Parliament and my experience.

These are a couple of pictures of the St Mary Undercroft , the Chapel in Parliament which is private and used for the placing of ex prime ministers bodies before thier funerals, and special state occasions.

The main thing that impressed me was the plaque that Tony Benn placed in the broom cupboard to commemorate Emily Wilding Davison who hid herself illegally during the night of the 1911 census campaigning for votes for woman , she believed if she could hide all night she would then have to be recognised as living in the houses of commons. she died of injuries in June 1913 under the King’s horse at Epsom.

This woman has always been a hero of mine since a young girl and i felt honoured to be able to stand where she stood but also find that in politics these days how sad that world leaders are being so short sighted to treat woman in poor and denigrating way making me wonder how much still needs to be done in a world of injustice.

The other thing that stuck me was the exquisite workmanship that was done so many years ago in 1297, and looks incredible today.

it must be an inspiration to any crafts person today with such a high skill level of finish and intricate detail which was almost made me breathless to see.

In terms of how this has influenced my work , I have become less insular and considering and learning far more about how we engage as a nation and make rule, how politics is part of our life but we tend to disconnect and place blame rather than engaging more and learning to influence those practices.

I feel my work can have a voice, and it is important how I represent myself and others. Who and what I am talking about can have an influence. Writing can become a part of my creative voice and I feel my dissertation has influenced my work and visa-versa. which came about with the piece  “are you alone or joining the party”. I intend to make some more pieces which are more politically influenced and have been granted a bursary to help fund my cost of materials for this from the Patricia Penn award.



Grayson Perry

I went to London to see Grayson Perry in conversation and discuss his own work , politics and Art universities. This was very interesting, his overall message was that students need to be themselves and follow their own creative yearnings. I agree with his opinion as I believe your own creative process is very important, and only by following your own creative desire will you satisfy that craving from within. I feel this is good to be reminded of this by someone who has seen success and I will do my best to stay true to my own beliefs and not be swayed by commercial demands in life.

I have also found that my desire and need to do more meaningful work, be clearer about my concepts and direction is becoming more important to me and looking at how and why I am planning my work and how it relates to all that I am showing the audience. How I relate  my material with my concept and present it, how it is perceived and what my intensions are need to be considered more thoroughly.

Rachael smith

Constellation , post feedback , self reflection.
From the feedback I received today, I have learnt that I need to write more from an academic perspective and less from my own.
I need to give more structure to writing , with my chapters having introductions, clarifying arguments making my chapters more structured from making my point and leading into the next chapter.
I also need to stay on point , check my evidence for and against and what conclusion can be drawn from this and how does it relate to the next paragraph . My agreement needs to be stronger especially at the beginning of the dissertation and also needs to show that disability has a huge amount of variety.
I propose to move forward by restructuring my chapters making sure each leads into the next.
That each paragraph makes a point and that there is a clear argument for and against and that it is written clearly .
I will also look for a proof reader. Most importantly I need to stay awake when re working and working on written work this is extremely difficult sometime , today being one of those days.

Dissertation proposal

I have not had a computer for the last couple of months as it has been broken and away for repair, this has made life very difficult as I work with speech programs for reading and writing.
I have now eventually recieved my computer back, after I have finished my propsal and my deadline is up. I have managed to do the best I could without the resources I usually use, not only am I severely dyslexic, but reading shuts my cognitive functions down with M.E, so i have struggled to read and write and this I feel has impacted greatly on what I believe I could have achieved. I do feel pleased with what I was able to complete, but this took me so many hour to finish. I did not have time to refine what I had written and I realise some of the advice I was given was incorrect regarding the layout of the biblography, which I now know to be incorrect that it is not in alphebetical order, which I should have trusted my own judgement.

I have expanded my learning about disability, social and medical models and the wider subject of identity, this is both interesting personally and professionally. I would like to learn more about disability, how it is perceived, as there is still so much stigma involved surrounding disability.

It appears identity of disability has been subject to much debate and criticism over the years in which it has been lobbyed to achieve vast changes in law in this country.

Identity and labelling have been crucial to the movement of disability and great changes have been made in the last 30 years, these changes and the social and medical model now seem dated. I would not have been so aware of the movement and models if it had not been for all the reasearch i have been doing.
I have found that i need structure to enable me to reaserch effectivly as reading is so difficult. I have found that going through the index of the book helps greatly to allow me to see the relevent peices of the book; this is a new technique for me.
It seems from my reading that the logo and other parts of the identity of disability has much room for change and development,like my learing styles.
I feel so interested in the information I am learning but finding I have not yet found a really suitable and efficient way of collecting and gathering the informatioin without many hours of research for individual books, I do not seem to be able to skim or speed read, in fact it is the opposite and I get stuck on the same line or page for long periods of time.

There are still plenty of reasearch avenues I still need to pursue for example, how much do we depend on diagnosis? support and equality? There are many questions to ask and even more to answer. I intend over the time of my dissertation to answer some of these questions and clarify some of the complex nature of this subject.

I have learnt in the past that I am a practical learner in learning stlyes and “doing” helps me learn, this is not easily related to reading or listening to books.

I have learnt some key fact about disability, and the trouble is we identify with those who look like us or behave like us and we naturally look for similarities to relate to. In past campaigns and marches politically only a couple of thousand disabled people attended in the UK when there are more than 40,000 disabled people and rising; so it seems that even disabled people do not want be identified with the identity of disabilty or parts of it. Mobility and all kinds of identity issues could also be related to such small numbers joining in to recognised groups. I still have much reasrch to do and many areas that I can broaden into, journals, lectures on You tube and other people’s research and papers.

How many surveys ever been carried out on the disabled? Do we need a new logo which every can identify with? to unite disabled people? How well educated are we?
This question of identity, unity and positive image seems to be important and complex and I need to explore further.

Intergrating my learning into my physical work will help me remember information which I am reading and learning. I am not sure as yet how I will do this but do know this would help me remember information as being a kinesthetic learner I am hoping to integrate this into my learning approach, maybe diagrammes or drawing may help in this way.

Dissertation and constellation

I have had dissertation tutorials and one to ones, I have found this most confusing to be honest and have found I am questioning the subject matter of my dissertation. I find that my way of working and thinking must be based in the practical as, if not, I seem to have no reference point and get lost in my own thoughts and feelings.

As I was speaking to Clive Cazauxe about research, he suggested that i may be suited with my subject ideas to his knowledge as i have some understanding in philosophy. This is true in part as I have had experience for many years as a counsellor and outreach worker, working with complex human issues such as drugs , alcohol, eating disorders and many other emotional and physical states of being, then going on to outreach and accredited Young People (YP) with disaffected conditions or lifestyles. This work i was very happy in and found key points which seem to go across the board with work I am doing now, these are: i have an empathy with YP and other people who are in a state of change or have a desire to change and like to enable and facilitate that state of being, often using first hand knowledge and reflection to support and empower these transformations. To start a conversation which may inform and inspire, as we all have passion and it is just finding were it resides within us which is the key to a happy and successful life, one with quality. That often when transformation happens it is an opportunity to embrace new and directions and abilities. Part of my interest extents to death and whether life can be extended through inanimate objects and do objects hold more than just memory, do our bodes have memory beyond our minds? I feel they do, I also feel we can have a resonance of ourselves and that is why Egyptians made pyramids and used death as a way of transportation from the material to the afterlife and the spiritual. They saw the two worlds connected and I also see this connection, not in the same way but in a way that if we are remembered and loved by those alive and kept in a positive way as ashes etc we may continue to have that life in the hearts of those we have loved, who knows how this may progress. This all feels like it is relevant to my work and is interlinked by myself as a natural state of me which I reflect in my work, I still have many questions to answer and work to do. Looking at these subjects is helping me define what I will be looking at in my dissertation and research into my thoughts , ideas and questions and previous knowledge will inform and direct me.
I have now, through many hours of thought and reflection, realised that I would be best served looking at disability, ability and how this is portrayed in many ways art forms and socially, how it is perceived in social and clinical models and also looking from a personal and person centred way. As a result of this reflection I have decided that my original tutee Ashley Morgan was suited to my need more as a dissertation tutor and that maybe I complicated confused the situation by changing to Clive suddenly.

I intend to seek research to see if there are measurable outcomes to learn from on how physical interaction with making and doing reflects on disability. Disability and identity are far more relevant a subject with strong written academic research base and images to which are seen daily.


I have found blogging frustrating at times as i cannot seem to convert the type of file to be able to upload the media files i ahem recorded with interviews of first hand research. This i am sure will be a learning curve, i do though find i feel slowed down by this lack of familiarity to blogging, i am sure once i have mastered this format of information i will find it extremely useful.

Organising blogs has been a struggle while feeling exhausted and in pain