job than me but I’ve decided that a little less structure has to be a feature of my designs. I’m not good at too much order!

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