It's been a while since I wrote any blog posts for this site but that doesn't mean that I have been sitting on my ample behind doing nothing. Oh no, I have been up to all sorts of stuff! Read on for some of my recent activities in no particular order.
Out of the frying pan....
Many years ago I gave up a reasonably successful career as an engineer to retrain as a chef and my oh my was it a challenge. I thrust myself into an industry which was completely alien to me and it absolutely tore me apart both personally and professionally and all for of my love of food and cooking. So, zoom forward fifteen years and I have started to look back over it with a renewed affection and look at some of the writing produced about my time as a chef. It was very cathartic, so I have revamped the website and made it a little more user friendly to consume (sorry) and you can find it here - Peeling Walnuts. In addition to this, I recently wrote a blog for a very worthwhile Non-profit social Enterprise called The Burnt Chef Project which you can find here.
The Beauty of Collaboration
Anthony Gormley has his Field for the British Isles installed into The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and what a piece of work it is. I was lucky enough to take part in the installation process and have to say that it has been one of the highlights of my summer so far. It,s almost possible to describe my experience but I had a crack anyway - see below, as I have a reignited interest in writing which I have always enjoyed.
As I touch the first lump of clay, I consider the cold, rough surface where my hand makes first contact. I place the lifeless effigy in its new home, in front of the last, behind the next and the journey begins. Slowly they become legion built by a willing army. Together. Facing front, looking for a connection, slowly coming alive the thousand-yard stare shortens. I become aware of what feels like consciousness in the collective to which I look and which peers back. My fingers touch where the maker created life. The place where the energy of one soul transferred to another, where it became a force for good and whence it came alive. Together they become one, greater than the sum of their parts. The life force sparks the chain reaction, and it becomes clear. We are one.
Field for the British Isles, NGCA
Carnival House on the King's Road in Southwick have been having some fantastic activities taking place since the lockdown measures eased, and I was incredibly happy to be involved in one of them. I took part in the Paint and Plonk class, and led the group for an insight into abstract painting. And although it was a new experience for me and was a little nervous, I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences I have had for a very long time! There were some fantastic paintings produced and I got to see so many of the participants really looking inside themselves and getting their thoughts and feeling onto the canvas.
Paint and Plonk, Carnival House
Also at Carnival House recently I took part in another pop up art gallery which was again, a great night with another happening on 27th August so, come along and see some great local artists.
The last thing I want to share with you is one of my works in progress, which I hope will come together over the coming twelve months or so to be a really useful project/piece of work. When I look back at my teenage years, I realize that I received the sum total of absolutely no education about alcohol and how to safely use it. And as my children get older, I become acutely aware that if I do not take any proactive steps to effectively educate them, and other children in my local community, they are very likely to be counted in future statistics on teenage drinking habits which could be as shocking as the most recently published results of governmental research. So watch this space.
That's it for now so until next time.....