Art, Article, Joy C Martindale, New Work, painting

Sensation In Print

What helped you get through the most recent lockdown?

I turned to music and had the radio on for most of the day, every day! I found music provided a much needed form of escapism.

In my current practice I am exploring the act of making art as a liberating gesture.  The various positive sensations of pleasure, calm, elation and catharsis that listening to music gives me, as I paint and draw in my studio, collide and combine with all the other sensations I am experiencing at that moment and are translated directly into my painting. From music – to my body and mind’s response – to the painting, to the viewer experiencing the work, is a chain of sensations. These chains of sensations connect us to each other and help us make sense of our realities, as Haruki Murakami explains so eloquently here:

“Because memory and sensations are so uncertain, so biased, we always rely on a certain reality-call it an alternate reality-to prove the reality of events. To what extent facts we recognize as such really are as they seem, and to what extent these are facts merely because we label them as such, is an impossible distinction to draw. Therefore, in order to pin down reality as reality, we need another reality to relativize the first. Yet that other reality requires a third reality to serve as its grounding. An endless chain is created within our consciousness, and it is the very maintenance of this chain that produces the sensation that we are actually here, that we ourselves exist.”

Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun

You can see a painting I made about this on the cover of the latest issue of Savage Journal, Issue #13 Sensation. Savage Journal is UCL’s Arts and Culture Journal – Read it online or pick up a copy for free from the UCL campus.

Cover Art: Sing To Me I (January 2021) by Joy C Martindale, oil pencil, watercolour, acrylic and gouache on gesso on wood panel, 30.5cm x 41 x 2.2cm
Sing To Me II (January 2021) by Joy C Martindale, oil pencil, watercolour, acrylic and gouache on gesso on wood panel, 30.5cm x 41 x 2.2cm
Standard
Art, Article, Discussion, Joy C Martindale, Mental Health, New Work, painting

Happy International Day of Happiness to Everyone

Slightly Happier (Dec 2020), gouache and acrylic on paper, by Joy C Martindale, 41 x 31cm

When was the last time you felt happy?

My children have just discovered The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and I felt happy when I laughed myself into hysterics at a funny scene. Does that count?

I felt happy yesterday when I was on a train reading a magazine. I was reading that visitors to the artist Lala Rukh’s house were greeted by ‘two unmistakable seasonal smells: in winter, log-fire smoke and in summer, jasmine and lime wafting in from the garden.’* One sentence was enough to transport me there. The feeling of happiness that came with it was strong but momentary, does that count? In this strange and unsettling time, which has impacted on every aspect of our lives, I think it has to.

I think it is possible to equate positive emotional experiences – those little, everyday mood boosting moments that bring us joy – to happiness. Before the pandemic, perhaps happiness was something that shined with promise on the horizon; a state of being that could be obtained if we worked hard enough for it, but now when the future has become an unknown quantity and our focus has been pulled up short, it is our day-to-day experiences that we feel most acutely attuned to. With this has come a greater awareness of our moods and the fleetingness of them. Think of all the moods you can be in all in one day – an anxious mood, a sad mood, an angry mood, a calm mood, a dreamy mood and so on. Something positive that can come out of this imposed day-to-day existence could be the realisation that if we can let go of the pursuit of happiness as a panacea, we may become more open to acknowledging those nuggets of happiness we are already experiencing in our everyday lives.

So, even when we might feel sad, lonely, anxious or unhappy as we have probably all felt at some point during the pandemic, it is possible to experience happiness as part of these emotional experiences too.

More reading: Dr Daisy Fancourt and Research Fellow Alex Bradbury (UCL Epidemiology & Health) have tracked the everyday experiences of 70,000 people asking them each week how they are feeling.  

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2021/feb/analysis-we-asked-70000-people-how-coronavirus-affected-them

*Quote taken from Lives of the Artists: Lala Rukh By Mariah Lookman. Tate Etc Issue 48, P108

Scott Mills ‘This is Scott Mills on R1. How much do you love this?’ (talking about Jerusalem (Remix) by Master KG) 

Chris Stark: ‘Oh mate, every time this comes on, I feel slightly happier. And that’s a good thing.”

Scott Mills: ‘That’s kind of important right now.’ (04/11/2020)

Standard
Art, Article, contemporary use of textiles, fabric, Joy C Martindale, Mental Health, Personal histories, Textiles, Writing

Made In Plymouth Magazine

Web Joy in apron

Portrait of the Artist, Joy C Martindale (2017) by Danny Burrows

I am pleased to announce that Made In Plymouth magazine have published my new article: The Burden of My Anxieties.

Read it here: http://madeinplymouth.co.uk/project/the-burden-of-my-anxieties/ 

The article proposes that the suffering women feel when in crisis is a commonly shared experience and it considers the role of GP care, in particular the work of the Beacon Medical Practice in Plymouth, in supporting women’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Standard