Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson's Death

When I first heard it on the radio I dismissed it as a prank. I thought: 'surely that can't be right, it must be a joke Orson Wells style'. This was mid afternoon; as I spent the rest of the day shopping and then popped to a mate's house for a bit of socialising, it wasn't until I was about to go to bed at around 2am when my flatmate mentioned it and we had a quick chat about it. Of course, I was still in disbelief and said to him: 'it must be a marketing ploy'. I thought to myself: 'he staged his own death to collect the insurance money'. A bit cynical I know! When I woke up this morning and logged onto the internet to check my emails there it was on my home page news: 'Michael Jackson has died'. Gulp! It is true after all!

Hardly surprising even if sudden...but then death usually is.

This is a man who physically altered himself by changing the colour of his skin and his physical appearance through plastic surgery. I can't even imagine what went through his mind as he executed such transformation, let alone the amount of medication he took to cope with all the changes and injuries incurred along the way! Only those closest to him will really know the truth about his everyday existence. I'm not sure anyone really knows what he really believed...perhaps not even himself after a while. From the outside it looks as he was a very traumatised and confused soul.

He was one of the few, if not the only singer to raise to stardom at such young age and stay in the limelight for such a long time. He was adored and then loathed after his child molestation allegations. To grow up in such an environment, with such an abundance and incredible talent must have been a challenging situation. As a human being, I can't even start to imagine what it would have been like to go through life with a magnifying glass up and close all the time.. some of the questions I ask myself about him are: why did he change the colour of his skin? was he target of racial discrimination that led to it? why did he change his physical appearance so much? Was he addicted to plastic surgery? Was he a paedophile? Was he a virgin?

Regardless of all these questions and what people might say, to me he will always be a GREAT singer and dancer. He leaves a legacy that goes beyond his public persona. He certainly left his mark in the world and made it into the history books...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pom-Poms 4 Neurons

I am doing an installation (The Consciousness Room) at The Brain Unravelled exhibition in September and need hundreds of Pom-Poms for it. They will be hanging from the ceiling and will represent the neurons in the brain.

What I am asking is for you to make a Pom-Pom (or several if you are so inclined, the more the merrier!) and post it to me at this address by September 1st:

Pom-Poms 4 Neurons

70 Claverdale Road




As I am caught making Pom-Poms everywhere I go these days, the most common thing I hear is 'how do you do them again? I haven't done one since I was about 6 or something!' so here are the instructions.

The rules are:

- one colour per Pom-Pom,

- strong colours only (no pastel colours, etc),

- Pom-Poms should be no bigger than 10cm and no smaller than 5cm in diameter, and

- please leave a hanging thread of 2m (the room has a very high ceiling!)'

- any questions email

If you want me to credit you for your Pom-Pom making, please include your name and country with your Pom-Pom. If you want to take it a step further and tell me the story of how you came across my request to make a Pom-Pom and about the process, who you got involved, where did you make it, etc, I will be editing a book entitled 'Pom-Pom Stories from Afar' where I will include it. This will be available in the installation for people to read and the exhibition is free to attend.

a BIG Thank You in advance and enjoy your Pom-Pom making!


I came across the story of this guy called Nick who is doing the coast of Britain by bike to raise money for Parkinson's Disease Society. He started on Summer Solstice (21st June) and is aiming to do 50 miles a day. He promises to blog every day with updates. His blog is worth exploring as is full of interesting stuff. I love the fact that in Britain people are well into raising money for charity and are willing to go to all sorts of lengths for it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In the making