I very much wanted to write a post for International Women's Day, but was at a bit of a loss until I was mentioned in a lovely tweet by my friends over at Daily Life Ltd.
This decided it for me; my International Women's Day blog post will be dedicated to the women I share the stage with at Daily Life Ltd's light box installation in the square outside Stratford Library, Letting In The Light, which is on until the end of the month if you fancy taking it in (it's worth it; these photographs don't do the scale or the luminance anywhere near justice).
I have to start with Bobby Baker, of course. Several of her diary drawings, completed between 1997 - 2008 and began while she was a day patient at a mental health centre.
This illuminated illustration particularly spoke to me. It's called The Daily Stream of Life, and features Bobby's mind as a river through which life flows, and she in life, sometimes in a rowing boat, sometimes in a canoe, sometimes in a fancier vessel altogether.
After a brief blip in my mental health due to an unfortunate series of circumstances, I feel I am bouncing back to a place where I can leisurely row along on the river of life, enjoying taking in the scenery and getting fresh air as I go.
Liz Atkin is an artist, advocate and speaker who raises awareness of, and promotes recovery from, compulsive skin picking through her art. The work featured in Letting In The Light, Lavish, transforms an illness which dominated Liz's life for more than twenty years into something really quite beautiful.
My favourite piece in the exhibition involved one of my very favourite things; word play.
By Jane McCormick, the piece has a back story that is well worth reading.
An honorary mention goes to male artist (gasp!) Anthony Woods who created a joyous ode to fashion icon Iris Apfel:
My piece is in great company:
I couldn't resist a quick selfie with my work. It was rather wind and rain swept as you may be able to tell; apologies for the quality of all the photos.
Letting In The Light is well worth the trip to a slightly unassuming corner of East London; brighten up your evening, and discover the truth behind Groucho Marx's quip, "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light".