Only love and death will change all things
– Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam (1926)
It could be worse.
That has pretty much been my life motto for the past two years and it’s actually worked out considerably well. As a result, I’m less prone to wallowing in self-pity, although perhaps I can thank my job for that, too.
After 20 months of uncertainty, pain, hospital admissions and tests, I’ve been told there’s nothing that can be done for my current health situation as there are too many risks associated with surgery. (Last resort and what we were subtly hoping for as a miraculous cure) There’s no medication left for me to take; I’m already on painkillers, plus chronic pain relief before I go to sleep, so a medicinal approach is also out of the question. Doctors have now suggested a “holistic approach” to dealing with the pain and symptoms that come with this confusing/unique health condition.
I’ve been a little weary when it comes to the term “holistic” because it felt like a cop-out when it was suggested on the post-consultation report. Almost like a “we couldn’t help you surgically, so try some homeopathy or yoga.” But looking into it further, it’s worth a shot considering we’ve exhausted every other avenue.
I guess the worst aspect of living with this/these health condition(s) is the absolute loneliness that comes with having to live with it. Of course I am incredibly blessed and lucky to have such supportive parents and family, as well as exceptional friends who have stood by my side since the day I was first hospitalised. Ultimately, however, having to live with ongoing pain and knowing there’s no real cure out there for me now is the worst thing. Realising that I’ve been through so much pain, horrid health relapses and symptoms, only to be told I should ‘go herbal.’ It’s awfully lonely; having to summon up the courage to say “okay Anisah, you’ve been through this before, you can get through this now.” Accepting that pain is a part of my life I just have to live with. When I have to leave a room, or take a break from work, or even duck to the loos when out with friends, I have to pray and beg that whatever’s causing my abdomen grief will just go away. “You just have to ride it out” is infuriating to hear; why me? After everything, why am I still suffering? Will it ever go away?
It sounds terribly despondent, I know, but I guess the lonely aspect of a health condition is something I’ve not touched on before, yet is imperative to consider nevertheless. It interlinks strongly with your psychological state of mind too, almost like a vicious circle. When I experience physical pain, my anxiety levels increase and I panic a little. As a result of living with these health issues, I’m prone to periods of feeling low and anxious for the future. I’m desperately hoping that a holistic approach helps me physically and mentally, because I am drained in both senses!
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Kahlil Gibran
If you look for inspiration in others, you’ll never find it in yourself.
You bleed out a thousand incomprehensible thoughts onto paper and suddenly the world commends you for being a fucking artist.
“A volcanic crater artfully concealed behind bouquets of flowers.” – Baudelaire on Delacroix
“Delacroix speaks a symbolic language through colour itself.” – Van Gogh
“Even when we look at nature, our imagination constructs the picture.” – Delacroix
“Oh! Young artist, you want a subject? Everything is a subject, the subject is yourself.” – Delacroix
Source: National Gallery
Not only did I have the privilege of visiting Tyler Shield’s exhibition last Thursday, but we somehow managed to stumble across a small gallery hidden away amidst a row of shops in Leicester Square! The gallery showcased some of the finest pieces of art, varying from sculptures to paintings to holographic images representing significant criticism of current society.
The prices of these pieces started at £32,000, which sheds some light as to why the owners of the gallery didn’t even try to approach us. Snobbery in a gallery is something I find quite distasteful, hence why I won’t mention the company! Nevertheless, both myself and my friend had a great time examining the works on display, and we were kindly allowed to take pictures of our favourite pieces.
The magic of holography
I finally got round to visiting the much anticipated exhibition ‘Decadence’, showcasing Shields’ work in the Maddox Gallery, Mayfair. Having read a few reviews prior to seeing the exhibition for myself, I was interested to find mixed opinions on his latest series. I later realised that these opinions are based entirely on one’s perspective of the subject matter and the form in which it’s portrayed.
‘Decadence’ is Shields’ manifestation of society and, more specifically, women in the court of Marie Antoinette.¹ He creates two incredibly juxtaposing, authentic images of women during this period; the provocateur and the oppressed. The director of the exhibition, James, kindly informed us of the contextual background to each and every photo on display in the Maddox Gallery. Each one has its own story and like he said, the longer you look at the photographs, the more you see.
I cannot commend and thank Tyler enough for allowing us to view his latest work in London, and for making it so accessible to us. There’s nothing quite like standing in a room full of art created by an artist you idolise. I’d also like to thank James for his welcoming hospitality and sharing with us everything both he and Tyler got up to in preparation for the opening of ‘Decadence.’
Here are a few of the pictures I was kindly encouraged to take. I would highly recommend visiting it if you’re in or around London. 🙂
I seem to have this obsessive desire to revisit the Saatchi Gallery every couple of months, and every single time I go every one of my senses is assaulted by the distorted beauty of the pieces on display.
This time round, I was rewarded with new exhibitions which are actually ending in a couple of days and I nearly cried. I really ought to stop getting so emotional at art galleries. (Unlikely) Until the 4th January, Saatchi are hosting exhibitions including Thailand Eye, Carmignac Photojournalism Award, Prints and Originals Gallery and UK/RAINE. These are absolutely phenomenal pieces of art, ranging from sculptures to paintings, photographs to films, from across the globe and the best exhibitions to date at the gallery.
My favourite exhibition from the gallery was the Photojournalism Award; a select handful of journalists from around the world shared their visual and personal experiences in war-torn or poverty-stricken countries who receive biased or virtually no media coverage. All photographs are aided with commentary from the journalists. I cannot commend these people enough for their work, as it’s such an imperative eye opener to the concept of censorship that we’re unwillingly obliged to accept in today’s society.
Here’s a few pictures I took from my visit!
Please do check it out if you’re in London!
Whilst on my adventure in Christmassy London last weekend, I accidentally stumbled across an art gallery and I can unashamedly admit it was love at first sight. Having been to numerous art galleries over the years, this one undoubtedly set itself apart from the rest by being effortlessly classy. The gallery displayed prestigious externalisations of contemporary art surrounding the concepts of realism, surrealist and street art, ranging from sculptures to paintings and murals.
The shockingly hidden gallery was empty when we walked in, and we soon realised that these works of art were not simply to be admired but to be bought as well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of everything I fell in love with but the owners did let me take a few snaps of the pieces that enticed loud gasps (which I most certainly do not regret.)
From my understanding of the relatively new company, this gallery on Bond Street is their newest one yet, with galleries situated across the globe in America, Singapore and it’s birthplace – Paris. I highly recommend giving it a visit; it’s art like no other.
All photos below are my own!