Sunday, 20 April 2014

Early on a Rainy Easter Day, News from the Artist Extraordinaire.

It is quiet this morning, and raining.  Giant Boy went to his Grandmothers yesterday, the lodgers are at work or asleep, and I am wrapped up on the sofa with tea, at 7.00 am.  It is Easter Day.  It's blinking early. God dammit.

Happy Easter to you all!  Big hugs.  Now, down to the blog and here is all you need to know about where to come in May.  A Graceful Death is showing twice in May, in Southampton and in Brighton.  It would be lovely to see you there, and lovely to meet those of you who read this account that I have not yet met.

A Graceful Death is coming here for one day

A Dead Good Day Out is a fun day, a day for the family and a day to enjoy taking part in workshops and activities around death and dying (sounds sinister but it is not) and if you want to, to go deeper and find out more about coping with what dying means.  For example, my dear Soul Midwife friend Mandy Preece, will be joining Hospice Nurse Jenny Cane, from 4.15 to 5 pm to help with emotional and practical tips for when someone close is dying.  And for the more light hearted, there will be a ukulele band.  From 1.00 - 1.30 the Southampton Ukulele Jam will be singing "Fine Songs for a Good Life Lived and if need be a Fine Funeral".  

A Graceful Death is showing in the Church itself, on the altar, and will be easy to find.  It will be a full, jolly, interesting, creative day out for everyone.  I am looking forward to it.

A Graceful Death in Preston Park, Brighton.

Thank you to Rhona Reedie for designing this invitation.

The exhibition will open on Tuesday 20 May at 10am.  It will be open from 10am to 10pm daily, in order that all of you who have to get to us from work, can do so. To see the programme of speakers and events, please go to the newly updated AGD blog here, where I will update information for this exhibition 

We are part of not only Dying Matters Awareness Week, but part of the Brighton Fringe Festival too.  I am really happy to have the support of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, and thank them for their help.  This month, I will be writing a guest blog for the Dying Matters Coalition, about A Graceful Death, and hope that it will bring more visitors to take part in this event.  I like the idea that AGD is an umbrella, under which all people can come and discuss, share, remember, think of and educate on all matters to do with the end of life.  You must come too, and take part with us.  Write me a poem, tell me what you think, tell me about you.  Look at the paintings, read the stories, listen to the interviews by Eileen Rafferty, the film by Neill Blume, experience the wonderful music composed by Lizzie Hornby, read the poetry written by members of the public who were moved to do so, write your own poems, put a prayer or intention into the blue bowl of blessed water given to the exhibition by a wonderful lady.  Come and listen to the speakers, take part, for example, in the evening event on Thursday - (see the link to the A Graceful Death blogspot above for full programme details) -

An early Evening Salon on The Art of Dying - Ars Moriendi.
Contributors: Dr Muna AlJawad, Consultant in Elderly Medicine, BSUH,  Medical Students at BSMS, Rev Robert Eastern, Chaplain to Brighton College, And You!

What else, Antonia?

Well.  Dunno really.  I feel so very busy at the moment, that I revert to moron when asked what else I am doing.  I am writing a lot, for Dying Matters guest blog, for the online magazine e-hospice, for a new online magazine called Day By Day, and lots of Facebook updates.  

Paintings - well!  I have just done a God's Study, a light hearted snapshot of God's study as he pops out for ten minutes, leaving all his reading material and papers on the desk.  I have done a couple of these, and adapted them to the person who commissions it, for example, in this painting there is reference to Dad's Army.  The person for whom this is painted is a Dad's Army fan, and wanted it included. The clock is at five minutes to eleven, a reference to the television programme, Five to Eleven, on poetry and prose, that he produced back in the 1980s.

God's Study, always room for more stuff.  Not being delivered till next week, I may add more nonsense to it...
I have a portrait to do, and a Kitchen Fairy, and some decorated stones for Gail Martin Stevens who runs the Elizabeth Way Funeral Services oop North.  But God is good, time is but a man made construct, and I will have them all done.  


Date and Time - May 7th.  Here, in Bognor Regis.  2pm to 4pm. Free.

Event - "Conversations about End of Life, finding time to think in our busy worlds".  With Gail Martin Stevens of Elizabeth Way Funeral Services, we are hosting informal conversations with tea and cake, to begin this important discussion - what do you think about dying?  What happens if someone close to you dies?  Have you ever thought about it?  A safe, easy, jolly, serious, laid back, informal, whatever you want session with me and Gail, thinking about end of life matters, within our busy world and lives.

Place - No 18 Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis.  A community led venue, specialising in youth advice and help.  Also home to community arts organisation Fourfold Vision, who are supporting these end of life conversations in the community.

Come and chat, eat, discuss, ask questions, tell us your story, think, contribute, or stay silent the whole way through and run like blazes when it's over.  Whatever you like. All are welcome, disabled access. Email me for more details

Post script 

It is Easter Day.  Happy Easter to all of you.  I love you all.  Mwah.  I'm going to my mum's later to eat chocolates.

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