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You can find the blog here now. All the posts from this blog are on the new one.
You can also find us on Facebook
The features today are all centred upon the theme of the discussion we have been having in The Cafe about things in our lives that make us want to scream. They may be huge issues, or just something not so big, but which keeps on happening. It may be issues about beauty, ageing or the way in which we are perceived by others.
The poems and art featured here all reflect these emotions. Every image and poem shows awareness, determination and strength.
I chose Sybille’s poem Listen to start off the features, as it so powerfully screamed our need to be REAL. I teamed it with Tamarra’s amazing image, Maid, Mother & Crone . Not an obvious paring, but in both the image and the poem, we are celebrating our own realities, and rejecting the stereotypes.
in the dull soup of day-to-day
we play our roles as proscribed
names become labels of the things we do
echoes of you and me fade to grey
in the world of shadows
ghosts of a brighter past float from room to room
sounds of a different life wither and die
nothing remains and nothing is what it seems
out of the white noise of
the voices on TV and cars rushing by
the wind howling and birds singing
the stair creaking and the silent tears
hear me scream
I AM REAL
Broken by Berns, and Shackles by Laura Broussard, seemed to go so well together. The dramatic and powerful image showing to me what happens when we are shackled by others. Laura’s emotive poem is equally strong in her determination not to let this happen any more.
Why do you trap me?
Only you and I, know the answers.
You entrap me.
Yes, you……., shackles…..
I won’t play by your rules anymore.
I am getting ready to throw you to the curb.
You won’t get away with entrapping me,……..
….. much longer.
I am going to smelt your hard metal,
and make you into a beautiful necklace, ….
No longer will I allow you to make me suffer.
I will make you into a beautiful necklace.
I will take the power away from you.
No longer will you “shackle” me.
Feel the heat of the smelting pot,……..
as I pour you into a beautiful cast, ………
and wear you around my neck,
as a reminder of all the shit, ………
you have put me through.
I won’t be shackled by you any longer.
I will change you,
and you will be the beautiful reminder ……..
around my neck.
February 10, 2011.
I placed dmcart’s amazing and haunting image I together with Jenifer’s powerful poem Hidden Needle In The Haystack by Jenifer De Bellis because both seem to be questioning the issue of ‘Who am I?” With both the image and the poem, we ar left in no doubt about the answers. Both are about a voyage of self discovery.
I’m the discarded grocery bag caught on the top of the tree.
The one blowing in the wind while the world rushes by,
reaching, always reaching for a sky beyond my reach.
I’m the overstocked spoon dispenser in a knife and fork world.
Waiting in the masses of loneliness to be the lucky chosen one,
squirming, always squirming for a chance just out of reach.
I’m the nickel and two dimes when it only accepts quarters.
Summing the equation’s three parts doesn’t equal the whole –
longing, always longing for something to add up right.
I’m the odd girl out in a sea of swarming rainbow fish,
swimming while struggling to stay afloat in uncharted waters,
treading, always treading just outside the restricted areas.
But I am not the cookie cut out from the gingerbread mold.
That one was bought for a quarter, eaten with a knife and fork,
and her crumbs became lost at sea once the bag flew away.
feminine by moyo is a hauntingly beautiful photo, and speaks to us about issues of femininity, sexuality and vulnerability. It shows a beautiful young woman in her prime. It gives a background, I think, to the strong poem by April Mansilla, – My Make Up, which speaks of youth, beauty, and the inevitable process of ageing that we all face.
And it came back
No excuse me
Just right there
Dropping the inkwell
Into my mind
Dispersing the thoughts
I have tried and failed
To keep bottled up
But I know I must take them
And all the bright colours
Won’t take this away
And bring back my once upon a time
Or I wonder about this ,that and oh the other
I have not worn my
Masquerade for ?
I dress in the same clothes
I fall asleep in
My face bare
With no trace of beauty left
You should see me now
I want to say to those who only
Took me at face value
Still want that snow white kiss?
I am decaying.
and I put on my favourite song on
and just kill time to feel
the melancholy that used to be
once upon my time
It is a fine
I open my eyes and wait
The poignant and yet powerful image Yesterday by Geraldine Maddrell so beautifully illustrates the poem by Cynthia Lund Torroll Daisy Daunted. Both the image and poem have a feeling of sadness and inevitability, but also in both there is a feeling of celebration of the lives lived. I love them both so much.
At almost eighty, some petals stay –
They have turned inward, slightly curled
and yellowed on the edges.
Her golden core has turned to brown
from years of smoke and sedative
and lack of air and light.
She is toxic.
The breath from my lungs
It is a struggle to sit
this close, to hold her hand
and not slump also.
On good days I can shrug
and float on top, more the
observer – sending care and pats
of simple reassurance.
She needs so little really –
thirty minutes of diversion –
no conversation of
any weight or effort –
just some eye locks
to start the shift.
She sits straighter,
a few drops do it.
She is funny,
when she forgets who
The poem, My Way by Maggie Summers, highlights the need for us all to be ourselves. She writes so beautifully.
I teamed this with the powerful image from m-mission which I think is a real motivator for us all. m-mission explains…”VENUS HAIR..RUTILATED QUARTZ KNOWN AS THE ILLUMINATOR OF THE SOUL.” I think that both the image and the poem illuminates our struggles and, hopefully, give us the energy and motivation to keep going, however hard the odds.
I have tried
so very hard
to be everything you wanted me to be
‘tho this time I know
it’s not my fault
it’s just the way
but I cannot compete
with a hated faceless stranger
for your attention
nor hide in the shadow
you keep me in
while you decide if
I am worth bringing out
into the light
if it’s taken you this long
to realise how brightly I shine
then you can’t be looking
I let go of the need to need
and I let go
of the desperate longing
there is no way forward
“The Flaw In Women”
The features today are inspired by the wonderful image from NumandisArt entitled A Woman’s Worth
With the image comes a poem, extolling the virtues of women, and the poem ends with the lines…
“HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.”
So, the features today are a reminder of the strengths that we posses, even in dire and extreme circumstances.
I apologise to all our writers that all the features are art this week. There were so many strong and powerful images that I had chosen twelve before I had realised. Next week I will choose twelve writers. Promise!!
Melancholy, by Marles Odenhal moved me. The pain and pathos on her face portrays so well the whole feelings of melancholy or sadness, and my heart went out to all our sisters who suffer from this. I also felt that the image simultaneously shows the strength that is inside, and enables us to get through and survive. Beautifully created using rich and passionate colours.
Deja Vu by the talented Dorina Costras also gives the feeling of sadness and time passing by. Once again however, the same feeling of strength below the surface. Beautifully painted in warm and subtle colours we are left in no doubt that this woman has been in this situation before, and will be there agin – but that she is strong and will triumph is not in doubt.
It is so great to see the art of Helene Ruiz in the feature gallery again. Helen is one of the most original and powerful artists that I have come across. In Hey, What’s the big idea we see a familiar theme of life being a game in which all the odds are stacked against us. The Joker at the top of the image smiling at his own mischief, looks downwards, master of all he surveys. But I can hear Helene responding with ” well, that what he thinks!”
Alice! Is that you!! In Da Bronx!!?? is self explanatory. Like all of her other work is is brimful with symbolism. It exudes life, love, disaster, renewal. I simply love it.
Got Doubt by Anji Johnston explores the substance of doubt. It captured me, because we all doubt ourselves at times, and here, Anji made me feel that we do in fact have a choice to embrace the positives or the negatives. We are the mistress of our own destiny. I love it.
A second feature for Marles Odenhal with her amazing image Frankfurt Underground. It is a deeply atmospheric image showing the streetwalkers of the city. Thestreetwalkers are hazy and ill defined – but so powerful at the same time. It made me stop and reflect on the inner strength these women must need to survive the work day after day.
The powerful image by Selkie entitled Dumb is another moving and strong image from her “Deaf, Dumb and Blind” series. This one is so powerful, and together with the others in the series, reminds us of the pain involved in not speaking out, not seeing and not hearing or understanding. Foe Selkie, this was, I think, a personal series, based on her experiences, but is stood out for me as an analogy for all the feminists who have found the strength and courage not to become deaf, blind or dumb about their own situations.
And she sold home remedy medicine at the market
by madworld is a wonderful image of an older woman, with all her life experience shining through. Again, a great example of the indomitable spirit of so many women. I love it.
The strength of women once again shines through the fabulous image Mother’s Love – Varanasi
by Tatum Wulff In all Tatum’s travel photos we catch the most intimate glimpses of the lives of women in societies where life is hard. The women show a strength and depth that makes us want want to celebrate their courage.
by Geraldine (Gezza) Maddrell is a great image, full of hope and determination. In Geraldine’s words, “There is something deep inside that longs to just surrender, let the struggle and self consciousness go”
I think we can all relate to that. A beautiful image.
by Ming Myaskovsky is an image of a woman that seems to express femininity and also determination. It expresses beauty, hope, vulnerability and strength. I love it.
The features today were inspired by Margaret Bryant – her emotive image and the phrase – “Stone Cold Foxy” created a a concept which really piqued my imagination.
I hope you will enjoy all the images and writing featured today.
“Stone Cold Fox Says Reading Is Sexy”: Margaret Bryant
I have been enamored of the expression “stone cold fox” since yesterday. So it had to be in the title. All women should tell themselves everyday that they are stone cold foxes, it just makes you feel good.
There is a great John Waters quote about the sexiness of reading -“We need to make reading sexy again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have any books, don’t fuck them.”
Concerto by Valentina63
I am the composer
re thinking every note,
timing every moment.
I am the pianist
hammering my will on every key,
my mind’s fingers dancing prestissimo.
I am the piano
waiting at the mercy
of each human stroke and tampered fate.
But Sometimes, …READ MORE
Be Careful With My Paper Heart by Lea Michelle
Feeling torn, crumpled and a little worn thin…A self portrait.
These ragtime days in paper towns on paper trains with paper sounds
We got a lot coming but don’t know where from
These are the dirty yesterdays
Of cracked puddles not yet done
The street lamps a fluttering so you best catch up
That light goes out and you’re done
Don’t forget all the wrappings and trimmings so nice
The wind cuts your face and burns your eyes like spice
So press that coat a little closer because that’s all you have left
You are paper made…… READ MORE
Xativa, Spain. This Lady, seems pensive, perhaps longing for those bygone days of the Hippys. In a crowded market, she seemed to distance herself from all around her, standing pensively looking at nothing, except perhaps her past.
you want to focus on the present
as if you were suddenly grown up and matured
‘the past is the past’, so you say
and as these words fly from your lips
like little black birds flying south,
in your numb blue haze of reality
(the universe of shadows you live in)
you don’t even realize
that I have become …. READ MORE
The gap in my stomach widens
my legs turn to jelly
groans vomit themselves
as I take in the facts
I told you
to go away
to jump off a cliff
to leave for Neverland
I shouted and screamed
I stomped my foot and
I turned my back
I hurled poison darts at you
I shot you with a gun and
I stabbed you deep
I kicked you
I hit you
I drowned you
in ugly words and accusations
in bitter tears and threats
in cold smiles and haughty looks
And still you’re here
Asking for more…
Which makes me wonder…… READ MORE
Another in my series of “Tragic Beauties”. Remembering the ordinary women in history who were trust into the spotlight and through misfortune and a tragic end to their lives are remembered forever as victims.
A Homage to Norma Jeane AKA Marilyn
What’s Mine is Mine by BeautifulDreamer
I’m not giving up my dreams. The texture and weight of them have seen me through many a storm. The anticipation of their fulfillment has comforted me when no human comfort could be found. I’ve gazed into the very heart of my dreams, lulled into a state of contentment by their sheer beauty.
I’ve discovered along the rocky terrain I’ve traversed (in weather fair and foul) that not many traveling companions are worthy of sharing my dreams. I’ve dared not whisper them to one and all; I’ve hidden my heart away, and sighed over the necessity of doing so.
I’ve felt the sting of betrayal enough times to make my sense of caution a vital part of my vagabond’s stock in trade. My lifestyle would not suit all, for infrequently I’ve discarded the shallow, the frivolous, the spurious. I’ve no use for small talk and flattery. I’ve learned that not everyone is worthy of my trust, just as I’ve learned to keep my own counsel as much as possible. To those worthy of my confidences (and I’ve found these to be few, and far between), my sense of loyalty and friendship know no bounds.
If you are invited into easy intimacy with me, we must have a vision in common. Your vision needn’t mirror or duplicate mine, but there must be some common denominator which enables you to recognize the beauty of my unique dreams. I must be able to catch the passion of yours, and respect the sturdy simplicity of their construction.
I’m not giving up my dreams. .. READ MORE
in the conviction
of my abstinence
in the face
of your own addiction
I did not
by your side
in the loneliness
of your solitude
of your sexual exploits
as I kept my
long term relationship
small… READ MORE
Whilst you are here – do pop in and take a look at the work of Agnès Trachet – our Featured Artist for January. Her work is simply stunning.
The features this week have been inspired by the work of Kallena Kucers. Although I am very familiar with Kallena’s art, everytime I come across her work I am have a surge of recognition and understanding of who she is and what she is saying. I always want to rest awhile in the images, where the more you look the more there is to see. Her work is both explosive and enigmatic at the same time.
The image this week that really struck me is “Substance (series 5) where the ephemeral being is suspended between emotional states. It is both moving and shocking, and also so very clever.
So, all the images this week have that same sense of substance – of lack of it. The images are layered with ambiguity and demand that we look closely to understand them.
In “Virtue of Opposites” by Zeb Shaffer, we are invited to explore that knife edge between love and hate. It is strong, powerful and deliberately ambiguous. Zeb writes… There is a razors edge that one walks blindly along with bare feet: between the feeling of pure love and pure hate. The slightest breeze becomes a tempest that can push one to fall on ether side in the blink of an eye and send one tumbling into the chasms of the abyss. This abyss is fertile breeding ground for the creative spirit. It is often the very womb that births the greatest art.
“Tears Of Fire” by Angela Burman, also explores the issues of love and loss, trust and betrayal. It is moving and strong. She connects the image to the poem by Dorothy Walters which finishes with these haunting lines..
The air here holds only emptiness,
a little dust stirring.
I think there will be wind tonight,
and the camels will cry out
in their sleep.
Thelma Van Rensburg is an artist whose wry look at ourselves as women, always makes me smile, and yet, with the humour comes a deep poignancy – a theme that runs throughout her work. In “Paper Doll pin-up” we see the streotypical 1950’s woman – obsessed as ever with body size and shape. In this enigmatic and ‘simple’ image, Thelma shows us just how insubstantial is this whole concept.
Geraldine Madrell is one of my favourite artists for her irreverent humour and for the overall power and depth of her work. This one is sheer fun, and in it, she describes so well the feelings we all have about the substance of our lives as women.
“My patchwork Heart” by Leni Kae is a rich and vibrant image, that shows strength as well as vulnerability. It explores the substance of love and relationships. It ends with the repeated belief that love will mend this broken heart that has been repeatedly damaged by love itself.
In Leni’s own words…
The lady in this artwork cradles her ‘patchwork heart’. It is a heart that has experienced much in terms of love, heartache, pain, joy, sadness, and each patchwork piece tells part of her story. It has been some time since she has felt the pieces together, but she decides that the time has come for her story to be understood, and for her heart itself to feel again.
The background of the artwork is like the patchwork landscape of her past, and represents her thoughts. The length of her flowing red hair shows the strength of her spirit; whilst it touches her past, her cradled focus is the key to her future…Love.
“Bad Day” by Marlana Marry is an emotional and dramatic image combining all the different elements that have led to this feeling of emotional hurt and imprisonment, whilst at the same time not giving over to self-pity.
“The Little Odd” by Nikki Ella Whitlock, is an intriguing image, full of symbolism. I do not claim to fully understand it, but find myself looking at it again and again. For me, it is a dichotomy of innocence and experience and of pain and pleasure. Again, it makes me question what substance sustains and what destroys. A clever and profound image.
Marlies Odenhal is relatively new to Pink Panther, but already her work is imapacting here. In “Imprisonment” she gives us much food for thought. The image hints at cultural differences in the lives of women, but also begs us to ask the question about the lives of women as a whole.
Cate Legnoverde’s image “Untitled” is a self-protrait. A shimmering, transparent body, which yet has real substance and form. It is so clever, and so very beautiful. I love it.
“Fate of the two faced” by Margaret Bryant, is part of the wonderful ‘Mandy’ series. Margaret explores the issues of women in a light-hearted and fun way. Although she makes us smile, there is always a message with a punch in each one. Her she explores deception and lies, and what happens to those who practice to deceive. Foe me – it also makes me think of the whole issue of plastic surgery and the ‘deception’ inherent in this form of self-torture.
Continuing with the theme of deception, I could not resist another image from Thelma Van Rensburg from her paper doll pin-up series. It is strong, ambiguous, both fun and serious at the same time. The woman here has no real substance, her body and face distorted and contorted as she also practices to deceive. But, Thelma has also made her seem very real.
We are honoured to have Agnes as our Pink Panther featured artist. Agnès is a truly lovely person. She is also an artist of national repute in France where she lives. She has exhibited widely, had her work published, been successful in art competitions and to top it all, is passionate about women’s rights.
Agnès art is an explosion of colour and emotion. Some of her art is humorous and irreverent. Other works are intense and powerful. All are epitomised by her unique style and distinctive use of brushes, strokes and colour.
Agnès’ story can be read below, and prepare to be as surprised as I was to discover that English is her second language. She writes better English than I do.
This is Agnès story.
I am a French painter but I rather consider myself as a woman who paints and so enjoys doing this. I started painting 15 years ago just because I had the opportunity to take watercolors lessons where I was spending my holidays. I appreciated this so much that I decided to continue when I went back home. So did I during seven years with two different teachers. The first taught me the basis – techniques colors. The second – a talented abstract painter – taught me just to look, to see the amazing of a splash or a line : he just opened my eyes and I am so grateful for that. He thought I had an instinct for composition and colors.
After three years with him, he said he didn’t want to see me anymore, that he had nothing else to teach me… We are friends now and I always admire his work !
So I went my way, experimenting other mediums such as inks, regular and fluid acrylics and anything I could paint with even completely unexpected tools.
When I start painting, I rarely have an idea of what is going to happen: I think I just use the impressions some atmospheres gave me and emotions I have just kept in my heart… So my works exactly represent me and I am so happy when they are able to touch the viewer.
Pushed by my family and friends I began to exhibit my works in my town in Amiens and its surroundings but also in the Parisian region. I was surprised to get a 7th place on more than 300 works for a challenge in Paris and awarded several prizes in magazines. Positive comments on artistic forums also encouraged me to build a website. I am always so thankful to all the artits friends or visitors who have the kindness to sign my guestbook !
I registered on Redbubble in April 2010 and received such a warm welcome here ! I met so many friends and got such sensitive and pertinent comments !
I am very grateful Anna and Sybille made me the “featured Artist of January” of the PPM ! It’s so encouraging !
I have worked a lot on women, trying to convey emotions, feelings, suffering… Even through my humouristics works I try to denounce discrimination or stereotypes women have to deal with… Maybe it’s the reason why I also have been chosen as an “honor guest” for a future exhibition organized by “Femmes Solidaires” in March. I am very honored and glad to speak my own voice through my works in this show.
I hope my papers, canvas, colors and brushes I sometimes “tyrannize” will keep on obeying me ! Maybe I look severe but they do know how much I love them.
I think this work’I don’t want to be a flower pot’depicts the lack of consideration ‘some women have to endure.
Sybille and I are going to start off this Feature by each choosing our favourites out of Agnès’ porfolio. PLEASE ADD YOUR FAVOURITES HERE TOO AND MAKE THIS A WONDERFUL MONTH FOR AGNES.
My first choice is “At The Museum”. I chose this because I felt I could relate to the emotions I see here – and because I feel as if I am growing nearer and nearer to becoming a museum piece myself. LOL
“Ballerina is one of my all time favourites and is a comment on the weight focussed culture of our society. It is full of humour, poignancy and pathos. It is fabulous.
“The Boss” is another highly charged and emotional work, rich in colours and form, and is a comment on the imbalance of power at work. In Agnès own words “I tried to convey the effervescence of the work at the office and the height of the boss against the employee.”
Agnès has a series of paintings, known as “The Wink Series”. They have all to be seen, both for their wicked sense of humour, but also for the exquisite sense of person that she conveys in each one. They make me want to laugh and cry at the same time.
“Sorry – I was just taking a bath..” makes me laugh out loud at the sheer fun. But notice how she has again managed to convey this sense of a real person inside the humour.
“Flower Woman” is again, another humorous artwork which I simply love.
“Offering” – simply explosive and wonderful.
The following six are Sybille’s choices. I am delighted that she has chosen a mix of Agnèe’ portraits and landscapes as all together they give an indication of the wide range of Agnès’ work. She has created a whole society of characters in these wonderfully poignant portraits. By contrast, her landscapes are deep, rich and mysterious, always hinting at much more than the scene itself.
I love the depth of the colours and the feeling almost of arrogance and majesty about this one.
This one caught my eye because of the striking colours and the simplicity of the curves and lines, together the colours and lines make for one arresting image.
There’s something so ‘of the moment’ about this painting. Someone caught in a moment of deep emotion, which makes this a very touching and beautiful portrait for me.
I just love, love, love the colours in this one and the way the textures and colours complement one another. Fabulous.
Again, the combination of colour and textures is just fabulous and the title says it all. This really is between the sky and sea.
Another of these deceptively simple images which none-the-less carry so much emotion and feeling within the deep colours and the softness of the texture.
There’s an amazing variety to Agnès art – from amazing portraits to landscapes to still lifes and abstracts – each one is intricate with a great sense of colour and texture. The more I look at her art the more it entices me to look again. Fabulous and a well deserving featured artist.
Check out the forum post on Redbubble to see other members favourite images, here.
There is so much wonderful art and writing coming into the group at the moment, that choosing just six of each is proving all too difficult. All of these are great examples of strong and powerful feminist art. I hope you will enjoy them.
“Evolution of A Woman by Maggie Vlazny” is an image so full of vitality and hope, that I could not resist it. “Our mouths and bodies speak for us in a new language, as the trees shake loose a rain of petals that stick to our slickness like skins we will wear forever. And just like that, I am changed.”
— Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing)”
The whole Mandy series by Margaret Bryant, are images that are filled with fun, yet each one has a poignant and strong message. I love the whole take -off of Barbie who is being given a whole new persona in this wonderful series. Here, “Mandy watches as a new recruit to the Inner Circle of Mandytude recieves her initation buzzcut. Mandy does not believe that hair makes the woman.”
“Alone” by Anita Inverarity, is a poignant view into a woman coming to terms with disability. Part of the ‘Style Stealer’ series, Anita illustrates a range of emotions so beautifully. This one moves me to tears.
“To The Light” by m mission takes us on an abstarct journey from darkness to light. I love the way she uses her precious gems to describe so well a whole range of emotion. here, it is a depiction of ‘fragments of a woman’.
“Unspoken” by Lacey Scarbro is a lithograph on bright white rag paper.This image portrays the deep, dark, haunting feeling that comes with the inability to free what is secretly kept inside the soul. The dramatic black and white abstract really does convey the whole range of feelings of not being able to express yourself.
A feminist, fun-filled Red Riding Hood which I could not resist. I just love her attitude and the strong message that accompanies it.
The poetry featured this week is moving, emotional and strong. I love every one so much.
“Understatement” is a sparse, emotion filled poem that manages to say so much in so few words. I love it.
I am such a fan of Beautifuldreamer’s poetry. I think she has so much to say about growing up in an abusive environment, and she says it with a voice that we have to heed. Here is another very short but emotion packed poem that is incredibly powerful and moving.
I chose ‘Helua’ for its originality and power, bringing new insights into the goddess. Although I am still not convinced that if God had been a woman she would have allowed so much badness in the world!
I think that ‘The Lucky Country’ is Valentina at her best, reminding us of the differences between what happened to the early immigrants into the US and our current views and mistreatment of the immigrants who want to arrive now. It is a triumph.
“My Ever After’ is a stunning reflection of a woman coming towards the end of her life. Full of musings about life and how she would like to be remembered. It is moving and powerful.
A gentle and haunting poem, bjeliMis reminds us of those beautiful moments of first meeting. Using few words to leave us with the haunting beauty that was first love.
Congratulations to you all, and thank you for submitting such wonderful work to Pink Panther.
Anna and Sybille