This – 20.11 – is Transgender Day of Remembrance

Remembrance of Transgender Individuals
Taken by Murder or through Taking their own life.
Act of Remembrance
Soon after the World mourns the loss of all who fell in the War between 1914 and 1918 as well as the fallen from all other Wars since, it is an other solemn day to reflect on with the 20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance.
During the Wars which disguise themselves by being hatred between Nations, there is another human context which seldom is considered but is responsible for the violation and murder of many fellow citizens and that is purely on the basis of their sexuality.
It was in times of War all differences were sought out and primarily it was homosexuals and the transgender population who were singled out after the Jewish people and other ethnically diverse people to kill.
They suffered just as abysmally as any Jewish person and we’re gathered up and included in mass genocide. Many countries can testify to the many thousands of their citizens who were taken and killed purely on the basis of their sexuality.
Now in 2014
The losses continue without War.
Every year more savage attacks and deaths are occurring through the basic ignorance and uncontrolled behavior of violent people.
They act alone and also together showing the worst prejudice of all,
the prejudice that cannot tolerate another human being who is different to them and shows their own hate to be their inadequacy and being unaccepting of difference.
Continuing Hidden
There is no doubt this continuing death toll is hidden and not discussed in the communities it happens in. Some of those countries where it is a crime to be Homosexual have even less tolerance for Transgender individuals.
The whole continent of Africa is in a dangerous conflict with itself.
With the fragility of each nation coming out of War and Oppression, of
dealing with continued exploitation and corruption or entering into further conflict and displacement the continent has many problems to deal with.
Africa at odds with Africa
The oppression and exploitation of Women continues to set back the future of Africa by Centuries. The aids epidemic and sexual history of Africa is a fundamental indicator of the fractured future progress of democratic freedom and Human Rights advances.

As part of the reasoning Nations offer within Africa offer for their state measure of control they resort to violence and prison when confronted with someone whose sexuality does not meet with their approval.
Far less than understanding the law given to us by The Lord to ‘Love thy Neighbour’ the persons who cannot understand basic Human Rights and fail to see the promise which providing Equality of Human Rights would have on them individually and collectively, go down the route of their forefathers and reject learning which God put us on this world to do.
We are here to learn Gods ways and accept the natural order of things and alleviate pain and suffering wherever it is found. We then should share it with others.
In Africa there is an inherent Law of justice written in everyone’s heart which is either suppressed or exploited. To exploit that Law everyone must respect their own family and then their neighbours family.
The breakdown of family in Africa is foremost a basic lack of resources to meet the modern world and it’s challenges. This breakdown is a legacy of colonial states and the imitation of Western corruption severely slowing down any advances with exploitation by the likes of China and American Universities believe it or not massive obstacles to self determination.
Some youth in Africa believe the modern worlds greatest inventions are weapons of Individual and mass destruction.
Weaponry is the least constructive thing at hand. It cannot create crops or medicine nor can weapons overthrow an enemy. The ‘enemy’ being fought is in the perpetrator themselves. The menace eats away at the perpetrator until they can themselves no longer bargain with their own demons.
They spread their disease quickly to others and hatred defines them despite the calls of acting for a higher authority.

Like the girl looking into the well The Lord is within us and it is without question the most compelling thing mankind can rely on.
You only have to recognize your own instincts for goodness that overwhelm any darkness that might arise and know the greater is willed by God in you.
Where else would it come from?

NI Human Rights Festival events include ‘The Plight of Congoleses Women’
at Crescent Arts Centre Belfast on 12 Dec 2014 a free event from 5.30 to 7.30pm being organized by Mimi Unamoyo (Empowering BME Women) and NICRAS see and Facebook is /nihrf twitter is @NIHRF or #
This also coincides with the worldpressphoto2014 visiting Belfast in which New Zealander Robin Hammond gave a talk on his campaigns in Africa putting on record the maltreatment of LGBT and Mental Health people with some very harrowing and starkly direct images of these areas and issues as found. If further information is of interest see and the other World Press Photo 2014 site
Which freely upload images for your own personal use.
Any images there can of course be obtained directly from the PhotogrPher credited. The use in conjunction with raising awareness is distinctly an advantage given the directness and the professionalism of the Photographers going to see for themselves and recording it.
The mental Health Image above is from Robin Hammonds collection.

I have included at the foot of this blog a direct lift of text from
This relates directly to the horrific abuse and sometimes death in conflict and in transit sometimes under the noses of the NGOs.
Europe in the Frame
Even in European countries it is treated as a hidden thing and through it being an indictment against any country seeing itself as forward thinking and a democracy, it is a taint on that countries psyche.

The intolerance is of course as all intolerances due to ignorance.

A basic lack of understanding is at the heart of most all fears and prejudices. They are formed in our heads and the teachings of the communities in which these acts occur are to blame for their contiuance.

Change must happen now and change can happen now.



The feelings for mankind are at the heart of this intolerance as are most gaps in our basic knowledge. Feelings of hatred eminate from the same biology of all of us, only in some it is a malfunction they cannot or will not recognise.

Even as medical advances are made to remove peoples suffering through sophisticated reading of medicines and human physiology there is a primitive lack in the human mind which needs radically confronted through the neurological examinations which conflict with our very existence.

There is no preordained instruction to eradicate anyone of difference.
Instead their is a preordained instruction to love thy neighbour.


Transgender identity struggles with the many consideration within its community to try to find ways of communicating and Transgender Day of Remembrance is one significant bridge.
This is a Human Rights blog devoted to Human Rights.
There is also a subsaharan African Website with many contacts and directions on the issues directly.

There needs to be a bridge. It was at a service held to commemorate the losses of this and past years I was privileged to hear Francis Sheils speak for many thousands, hundreds of thousands of Transgender and LGBT community people who are continually facing prejudice simply on the basis of their sexuality.


Here is the address on Sunday 16 November 2014 in Belfast by Francis Sheils.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 20/11/2014

In preparing what I was going to say today, I was reminded of a performance event I attended, delivered by an American Quaker friend of mine Peterson Toscano, who besides being a writer and performer is a noted biblical scholar, he also happens to be gay and was researching the Bible for evidence of a loving God who had created him and accepted him in his imperfection.

During this research he continually came across individuals who were not expressing the gender roles typical of their sex and expected at that time in their culture.
He gradually recognised that these individuals were transgressing and transcending the typical gender roles of their times.
One of the characters he examines is Joseph, the 2nd youngest son of Jacob, whose sons went on to found 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joseph is very different from his brothers, he is described in the text as troubled and having regular dreams. He is his father’s favourite son and he is given a garment by his dad a tetromathazine (please forgive my Hebrew), there is definitive description of the garment , nor meaning for the word tetromathazine.
This is the only place in Genesis where the word appears.
Anyway, one day Joseph is sent out by his father to deliver a message to his brothers, I think they were tending the sheep, and on seeing him the brothers set upon him and gave him a severe beating and tore the garments from him, covered it in his blood and sell him into slavery in Egypt.

Years pass and a famine comes, the crops fail and the brothers go to Egypt to get grain.
They meet Joseph, who by this stage is 2nd in command in Egypt and they don’t recognise him because of all the makeup, finery and jewellery.

What does Joseph do? He doesn’t exact vengeance which would have been the expected act of a Jewish male, an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.
No he acts like the mother hen and protects and feeds his family as only a mother hen would do.

Peterson researched and researched and finally came across the word tetromathazine in one other place, 2nd Samuel where it is used when King David gives his daughter Tamar the garment before she is defiled by her half brother.
It is very clear from this particular passage that the garment is a princess dress given to a virgin daughter on the eve of her wedding.

It is not hard to imagine the same violence being visited on Transgender women today, particularly women of colour, where they are beaten black and blue, their bodies defiled and their clothes destroyed in acts of fury.

I challenge anyone hearing that story not to think of TDoR in future when they hear any of the Lloyd Webber songs from ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is marked each year on the 20th November.
It is the most solemn day of the Transgender calendar.
The day was first marked in the USA in November 1999 to remember those Transgender individuals killed due to prejudice or hatred.

The day raises awareness of hate violence against Transgender individuals, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of Transgender individuals who otherwise might be forgotten.
The day was founded in response to the transphobic murder of Rita Heesters on 28/11/1998.

The day is now marked world-wide and in 2013 was formally marked in over 180 cities in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

Between 1st October 2013 and 30th September 2014 there were 226 known victims of transphobic murder , not to mention the countless Transgender individuals who took their own lives by suicide that we don’t know of, rather than face the world as their true selves.
Research from a number of studies show that 40% of Transgender individuals attempt suicide at least once before seeking treatment for their Gender Dysphoria (the medical term for Transsexualism – the medical term for the condition that affects us).

Unfortunately for the first time since we began organising this service, we are aware of one young Transgender woman JORDAN HOWE who completed suicide in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Her friend Capri will be reminding us later of this unique individual whose life was cut too short before she got the chance to let us all see her individual God given talents.

With her family’s permission We are specially dedicating our service today to her memory and ask that you remember her family particularly , that they find solace and can come to terms with their very sad loss when we come to our act of remembrance.

For the past 5 years Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) has been marked by events in Belfast on the actual day 20th November.

Last year for the 3rd time there was also a formal act of worship in All Souls Church in Belfast on the Sunday prior to the day.
We find ourselves gathered here again at the kind invitation of Rev. Chris and the Congregation of All Souls to remember our dead brothers and sisters, no longer with us just because of society’s attitudes towards us.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all but particularly Linda Ballard for making such an effort to accept us into your midst and going out of your way to make us feel part of your community rather than apart from it.

I was at a service recently where the Minister told the story of an old man from Fermanagh who had to leave the family homestead that had been in the family from time immemorial and move into the town as he could no longer look after himself nor the “bastes”.

Anyway he takes his young granddaughter out to see the place and shows her round and he comes to the well that provided water for the family down through all the generations, they’re about to leave when the wee girl asks him, “ Granda, where does God Live?”
He lifts her up over the well and tells her to look down and asks her “What do you see?”
And he replies “ Well that’s where God lives , he lives in everyone of us”

As we move to the more solemn elements of our Remembrance Service today, Let us all remember that God lives in each one of us and in all of those Murdered Transgender individuals and those who have completed suicide.

That completes the address given by Francis Sheils.

The Service was a memorial in dedication of Jordan Howe.


Innate Goodness
People have, I believe an innate sense of goodness which inhabits the same mind which has the latent urges of self or wider destruction.
This in Religious terms is accepting the flaws exist.

At the forefront of Nazism was a belief in the principle perfection which has
never had a rational nor any element of goodness.
Human nature carries us, not ultimate perfection. Hence our desire to express our community in societies of many shades, colours and unity.

The person who accepts the world for what it is can be truly accepting of all others. It was as Jesus asked of us to believe in the everlasting existence beyond our measure that has within us the ability to do no harm.

That is our simplest task and yet so many go against God and the natural law believing only they can define the world. They wish others to comply with their thoughts. God has not delivered anyone other than Jesus to speak to us. God in human form and we can take Gods wisdom to turn away from hatred and violence.

Nations have survived famine and climatic disaster with the main constituent being the assistance of other nations.

Under Gods law there is enough for all and their is a saying we are all equal under the Sun as we indisputably are under God.
No one can determine their time on earth.

From the record of the website




Murders have taken place in all major WORLD REGIONS

• including Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America and Oceania

• In Europe there have been 90 killings in 13 countries.













Help all who feel as Jordan Howe did find through talking to Professional Medical Advisors or through first step conversations with someone who is aware of the problems Transgender people face, find the strength to come to the conclusion they are equal to anyone they care to mention and have around them more who love them than would ever hate them.

In fact the people who are closest in your own society support you and continue to strive to make things better for everyone in their community and the world. You too are a part of that journey.
That is the vast majority of people’s standard reaction.
Because you cannot read it, or it is not apparent does not make it false.
The perception can be as damaging as the image it creates in your head.

A clear head may not be yours presently which is all the more reason to develop a conversation to get to the heart of your selfs journey.
There will be someone fully ware of the issues you are dealing with and can with a clear head guide you.
The fact is the ability to deal with issues that arise are becoming more clear to society and clarification of what is a complex part of ones identity is highly advanced given the right advice.

This in itself is not advice but a personal viewpoint which in itself seeks to guide you towards those with a very proven appreciation of Transgender identity and the advice is freely given.

A first point of call would be your own GP who should know specialist advisors and the service providers on Gender related issues.

The website mentioned above is primarily dealing with the issue of Public Information and Education.

There are other websites which will deal with the more direct issues of Transgender identity. The clear message is that there are very many aspects to the help and sharing concerns which can be addressed and dealt with by people whose experience far outweighs any individual. The raft of information is of itself something which can help greatly.

The fact is Trans respect versus Trans phobia is a means of creating Public awareness and is the paradigm, the model to communicate.
It has links to local groups and shares histories and a catalogue of very conscious experience on related Gender matters.


For the memory of Jordan Howe TDoR 20 November 2014.

The people who do not understand, simply do not understand.
It is up to society to adjust not the other way round.
Wherever you go in the world build bridges and take the message of inclusiveness with you. It is basically Gods Message.

Jesus sat down with all who he found to be vulnerable and ill at ease.
He assured them of the way of The Lord who would walk alongside and deliver them from all evil. It is Gods wish we talk amongst each other to know the way.

John Graham

20 November 2014


Further events and Notices


12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
HERE NI, Belfast
This training organised by HERE NI will give participants a chance to talk openly about sexual orientation, it will run through some of the effects of homophobia on LGBTQ people and will give participants valuable information on language, changing attitudes and how to be more inclusive.
To register for this event contact: by Friday 5th December.


4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings Stormont, Belfast
This transgender Human Rights mini conference presented by Focus: The Identity Trust will examine gender recog­nition legislation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and will also examine all areas of the lives of transgender and intersex individuals where they experience difficulty in accessing and enjoying the same basic human rights as the rest of society. Meave Mc Laughlin MLA Chair of the Health committee and Focus Identity Trust are delighted to welcome keynote speakers Lord Carlile and Aengus O’Snodaigh TD, who both proposed the first ever gender recognition bills in their own jurisdiction.
To register for this event contact:

There are many many more events on so check out the website to see what you can engage with.


Despite the war formally ending with a peace agreement almost a decade ago, the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be embroiled in a violent and deadly conflict. Having claimed at least 5.4 million lives since the outbreak of war in 1998, the country has also received the unwelcome distinction as the rape capital of the world.

Its strategic importance, as well as bountiful natural resources—raw minerals, land, and fresh water—are a longstanding source of tension within the Congo. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which brought an influx of 1.5 million people over the border into North and South Kivu, exacerbated preexisting hostilities in the area. Disputes over citizenship and land ownership only compounded ethnic rivalries and weak governance structures.

“We are always send by our chiefs who tells us “Do this!” Despite your refusal they oblige you to do it; otherwise you will be beaten seriously. As a result, you will do it unwittingly. And you can even rape because of that.” Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC, United States Institute of Peace, 2010

Aging Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko had been aggravating inequality among the population, throwing the country into a steep economic decline over time. An uprising born in the eastern provinces, supported by Rwanda and Uganda, seized the fragile moment and moved rapidly on the capital. Yet, new President Laurent Kabila soon gained the wrath of his foreign allies, embroiling the entire region into a continental war in 1998.

While a peace agreement in 2002 was to end to the fighting, violence still characterizes daily life. Especially in North and South Kivu provinces, Congolese rebels and foreign groups remain active and significant military operations by the state have been launched in recent years. In northeastern Province Orientale, there has been renewed fighting with the incursion of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

More than 400,000 women ages 15 to 49 experienced rape between 2006 and 2007 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is equivalent to 1,152 women raped every day, 48 women raped every hour, or four women raped every five minutes. If Numbers Could Scream: Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence in the Republic of the Congo, American Public Health Association, 2011

Efforts were made to demobilize and integrate fighters into a new Congolese force or reintegrate them into communities, yet the project has faced a massive challenge. Continuing violence provides an incentive to return to old allegiances, with numerous desertions from the army and program. The attraction of mineral wealth has posed an additional challenge and provided extra income to rebel groups, armed gangs, and major political players alike—further aggravating institutional disorder which provides ideal circumstances for committing widespread human rights violations without punishment.

Rape and gender violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo has been marked by extreme brutality including rape, gang rape, genital mutilation, sexual slavery, and insertion of objects into cavities.

“You know, [rape] is also because of the suffering from being hungry, not having anything, living like animals [tozovivre lokola banyama] … Even the dogs here eat better than us! We were hungry yesterday, today hungry and tomorrow hungry [nzala lobi, nzala lelo, nzala lisusu lobi]. Also when we get it, you should see it: look at this! [pointing to plate with dark fufu on the ground]. When we get something this is what we get. Not even the pigs would eat it. Also, is this food for soldiers in combat who have to walk long distances and carry heavy weapons? It also makes people angry and anger makes you want to do bad stuff. Rape is also part of that. But it is not good.” The Complexity of Violence: a critical analysis of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nordic Africa Institute, 2010

As the conflict is fought within communities, violence occurs mostly in homes, villages, and in the fields where people work. Communities are often targeted for conspiring with the enemy or are looted after a skirmish. The Congolese security forces have also been known to loot (and commit acts of sexual violence on the civilian population) due to unpaid salaries or during mutinies against officers. All sides in the conflict have committed systematic rape and gender violence including the foreign-backed groups, local rebels, community-based militia—the Mai Mai, as well as the Congolese state forces.

Reasons for rape by armed men, whether belonging to the government army, rebel group or foreign-backed group, are varied. These include systematic humiliation to counter men’s growing frustration at deteriorating status in society, to breed insecurity and fear in communities, and Mai Mai members have additionally stated that rape provides “magical powers” before combat.

The incidence of rape remains highest in areas where military operations take place, yet there has been a sharp rise in gender violence throughout the whole of the country. The severe gender imbalance, with prevailing impunity, has allowed for a society where rape is acceptable and unpunished. Domestic violence, rape by former troops living within communities, and by men in positions of power—including police officers—is common. Survivors still lack comprehensive support, and are often too ashamed and fearful to come forward.

“The majority of women were attacked in their own homes and most attacks happened during the evenings and nights. This pattern is in contrast to that found in other recent conflicts in Africa, where rape is reported primarily when women go out in search of water or firewood, when they are farming their fields or when their village is attacked.” Now the World is Without Me: An Investigation of Sexual Violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative & Oxfam, 2010

Data to document the prevalence of male rape is being gathered, yet male survivors are still often silent, with little access to medical or psychosocial support. Testimonies point to an increase of systematic male rape with military operations in 2009—the last push by Congo to remove foreign forces from the Kivu region.

Impunity reigns within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and despite the government’s acknowledgement that its own security forces constitute one of the main groups of perpetrators, comprehensive reforms to the security sector have not been enacted. Known perpetrators of mass human rights violations remain within the army and major hurdles remain to provide the Congolese with a security force that is a protector rather than an instigator of gender violence.

Best Wishes and Thank you for getting to the bottom of my blog completed this Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014.

The Imitation Game : A Film Review

imageDirected by: Morten Tyldum. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Tuppence Middleton, Rory Kinnear. 113 min. 12a.

Miscalculations beyond Mathematics
The Manchester of 1951 is an unlikely starting point for this Film’s tale of wartime miraculous secrecy and labourious detective work led by the deducing skills of the misfit, the duxes, the venerable seer of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch who is mercurially adept at giving his all as the private detective his alter ego is.
If proof were needed BC plays the role of Alan Turing with accomplished anti-heroic finesse ably assisted by KK of whom more later.
Solutions are hard to come by in wartime and this film begins with the problematic fact of a break-1in at his Manchester home. The story is beginning at the playing out of the end episode of his truly claustrophobic life.
This tale is veristic and shows the ugly contemptible side of Sovereign life willing us to War, with its raw vindictive hurtful ruling class, power and authority pressing forward into War.
The Sovereignty again the despising foe after the War seems to be hung on the deplorable inhumane treatment of same sex relationships, with hypocrisy it seeks to obliterate vice or any foreseen sin.
The timescale of a film is such that to deliver the goods, and this film undoubtedly does, it is ambitious, framing it over three time periods.
The early school period, the post war period and the whole central arena of code breaking and the hazards, mostly human obstacles that are put in his way. The periods intersect and occur as script messengers. There is with the early period a film within a film about he young Alan Turing. A brilliant evocation of child sanctuary. It maybe a momentary relief and escape for us from the despair of the War beginning to overwhelm those in the line of fire. Certainly the expression of Alan’s earlier years are very incisive with the caveat the character traits are over elaborated.
History Recalls
When the Labour Party came to power after the war, it was after many had signed up within the army itself; a whole movement of the British Labour movement was sweeping into place.Denis Healey a Major, etc. mobilised a Socialist backlash in and after the War which Winston Churchill had not foreseen.
The man born in Blenheim was as good a wingman for the ruling classes and the Monarchy as could be imagined. The Blenheim thing is a remarkable history of working in concert with Sovereignty. He had the brains to make war winnable.
Oddly the film only makes a few references to the colossus (the official name of the AT machine also) Winston Churchill was in the very actions of Bletchley Park. The American influence he brought also lacking along with the actual USA connections.
The instrument of the fight back, of which he and the American forces could direct, in the knowledge certain things were foretold to them by Alan Turings breakthrough and was a basis of winning the War and ending it soonest. Hitler had overrun twenty four nations at least before Alan Turing came to Bletchley.
The absence of Churchill was an avoidance perhaps of the ruthless nature of his perceived wisdom and of his overseers and alliance to the Monarchy whose very existence was at the centre of the onslaught Hitler had framed. Churchill is incredibly difficult to read and that is because he was a polymath who through his life extolled the abolition of the House of Lords as it failed to represent thee ole and he foresaw the bitterness of the Irish being unable to design their own future as well as becoming in later life ‘devoted’ to Sufism as a way of dealing what had occurred.
It is also closely associated with mindfulness and the good grace to reflect and move on.
The Second World War was a completely savage animal.
It destroyed its children and ate the remains of souls and through the higher atonement of hopeless narratives of the likes of C.S.Lewis produced ‘Godless’ given lies to comfort the deranged, billeted, shock burnt, hovel dwelling, barrack bound dutiful meat of war as plenty.
The painful narrative was never exhumed.
Cause and Intent
Somewhere the common cause was unified. The aims of Monarchy, the Spirit of Freedom in the people.
Within the War were to be found the extremities of human brutality and from whatever standpoint, it began as a assault against a ferociously violent and destructive force it revealed more than humanity could have imagined.
The confusion of the aims of des Fuhrer and the hidden atrocities as concentration camps that reconnaissance must have identified were unknown by and large to the British Public yet they fought knowing the reality of the menace was no less than their loss of liberty.
Also unknown to the military and public were the levels of ‘higher’ intelligence and the technological background war which in the field basic radio phones and radar instruments much less penetratable.
The film highlights the duality of positions and their intractable evaluation in the moment. It can be no different now.
Counterfeit of Counterfactual Thoughts
Into this fog of War The Imitation Game looms large as the analog and cerebal force which took on the enemy and its cause of domination what ever it would conceivably become.
The arms in this case; the empowerment of the mechanisms of the fight, came in the form of manpower and brainpower.
Code-breakers are needed in all guises and the oddity that Benedict plays with elegant restraint and masterly eccentricity, is summoned to Bletchley to join a team being assembled to face the challenge set by the Naval Campaign being fought by the Germans in the seas off England. The food supplies to England from American where hitting the bottom of the sea.
And you are?
Occupying the interviewee seat in the empty office of Commander Alex. Dennison (Charles Dance) whose task it is to run the show and achieve results AT is harangued on his aptitude and self warranted and illustrious reputation and it wil come as no surprise that he is given a position on the team, of about five. Another component is present at the following team meeting in the grand setting of one of Bletchley House magnificent dining rooms. This is the relay officer back to Government. It is Mark Strong as the implement of MI6. His role is a greater characterisation which is complemented, the only complimentary mind to AT other than his own hireling KK. His playing is a constant. The acerbic and moderately ridiculous Commander is not played with the same astute learned reading as that of Mark Strong. The team who are like different faces of a dice and Alan Turing is the joker, the icicle supreme thinker whose tolerance; it works both ways, of these fellow skilled code breakers is something in which events construct connections are – Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), John Cairncross ( Allen Leech) and supposed Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard) with the director barely noticing this mathematician.
Formidable jobs and the need to get along exceptionally well is harvested through the initial contests for recognition. Others needed to express their own skills while Turing began the process he had created in his head. Hugh Alexander is a handsome Lothario who has it seems studied the essentials in the battle royale between the sexes by means of being a superior reader of flirtation which is the prologue to the fun times he relies on. It is well played and is another central character to provide dynamic and the contrapuntal story brought along efficiently but with a little clichéd hero and anti hero of the sort found in ‘Hotspur’ or ‘Boys Own’ ‘Eagle’ (and yes young ones there were little hero comics around even during wartime and they were full of manly types as the welsh might say) and the aim in the film which it achieves is to fulfill a history with little room for fault.
Alan Turing is much quieter and considered in his appreciation of the importance of the work but that is due to his higher confidence in breaking the code through a method he has constructed through long calculations which culminate in his own ‘Enigma’ machine. The others mainly do appreciate the task but are full of doubt.
Totnes got there earlier
Down in a room in Totnes, Somerset, there is a machine I once saw which in itself was staggering to encounter. The reason for going into the small establishment was mere curiousity. The Turing machine was an analog computer which relied on processing voltages and we see in the 1951 era the machine in his Manchester House which he continues to develop as a programmable device it comes in at about half the size.
What I saw was Charles Babbage’s extrordinary adding machine or difference calculus which was the precursor of the ‘analog’ and the pressure computer.
It not only looked beautiful, it was full of symmetry and appeared as a vision, as divining musical instrument. It was so long ago one fixed memory that remains with me is the winding spiral stair at one side which had as a handrail a very thick bound rope and you would ascend the stair to look down into the innards of this machine holding this fibre handrail which itself evoked a sense of ‘difference’. It was hard not to take in this truly groundbreaking technology.
It was built before 1871. Mr Babbage lived to the age of 79.
Encryption German style was their Enigma enciphering machine created for commercial use in the early 1920s and modified later and put into commission by the German and allies for military use in World War II.
Early Turing
His early childhood appears in segments throughout and we slide back down to the four foot tall Alan (Alex Lawther) whose handling of the part is very very impressive Jack Bannon) with whom he finds a kinship is equally strong.
It is here in the public school environment Alan Turing discovers so early in his life the difference he is among his fellow strand of humanity.
Christopher reads the mind of Alan fairly astutely and encouragingly he introduces him to what will be contained in his life, code breaking.
This element is as good and as important a composite in the telling of the life of Turing as the main body of the film. It is handled very well and while no part of the film explores his homosexuality and only makes a guess at what the need for a friend like Christopher indicated.
One portion of his hireling, found with a typically left field exercise is the cellular composition that resides inside the beautifully formed head of KK.
He doesn’t bat an eyelid or twitch his toes uncontrollably when Kiera Knightly comes on the scene. She comes with a crossword solving mind which impresses, besides her starry eyes and profound beauty is a woman with common ethics and standards. The machine invented by Turing has her, Joan Clarke as a formidable component in the jigsaw that breaks the code. How the machine Alan Turing has constructed finds a way to operate. Its operating system is given its own language by a whole permutation of all the minds in the Bletchley Park compound.
The figurative language of humans is the remarkable component of our relation to this story and the eventualities which we are still, after so many years, having to be courageous in facing further understanding of the history which has us where we are. The past is still concealed despite its having happened.
Bletchley had many serried ranks of women intercepting, noting every morse code message and the period detail of the film is illuminating.
The scenes between Cumberbatch and Knightly are the finest in the film and they have no shock value and play up the more than spiritual bond and it is akin to – without creating a quantum leap hopefully – their common knowledge; they are a pair of the most prodigious minds in the country, is summoning Plato whose ideas of impermanent physical objects (Alan and Joan) representing preformed unchanging ideas which are out with reach. Their shared knowledge of this is not uniform as Joan has set of relationship histories she can rely on. The peril is the fact there is no such element within AlanTuring which makes his fault lines obvious to him and unbridgeable. It is during this performance by Benedict Cumberbatch the evidence is sublimely advanced for a more relative and accurate assessment of a hidden life as far as that may exhume the demons and be of greater importance and value.
It is possible people may not be aware of this unconventional life and the Egham, Surrey (nr. Runnymede who always try to claim it) preserve of British high intelligence and it is still an unpardonable travesty of a persons humanity that his sexuality was to be the source of his destruction.
In a society in which he invented a means to bring closer the end of the monsters trail of barbarity, he was treated as a leper.
The knives were out and it is a vengefulness which has a very strange element even with the complexities of the times.
The Imitation Game gives no further insights but fleshes out the history in a clever and well formed way without venturing onto the landscape of Alan Turings struggles and his own perception of his sexuality and his desires for close relationships.
The strange things are never really uncovered and it is a rare case when they are.
The more compelling and important part, even underscored here; despite the initial simulated bombing footage mixed into war footage, and though it had a tragic end, is that Alan Turing saved countless lives and put down a blueprint for rational and considered judgement against the real prospect of another Attila crossing the globe and destroying the lives of nations living in peace. His politics are agnostic it seems.
Screen Portrayal
The script is constructed in a time honored methodical adherence to type which seldom fails to loose you. The complex workings of Alan Turings gayness only is a recitation in overdub and never shows him in contact with anyone of the same sex – in keeping with the sullen, theatrical – it sometimes appears as if it is a play – protective pithy way some English film mainstream narratives attempt at filling too many boxes.

It ashamedly is marketed on the fall off of this past weeks commemorative events which cast back to the First World War and gets plenty of demerits on that alone as it is not of any further insight as far as the 100 year gap is concerned. That may be pushing cynicism to an extreme but could it not have appeared sooner and not in direct relation?

It is a film for which several accolades are due and hopefully a gong or two get to firstly, Benedict Cumberbatch, secondly, Kiera Knightly, and thirdly possibly something to be found for Mark Strong who balancing of the players at times makes this a very accomplished treatment.
Morten Tyldum. Honest this was the biggest available photo at the time!
Conclusion #### 4
Excellent polished film but not many surprises. Superb cast and excellent period Cinematography.
For a time when we are constantly reminded of War past and ongoing there is something of conscious restraint and painful regret that this film does not hit as hard say as The Dambusters or even Oh what a Lovely War and many other stories of War. The reason is it is set in the machinations of strategy and preparation.
The English backdrop is one of intrigue and intelligence coupled with fear and foreboding. The War is barely imagined within the film, except through simulated footage and World at War reels during it, and in the Maps sometimes referred to and an excerpt inside London. Time allows more.
This off theatre of War is able to direct us to the aims and conditions for War. The terrible actions of weaponry is seen on a large scale and the machine against machine is in counterbalance with the intelligence trail led by the likes of Alan Turing whose part in deciphering through his own genius the Enigma Coding frame is put into brilliant focus.
The talents of Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly show in deciphering their characters with cleverness and adducent period authority enough hopefully for a few gongs. Is there a hesitancy in not treating Alan Turing’s sexuality more forthrightly a play towards larger audiences say in America? Is that really part of the deal with films of a very important central subject? Some scenes could have been dropped without loosing a great deal I would venture

Well worth the effort of going to see. It will undoubtedly pick up a few wards but which ones is down to the subjective minds of the judges.

At QFT Belfast from Friday 14 November to Thursday 27 November 2014

Magna est veritas, et praevalebit

Truth is great and will prevail.

Tourism Information.
Bletchley Park is open to visitors and is just past Runnymede.
On the South Bank of the Thames West of London.
The people of Runnymede can soon be found celebrating the granting of the Magna Carta 800 years ago in 1215 by King John.
It was only after the people coerced him of course! and though we still are under the illusion the rights of man are known these were thought at the time the basis of any fundamental constitution or law guaranteeing rights and liberties.
Wallingford is further down the Thames near Reading and gets is name from the route ‘forded’ by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) in 1066, (not to be confused with Wilhelm 1) choosing to go north past London.
That way he survived and so the song goes ‘From a Duke to King!.’
Is it near the ‘Ford Escort’ factory in Reading I wonder?
Or did they make the Capri there? I’ll have to Google it.

Totnes is nowhere near the above and it is unlikely to be the source of the Thames either! More Googling but the Babbage Computer is a phenomenal object and it is pre-industrial revolution whatever that may signify!


Remembrance Sunday : 2014

100 years Never forget the Sacrifices
Never forget the only Sacrifice which
will save us from this senseless cycle
of needless wanton destruction of
human life in all its forms.
Forgive the stranger and destroy
the sin within the sinner.
The Saviour will be alongside
Neither above nor below.
A poem of reflection for all losses.

The Great Lie

Alderwood station, the train has stopped,
Quietness, stillness on a line, the platform’s edge.
Looking out the the open window, strap down, countryside
Other view, murmurations of starlings over the station roof,
city side flock across the skies, faint birdsong, in cover,
heard in the woods, earth smells drift, horses chomp the grass
Susan returns, “Two coffins are being unloaded”
Their heaviness a trolley bears, where once their feet would pace
along this platform, to Lord’s to see the batting of W.G.Grace
Now the shaft of light, serrated edge of canopy, cutting angular
across the beaded village nameplate, no longer summoning
now ending, their journeys decree no longer ineluctable fate.
Family flesh, blood circulating like warm tea replenishing.
Dinner would not be taken, shared conversations uncast.
Instead the sun heats the Church stone, the glass reflects intact,
The gravedigger has marked the plots, friends not brothers,
Sharing their dreadful waste, heads still, eyelids forever shut,
Ceaseless, senseless bloody war has us on this spot
Their lives like classroom history shared, had shared,
Fresh books in decades depict this age, this loss so great,
Each a witness to the others courage at war and on the pitch.
The dead have done, a much as they can do,
the dead are gone, soul adrift, none equal in this rest,
Sons and daughters betrayed by guns and low treachery,
The train driver lifts the safety catch, departure,
Our lives they trundle on.

John Graham
November 9 2014

Mr Turner : A Film Review

MR TURNER : Director Mike Leigh, UK, 2hrs 30mins.
Cast. Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson.
A Sketch At Margate
Few painters can express in paint the union of sea and land where neither is what is and the line of difference is less than the hair of an artists brush.
So finite is the allegory of unshifting nature beyond our understanding still, the medium of paint continues to be relied on, more than film, than science in its numerical data chase as we stand in awe when confronted with something akin to the emotions conjured up through our brief understanding lives. It was not a suppression of detail that John Turner relied on but the re-calibration of the art of painting he saw fit to pursue.
It was a different way of painting with both fine drawing and abstraction in harmonious fusion. Quite different from being a form of abstraction which unfortunately is the route the film tends to take and represent rather confoundingly.
JMWT was a talisman of paints complex behaviour; of the complex correlation with the ‘abstract’ which JMWT unleashed signaled his the genius. He created a certain body with the touch of realism in his finite detail.
He is known as the seascape painter but I have seen gardens of stately homes painted in moderately sized landscape as a deliverance with a few balustrades, evenness of a lawn in the foreground peppered with a few fallen leaves or the cut of an upturned edge chopped by a croquet stick or such. There is a draughtsmanship apparent in those paintings putting away the false perception of ‘abstraction’ and the moderate size of the one I refer to also gives notice to the fact he was in fact a studious miniaturist and his sketchbooks were the beginning for larger works.
That country scene is an imperious view out to a formal exposition of perspective laid before in the carefully planted trees and curvilinear lines of a country estate managed as far as the eye could see. And it could see, into the plain peintre célèbre of the master sky containing minisule rendering of red over white and under blue.

So he was not only the master of painting the wild sea or lofty ships pulled into harbour by the David tugboats returning the exhausted hulk of the floating ship. The sea eating the land, the land swallowing the sea.
All was before JMWT.
Canvas Cinema
To discover something of the person who created those paintings Mike Leigh has cast the lion hearted chivalrous character of Timothy Spall.
That symbol of plucky, high spirited, undaunted, mercurial thespian open to the odd moment of self indulgent hubristic self flattery.
There is no self doubt in JMWT. His life is cluttered up with his willfulness. Of his domestic life there is a disarrangement only he could explain without the added question of justifying it. It is a side of him which casts him as restless mentally. His painting did not make him alert to persuasive, meaningful intellectual discovery. It was not something he appeared to think possible and this made his mental state and need to paint a fury.
It was part of the driven intensity which broached other whose path he crossed. The film has him in an important element avoiding his fame and how he is perceived. His need is to discover himself through cunning and a retrieval of his true self identity by entering other worlds under plain anonymity.
The film opens with him in Flanders. Mike Leigh introduces us though a long take of a couple of Dutch maids, one shouldering the tressle carrying the milking buckets as they happily talk as they walk the pathway alongside a canal. In the distance is the focal point of a still windmill. The soft landscape is swept through in a continuum. The rough grass with the hidden pathway. High in silhouette on the opposite elevated dyke is the portly figure of John William Turner who is enthrall of the Flemish scene.
It is a ponderable start as he would be more likely to be looking and sketching the characters in the ‘plain’ well documented landscape, so ML has taken his first broad sweep beautiful and meditative as it is.
The light is fading and his furrowed brow shows his intimate reading of this large landscape and he fixes this in his sketchbook in rough and carefully placed notational strokes of a broad pencil. This is the notion of TS of the painting, sketching style. TS took some direction trying to capture the hold of brushes, the mixing of pigments and materials and with it he takes plenty of liberties being the dramatic beast that he perceives him to be.
Indeed a hams head appears on a dinner table and perhaps a linear joke – one is heard – ‘do you want some more cheek!’ Well to make a film you have to have certain arrogance otherwise the character is empty played truly or not.
19th Century London
Enter London and the iron oxide red brick blend; posher streets have more red content, are with the bricked up windows recalling the window taxes and the blocking off of the carefully designed Georgian rooms.
The symmetry, human scale of the well ordered streets and the ornamented doorways and railings place this film in the midst of many well conceived period depictions of London. You expect a horse drawn carriage has been parked to hide some 21st c. piece of corporate intrusion! Well with my architectural eye, I deploy the aghast interventions present, here concealed.
The temerity of the streets appearance is contrasted with the JMWT swagger as it shows his choice of living quarters. It immediately settles the eye into a sumptuous panoply of familiar beautifully decorated and furnitured houses.
Interior Incarnate
Up the steps to his own door in Chelsea he fumbles with his keys and into the subtlety lit fern green hallway. The architraves skirtings and wall dado are all of a similar hue. It is like a temperate greenwood forest and intimates, hints at the oddments of character infused with every part of this master painters life.

If you think I have been too descriptive, maybe, but it is compelling and only the beginning of a compelling and wonder filled story.

Domestic Liberties
Hannah, (Dorothy Atkinson) his housemaid, the adoring, middle aged woman he capriciously and routinely uses to expunge his sexual urges which she openly accepts as affection even under abuse and has his domestic routine recorded delivering drinks, paint, frames, to his hand a second before asked.
She has a kitten like coquettish but pragmatic coyness which is deployed to take us closer to knowing how this reading of his character is to unfold.
The housemaid is an invention in the biographical sense but Hannah is a foil for which much of the unsavory and challenged humanity of JMWT is vexed.
Also at the house is his father William, a retired Gentlemans Barber of good fortune, played with honorable whimsy by Paul Jesson who is devoted to the exploits of his son.
It is he who attends to frames and paints and probably the books.
Familial Eschewal
When the door knocks a further part of his family enters. His irascible wife who is not with fortune and his two daughters. One holding his grandchild.
They are in need of help and he immediately addresses them abruptly as an estranged husband he keeps them at a distance and sends them to a drawing room to await him. This completes his family for its complexion it is another directorial indulgence to drive this ferocious wedge between the husband and wife though their separation and his neglect are most probably true by the accounts.

It is the lot of JMWT that he must move with the wind and respond to his patrons and his painterly invention is noted by such as Lord Egremont whose estate contains many couriers and the withdrawing rooms are full of portraits and fine works of art carefully chosen. A white stockinged leg is visible in one scene of a man standing wide astride much as Henry VIII would be seen so maybe a hint of royalty acceded to.
The house he goes to meet the Lord at is Petworth in East Sussex and its stately interior is beyond grand and is opulent and possibly egregious and flagrancy of the kind only the slave trade could have brought such fortune to it. These are not gimcrackeries or baubles of an aristocrat but the finest decorations and exuberant manifestation of taste as can befit his station.
The slave painting Detail.
This is the environment of the most disturbing fallacy of understanding the human and the art of JMWT cannot and dare not utter anything of the depravity which is his master and patron.
There are some extrordinarily well conceived scenes. One where the song of Henry Purcell is given a heart felt rendering by JMWT in a connection he makes through simple conversation. Another later in another place where his only politically charged painting is carried off with the willingness of JWT by the buffoonish John Ruskin Junior. There is a cadence and momentum to the story which is so difficult to convey being of a very widely known artist and it is of very great credit that pace and attention to only the most edifying of encounters are given a degree of prominence.

The way of films of this kind, the soporific, cloistered, confined, ordered, worthy, glorification of a true genius with whom temerity requires a delicate hand, it is the actors license to go beyond that heft and become garrulous, effusive and obsequious.
Broadbrush School of Painting
JMWT spends a lot of the time unsurprisingly at his large canvases. Again ML and TS have fell into the snare of over exaggeration. Both in the way Timothy Spall uses his brush like a dauber and dilettante with added spit and egg. ML has for the most part framed a dialogue but he allows actors to improvise in a not very convincing happy chappy way at times.
There is a battlefield in which quite a lot of the film is played out and with an illustrious roll call the steps of the Royal Academy are taken and the reputations are cross haired and slipped upon. I get refereeing some of these are without lines and improv. Queen Victoria pays a visit and her reaction to JMWTs work states its difference and raises its value.
That has been the way through many films Mike Leigh has achieved a British noir for the portraiture of English moderated eccentricity, be it working class, period based or location driven.
The fact is the reality unseen is far more colourful, has greater depth and unhinged, happenstance story and personality that any film can only, autobiographically pick a pot of paint and splash the canvas before it and the actors dry up for lack of knowledge of the inner thoughts; who on earth could imagine, of the extremis obitum.
Eminent Women
The women in his life we are shown as helpful obstructions. That is until he encounters under his other name a lady who has outlived two husbands and is a warm hearted and nature loving woman. She lives in a place which is known as the last place in England the sunsets. It gives up much of the beauty this film mines and it is to MLs credit he depicts England of the South and East coast in such vivid gorgeous variety. As such it could well have the tableau Tracey Emin knew alongside its municipal subsequent vandalism.
The Burning of the Houses of Parliament
With the direction requiring the application of paint in sessions, distractions turn up to colour the intensity absent but present in the geniuses head.
Torment and rage. Invention and rejection. Ingenuity and extraction.
The energy of paint is nuclear in his hands. This is the equivalent of E=Mc2.
When the speed of two protons is so fast they cannot repel they combine each giving up that energy. It is the substance presently we cannot capture ( scientists currently have combinations that have 3% payback – they expend too much to achieve that!) that is infinitesimally mercurially out of our reach but within a hair on a brush applied by the real John Turner.

No such animadversion is intended to anyone surrounding this film with the accepted outlet of no one having an overriding fulcrum of the obit.
It is instead a visually splendid sacrament illuminated through a lens of prismatic content of JMWTs anointment with oil, the pigment not his own and the recital of prayer ghostly hung in staves of exhubrance played out by clinging to the mast of a fixed ship to be washed of sin and given Gods wisdom. No one disbelieves the degrees and hardships JMWT went through to achieve his goal and the reward was not only for it to be acclaimed but the thought to him he had discovered new ways with paint that would survive and outlive him.
Turner and Seven Hills
The question is does it shed any light of the character of JMWT?
As some films explore even more well documented painters such as Picasso, the Bloomsbury set or authors such as Virginia Wolff with very specific paradigms it is apparent no such insight is available here.
We do not learn what Roman painters, Italian and Dutch painters influenced him.
This is again the nature of Mike Leigh films.. They interest as the heft of the actors and a story which has a beginning middle and an end with little exploratory or problematic themes to last and continue way beyond the films delivery.

Conclusion. ####4
This is one of the best British films made as a period piece as well as biographic cinematic examination. it probably marks the highest point of Timothy Spalls acting with a superb but inaccurate portrayal of one of the worlds best painters. He is splendidly cast and brings an energy which few others could have portrayed this driven working class painter rising up through the ranks to become highly regarded by his contemporaries except for a few who knew little other than replication. The performances alongside are very convincing across the whole range. From the abused and put upon Dorothy Atkinson to the army of artists and RA fixtures and the direction is exquisitely accurate and cinematically it is in keeping with its subject. It is not as morally or emotionally intense as MLs Secret and Lies but it has confirmed the breadth of the conviction to Cinema as a victorious means of supplying us with a large compass of the thought provoking exterior we encounter across our common existence.
Well worth the effort of seeing and it is another film showing how the BFI and the British film community ( NI has a TV community!?) knows its country so very well and indeed knows the people who modeled it.

John Graham

31 October 2014


On at QFT Belfast From 31st October through to Thursday 13th November

Mondays and Tuesdays are £4.00 ticket days. So what’s stopping you getting out to the lovely little place that is QFT?

Put your own comments in my own reply box below after you have seen it or what you make of any of my blogs.

The Margate House

Art : Royal Ulster Academy 2014

A poor picture of a beautiful little painting by academician Harry Reid.

Yes it is reduced to RUA but lots of people are quite annoyed the emblematic Royal is ridiculous in 2014.
And I agree with them whole heartily.
The obstruction will exists if and when the Riddell building becomes an offshoot. A time to reduce it now to the Ulster Academy.
Vote now.
Telling in kind.
What art is sympathetic to the telling. RUA has a very limited lot of paintings and other forms they would eschew given another disposition so it is here to prod the visitors into an annual excursion around academy art chosen by academicians and then opened for public opprobrium except much will delight.
The typical distilled landscapes without the Kavanagh or flowers without Piper or a white flame of dog or horse imperiously investing gravitas or reworking of an old remembered place by BB it is a journey round a mere four rooms that is constantly creating voids.

The works off the wall are most constantly creations of persuasive strong presence. From the small Graham Gingles symphony in broken shards of glass. Within a glass box. To Brendan Jameson’s two sugar memorials, one a tidy Thiepval tower,
the other mausoleum for Tate door open with an inscription befitting one half of the empire for which dentists became an essential health enhancer.
The glass box large and free from the flies or humidity of passing humans. It sits on a wooden floor. Stately absurdity. Another piece by Claire Gibson takes the ordinary as if found yet changes the ordinary object into a formal object of modern beauty.
The object seen is a screw top light bulb of around 8″ diameter x 2. They are treasure in a wine crate or apple box with chain as other found object.
They have imprinted images as reflections where they are of the elegant classical architecture and imply the former surroundings.
All three of these artists reproach our sense of remembrance in this year of remembering. To that can be added several other narratives.
The other sculpture taking my eye was less a sculpture and more an applied raised set of (possibly resin paper mâché) blue faced ‘bars’ with their impression continued in paint on the wall they are fixed too.
This is a little understated but very well considered and presented piece.
It seems concurrent with pattern, colour and minimal art forms that have an architectural as well as natural derivation.
In a corner, poorly hung are two little drawings/paintings one like a Polaroid the other like a family photograph circa.fifties. See the shadow fixed.
The top one is a very neatly executed painterly view of a beach populated with camper type awnings and lightweight furniture. No one is to be seen.
Only the essence of heat and little shadow.

The top corner is literally overshadowed by the painting to its right. Another mishap. Other paintings, without a bevel framing board have their top intruded on by fractions but annoying as an itch. Giving a dark shadow at the top of the artists image.
Higher on a wall is a very monochrome drawing on paper, showing an interior of a redundant factory somewhere in Belfast.
Firstly it is a new way of looking. Instead of the realism of a photograph of which there occur some examples here of the distemper of plaster or the ‘natural’ brickwork with human presence of one or other form, this drawing picks out the discarded Eames type chairs, the electrical switchboxes and paraphanalia undisturbed. The paper barely has any pencil damage and the uniformity of the drawing is raw. The style of object drawing is stationary elsewhere. This is an image correct in scale and carrying in its composition a beautiful presence and weight of place. This is also a remembrance of inventive workplaces destroyed by the greed and parasitic commerce putting the whole economy on its knees.

My favourite piece is the David Crone painting.
It is a form of four squares.
These are not defined but there as a key formative attention point of unseen entrance from the outside square the viewer reads each element and the depth of colour, radiant, deep and shaping Indian, Egyptian, ebullient vigorous themes of anti-apathetic settled thought.

In keeping with Nietzsche he proposes perhaps through this painting at least my understanding brings it, the Dionysian life, that of chaos from unrestrained, uninhibited, reckless exhuberance, outside the fragilista visions returning little, the relativism, the obsequeence of unseeing is here present. It is looking into the discord finding an underlying truth and some evidence of natural shapes are there I cohabiting our and their space.

As you may gather I really am appreciative of this painting. There are no standard meanings but its relevance is that for me it created the connection with my own preoccupations. It is positive and revealing all at once. It certainly is light years away from everything else seen here.

What David Crone is saying to me in this is that the way forward is to not intervene with or recreate rules in order but to allow the self and others to rely on their innate natural ability to ascend the safe unreasoned haven and fragile dependancy model. This is where so many images meet and relate in our own conference of enlightenment.

Jeremy of Blackheath is a very good painter. I have seen his expansive views of Greenwich, the portraits without allegory but he has entered an altogether epilogue fate of recuperative art. Paul Muldoon collaborates to co-author this work. A narrative best left in the Trafalgar or whatever bar they dreamt it up together. Pouring out beneath the rafters of a studio setting is the orchard. The forbidden fruits.
Muldoon looks his normal curmudgeonly self, the one were the muse has left through the eavesment of the ancient but modern home of the type Blackheath is full of. Dark foreboding homes.
Far removed from ‘In the Stairwell’ where light enters. He sits florid in a floral shirt, with a cauliflower ‘brain metaphor?’ such parody in one palm, a knife balancing a mushroom in the other. Arch is the idea and the Orchard court of fertility.

A painters noir in somber tones and permeated by a feeling of disillusionment, pessimism, and despair is one where a five minute journey round the painting delivers the Telling, poems, Apple on his head, Just William Tell.
A horseshoe in suspenseful hubris upturned to catch the fallen epitaph. The missing instrument the ghastly Greenwich ships surgeon like skull implement possibly savoured in the Maritime Museum on the Royal Parks Lawn.

That instrument, for Trepanning, where the pin is gently pressed against the skull at the location of the preferred entry upon which the mini saw wheel circulates cutting out a calcium rich biscuit from the crown.
The operation is a success but doomed to failure if reflection/infection sets in.
Both turn to vegetables and are wheeled to Nine Elms Market by daybreak.
Back to the rotten borough and needs of the people.




More to be added at a later time.

John Graham

28 October 2014

Art : My Own

What do you see?

The photograph above is included in the Art in the Eastside Billboard 2014 exhibition across parts of East Belfast.
If there was a theme I took it to be inclusive of whatever aspects of the City and its cultural life , its people, its uniqueness. The callout was fairly generous and it has been approached in so many different ways the return is a very diverse collection of photographs depicting various artists take on the challenge.

What do you see?
I saw straight away, on a break from a charity stall nearby I was assisting at, the 12th July bands; it was taken this year, had stopped and instead of having the customary rest started a game. They formed a large circle, the whole lot of them gathered in a huge circle on the road and did the hokey – cokey. It was people being right in the moment, spontaneous fun.

It shows a community band highly spirited and highly involved in the whole day out experiencing together not just the common thread of being in the band but the camaraderie of community and collective joy.

It is so rich an image and contrary to the normally viewed antagonistic propaganda fed concept of Loyalist marching, this in its proper frame of mind. What effect can a March have? How inferred, an act of conjecture, managed perception is present? In the present it is the outsider who collects and makes a complete new history of what is being seen.
The inferences concerning the military and army groups are seen from banners related to events past. They are not now, they do not represent the present. They are the mere cultural collective narrative as it has advanced, how it has been and is articulated.
When the new tendency to march in period uniforms, made in the finest versions of the woolen and cotton representations, with belts in nickled metalwork the purpose is to antagonises. They do not create the theatre that the men going to their deaths faced. It is sickening both sides try to perform the part of the soldier, the part of the fighter when they dress up witless of past history and kid themselves of their assurity of projection.
They are the opposite of com reactive, they are deeply insulting of each and every soldier, man or women who for whatever their motives where found themselves facing the prospect of war and the chance of being killed or killing. Into the intervening period with risk dramatically reduced by acts of terrorism it is a bizarre transition to see balaclavas on people marching – out in the open – as if they were in the open in whatever circumstances they represent. They instead would be totally concerned with not being visible being hidden. Now the cowardly act is theatered as a march. Mindless.
History is a Memory
From a clear background they are up for and not afraid to pay respect to the past history they have been handed and carry on with traditions set down long before.
Hangers On
The hideous side of things is the hijacking by drunks, trouble makers, godless folk, violent minded people who denigrate the very group they claim to support. No one has any pretensions that this celebrates none other than the Battle of the Boyne. A battle with Imperialism that created a virulent imperialism.
The Orange
In an earlier blog I celebrated the fact this picture showed that it as cultures throughout Europe, in far off places, Brazil, Mexico in common with people with a particular history get to experience the feeling of connection back down the ages. The rituals, uniforms, music, celebrations, displays are very evidently rooted in something. It is the shared something which many self – identify with.

So the title of the photograph has several meanings.
First up I see it describing the people thinking of the day they are in.
Being conscious and mindful of other people they share a common interest with.

The overriding outcome they desire is fun and friendly banter and reconnection.

To see it derided and categorized as a component of conflict renewed and conflict reaffirming a past is far from the reality. In the days before certainly there were many lives lost in the heat of battle and many a false move twixt hand and glove. The banners portray simplified victors. The portray keepers of the history and create a myth and eulogies people whose part has been brutal and of themselves conflicted.

The history like opposite histories contains a pile of dangerous perceived and untruths carried forth as the document.
For the local case history book to be opened, opened at any page from the story comes another complex contradiction.
Seeing our Times
Seeing our times is about realising what it is that represents today, now in and of itself. The actual gathering of who, people you know and people you speak with in other parts of your life. The mix is vast. So many differences already exist within the group that the dynamic shows the closest way to be a fellowship is to take part in what you identify as yours.

Some other photographs in Art in the Eastside.









John Graham

28 October 2014


Art : They .. Abortion rights


Platform arts
Emma Campbell

‘They put their hand out like scales.”

In the book of the images When they put their hand out like scales, Emma Campbell quotes various people across the island of Ireland.
Paradoxically; david Ervine who was implacably opposed to a United Ireland and not exactly in touch with women’s issues as a cross border joint issue, is quoted. The quote above. Art from the crude language; he starts ‘They are not women they are people.. Bless, he instantly may as well be saying, not just women, not simply women, he takes an authority of judging the women seeking an abortion.
A representative of organised terrorism unplacated and vile and violently encouraging young people to do his dirty work and kill human beings already born and fully alive he recoiled at the fact among his neighbours there were young women who, if they had found the means to travel at a minimum, went to England for an abortion. He used the phrase”they put their hand out like scales.” mixing the metaphor having right and wrong in each hand. The morality of it only being wrong on one hand and right on the other displacing the separation being made.
Law and Justice
In our justice system, the law is inexorably cast with degrees of right and wrong. The person acted for a reason….but that reason carries wrong …being against the Law. In the case of the individual it is not like that. The individual has to divide in their own hands, into the right hand and into the left hand the right in the right, the wrong in the left. The moral judgement is theirs and the terms of their decision is going to weigh on one side or the other. This is the unambiguous truth. Into it once made come the social impediments. Into it has to be created a process in concert with her decision to enable it. These are the issues the state and authority act and intervene to hinder or enable the woman to act.
Politicians unwitting disconnection
Going back to the conflicted David Ervine I wonder what regard he had for the men on whose orders they acted who took their own lives, of the soldiers seeing the opposing forces inflict terror and death on each other’s community who took their own lives, of the people who shot people from their own community for their non-compliance. It was before Ervines time I think when a friend expressed his views in a pub in his community which because of its left leaning contempt of violence and killing of people of another religion he was taken to a toilet in the Pub and executed by people of the same community and religion. So the leaders had become the rulers of live and death and in their sacrament they murdered a fellow human being.
The Woman as a person alone and individual
Often it is put to women that the conction and the merging of chromosomes is a new life. It cannot be purely because at that time her womb carries a fertilised egg wholly dependant on her and of her body which includes her mind. Nothing else is involved. She has an extension of herself which she can grow to the birth of a child. It is a division of will or want and if unplanned and not willed it is for her to decide on a termination as soon as she has made the decision. The decision is probably already framed in her mind as conception is a continual presence in her sexual life but when the actual occurrence of pregnancy occurs it shifts to another level when the question has to be considered now it is present. The decision to have children is a life changing one and it is weighted in one hand.
No directions or Law can intervene.
In either event support and all help and assistance is required and in many places equipped to deal with both eventualities and decisions are less fraught.

John Graham

24 October 2014


Serena : A Film Review


Cast : Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Sean Harris, Ana Ularu, Sam Reid, Conleth Hill, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Christian McKay, Philip Zanden, Ned Dennehy.

The pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are is a proven combination. Having been made in 2012 by the Director and part Producer, the Danish attendee to close detail and a comprehensive storyline without too much diversion is Susanne Bier. A distributed is clearly now in place and we get to see what has been held back for a few years.

This is a period drama set in East America, the North Carolina Forests, soon to become State Parks. The time is 1929 and the colonial fore bearers are gone and the land is allocated on a lost continental basis. The victors took the spoils of much land and the forests were an enormously valuable natural commodity. Like the mining, oil and agricultural wealth grasped post civil war, some winners were founded sufficiently to create their own banking systems.

The character George Pemberton (Cooper) is a young entrepreneur with a vision for making heaps of money from deforesting large sections of forestry which is mainly relatively cheap and easily accessible Pinewood.
He has enlisted a partner to share the risks and also to be an additional pair of eyes.
This is the redoubtable, advisor Buchanan (David Dencik) whose homoerotic attraction to George is a slow burner ignited by the return after a trip to retrieve more funds from a Bank, of George with a wife. Swept up from an encounter his sister who is in the closed elitist society set, is the formidable attractive, fair and astute alluring Serena. The fair fine features of Serena are not reduced as she puts a white horse through its paces.
Her commanding positive teamwork with the animal are enough to impress George from a distance. George’s sister gives him the tale of her loss of her entire family. From her father a large scale timber baron whose empire was many leagues above the North Carolina operation George has started.
To call a woman feisty is I am given to understand an unfettered insult and demeaning as often applied ingloriously to women.
Hot, quarrelsome, courageous and single minded on the other hand can not have those accusations leveled and it is only part of the character summation this beautiful horsewoman turned married woman.
In marrying she thinks she finds her soulmate and fellow adventurer with plenty of common direction and interest.
As a partner in business George is confident of what she can bring outside the house. The comparability of the couple have no sexual shortcomings and she quickly becomes pregnant.
As an operator of business from a horse or in her boots on the hills she carries every action out without error. Her countenance is accepted.
The person who we see most put out by her presence is the directionless Buchanan. There are a couple of head woodsmen that all three rely on to enforce their instructions

These are familiar actors which is a feature of this film.
II is odd to see Douglas Hodges as a fiery logsman with a passable impression of a doughty American shouting the odds of the new America.
Also the squat doleful Toby Jones is cast as the righteous Sheriff of the adjacent town. He is implausibly plausible given the cock a manny story.

Sean Harris and Rhys Ifans are the two dependable.
Rhys Ifans under his ten gallon hat does a mean meany oddball.
Serena accepts his judgement if not his outsider withdrawn, need to be an outsider. Rhys paces alongside things. Rails freshly laid. Logs freshly felled and houses freshly inhabited. He acts feral (not unlike the feral under-panted 4W+1Funeral wimp) as the other dependable Harris we recall from the newly released ’71 in which he plays the Long haired beatnik guised Spook of her majesties finest. He is here an only mildly less savory self interested pugnacious beetler in the wood pile.

It is a right ant-heap and by way of relation Serena sends for a trained Eagle to take care of the snakes which have killed several of the needed workers.

The first section, well over halfway into the story little hens of any consequence. The anti-romance is played. George does not meet her expectations and is easily given instructions without being aware of them, she has a major plan in mind. She has to in my mind emulate and better the achievements of her lost Father. The Father lost in the fire and the ghost of the loss of an entire family explains much of her driven nature.
She is not conscious of this herself and is therefore not able to forgive readily for minor transgressions.
George on the other hand is reflective and cautious. Serena is the risk taker.
When the film becomes a highly intense crime thriller it is complete with murder, conspiracy, corruption and revenge all told.

A side story involves George’s child conceived with his ‘maid’ the delectable Rachel (Romanian actress Ana Ularu), whose continued presence upsets Serena on occasions, despite her instruction to George when she realises, as soon as she arrives that this past and child exist.
Only occasionally does she have cause to make anything of it but on the triangle swings several twists.

Serena is at the centre of this melodrama and with flawless imperious portrayal of restrained imploding self confidence the magnetism I for one see, as many others recognise, Jennifer Lawrence delivers a brilliant performance with the panoply of emotions suited to her poise and beautiful face and stature. It is a character that for the reasons addressed earlier requires the unbelievable passage of the story at times to be delivered in the manner which makes you think of the wider possibilities.

To this it has to be added the impression I took of Bradley Coopers performance was it was wooden not only in the material but delivery. He may have drilled to much; making him out at times was a problem hopefully most didn’t experience. Don’t worry as most of the best lines are Serena’s. Rhys Ifans just comes out with cliches through clenched teeth.
The forest as it turns out is in Czechoslovakia – presumably they have stopped deforesting large sections of North America and now have a preference for Fracking.

I would like to see Jennifer in a political Drama. I wonder if she would play the courageous life of a French woman scorned and driven to show the guys what women can do in Politics. Beware what you wish.

The story turns into a very suspense driven implosion of the relationships which have taken you to the North Carolina timber rough sawn America.
The lush scenic background of the Smoky Mountains and the attention to costume detail are (Czech shoot aside!) very natural and give the film the cosmetic of convincing cinema.

Conclusion. ###3

The full dynamic of the film is from my viewing the character of Serena shaped by the events. That makes it succeed on a couple of levels but it has some one dimensional aspects which takes away from what could be a more incisive film. If the one to one scenes between George and Serena were more complex; after all it becomes a complex relationship.
The challenges and the difficulties of making a life in this territory is there but folk like Toby Jones who succeeds in making a Good guy fighting for the locals acerbic. A bad turn – I dread to think how he will turn us against Captain Mainwaring – yes currently being filmed and Michael Gambon – is the hired ace to play a Buffon – how does that work? What the hell is happening to the Film Industry.
Can you not rely on the actors to choose their parts wisely and to embrace the craft of cinema without looking at the paycheck first?

This film will appeal as a kind of un troubling drama and will hardly bring down too many trees. The he digital age. Will newsprint ever cease?

John Graham

23 October 2014


On at QFT from Friday 24 October to 6 November 2014
Check times

This Week
Fri 24th Oct – 6:40pm
Fri 24th Oct – 9:00pm
Sat 25th Oct – 6:40pm
Sat 25th Oct – 8:50pm
Sun 26th Oct – 6:40pm
Sun 26th Oct – 9:00pm
Mon 27th Oct – 6:40pm
Mon 27th Oct – 9:00pm
Tue 28th Oct – 6:40pm
Tue 28th Oct – 9:00pm
Wed 29th Oct – 6:40pm
Wed 29th Oct – 9:00pm
Thu 30th Oct – 6:40pm
Thu 30th Oct – 8:50pm
Fri 31st Oct – 6:30pm
Sat 1st Nov – 8:40pm
Sun 2nd Nov – 8:50pm
Mon 3rd Nov – 8:50pm
Tue 4th Nov – 8:50pm
Wed 5th Nov – 9:15pm
Thu 6th Nov – 9:15pm

Art : Amanda Beech A Wall

Uses for Art are collected, codified, narrated and presented, product of many triumphs and editorial of truth and falseness, each thrust energetically into a ‘suite’ of the act of creation.
The collection occupying the mutated space, the Catalyst Gallery is known a All Obstructing Walls have been Broken Down in two rooms.
The familiar open Gallery has a wall ironically separating creating a foyer where mingling, conversation takes place, three pockets of space are therefore realised. Music in the form of sound design vibrate and permeate.
In the first room are four works on paper. Graphic works each, signaling through word, power. Power. Infiltrated. Displaced. A hand in Land Triumphs is terminal perhaps, burial mode. Patterns of dots form the hand. A thin hot rod maybe making each hole burning and drawing into paper rough cuts of forms around the message. The word, the conveyed.
On these words come allegiances to vocabulary of the Post Planetary Capitalism continuums Amanda Beech has occupied her mind with in configuring her work.
The writing accompanying this Catalyst Gallery promotion is – in a sleeved handout – is in two folded card leaflets.
One is a dialogue concerning this exhibition and its related subjects.
from the other another view is dispensed by a writer gathering in separate works in an essay that includes Sanity Assassin (2010) so plenty of mileage out of this as it is reconstructed here in the limits of CatLyst Gallery. Gone are the Yellow chainsaws of the Spike Island Gallery describing the format of rooms requiring the artists required journey of the audience taken to the triptych large screens. Absent are the chainsaws on a mirrored base.

The sound design steps in to be an inferior soundtracked prelude as you hear it before you see the screens. A central screen is a focus primarily showing digitLly rain close up in darkness falling in real time. This relief is replaced by belief systems or analytical text dragged up as a composite which AB has written (anti-philosopher) Rottweiler as personage, identify assumed from critical writing from an enlightenment analysist who is named as Adorno in the sleeved notes.

Neither get the enlightenment. AB Anglo Saxon libiterian Whig is probably the former life occupied. The smell and foreign South Bank London Politics presaging the Plague , the Fire and rooted in the North London feudal side of the River now looking back at an enlightenment. The where the fuck did the enlightenment come from paradigm is core.
The reality is the Artist via. HARLISTIC CONTAINEROPIA that non environment sought by artists everywhere, (Little Kingdoms fantasies end exactly the same) Henry Moore, Futurist Architects, Goldfinger escapism and metamorphic rehumanising and reinventing the work already created by God only to deposit that notion like a wasteland. Literary criticism would be of value to the work if it were not important for its brilliance in misunderstanding the actual, phenomenology covered by real, not imagined people responsible for delivering new vocabulary.

Forgetful of Shakespeare and the need for additional words.
Women were given a life, came to the fore through the Charles II Byzantine life bringing as Dryden said ‘Freedom as an English subjects sole prerogative.’ After which times where moderates like the mind of ABs alter ego fought on both sides. Deplored in Drury Lane and in this English
Look over your shoulder at your own roots as rejected through Art and he Charles II dissected Religion into the most enlightened state having first encountering the humanIty of Catholics and the dour Scottish Presbyterianism.

Where AB goes with her experience is to a place where neither her or an audience vision of the inferred beauty of self knowledge is validly devoured. The cannibalistic which is how this distant Los Angeles logic depicts it.
Very 2014. Not knowing one end from the other. Upside down History, ruminating in the place of FFs End of History, projected by the bog standard recoiling against unseen, undefined enemy’s.
The Mulholland Drive, drive is dark and curved. Meant to depict our road much travelled. I could not give it any value other than Heh, Here we are, here, a location. Likewise the Stationary stations of cars lawns and homes.
No climate except the centralized reign.

Then there is the sucked it magpie architectural Autocad programmed rendered, sometimes un-rendered frameworks of objective modelling.
All very discardable rubbish design or interest.

Then the LA nature pornification of a garden hidden away from West Hollywood are the clutter of cut flowers. Dead horticulture now slightly referencing the nature of Frank Llyod Wrights post colonial homes and gardens.
So what. So culture is. Everyone knows LA is a place of contrast.
You would need to be living in a hut in Calcutta and even then down the Satellite rubbish TV will reveal it to the less than impressed poor.

You are I take it expected to suck it up and your crituque – AB tries to disown and embrace criticism. It is valid as it always is in somewhere, not here, a truth is revealed.
There is never a truth merely a motion of time interspersed among us. The literary criticism of years gone by is part of an education, learning different ways of seeing.

This art is an applied criticism of a personal examination. The artist as their own critic. John Berger a real person in the essay ‘Permanent Red’ put forward ‘Imagination is not, as is sometimes thought, the ability to invent; it is the ability to disclose what exists
For me there was no disclosure only repetition. Regurgitation. Exoneration of the personal psyche.
It would create further tedium to bring it more words.

The following is a narrative of disassociation.

Though a word about the part played. The caraciture. With strong persona and weak character a blend of elemental urges, at odds with almost all around, the physical, the dogma of the times, yet the closest to human will cornered, glorious never benign. Once the necessity is satiated like sex the infinite becomes possible once more.
A Word and Presentation
UU University of Ulster Art College is for learning
Have a shot across the loosely held campus of creativity.
Any word with a P attracts the artist and first up is the psychology of the human which she plainly presents as people avoiding themselves and presenting images as actors in the world which the artist widely travels.
A studio is important. A local is needed for the work to spring from.
Location is embedded not only in the graphic fixity of words as slogans but those words represent the carried culture the observed not understood but slog aniseed crude mirrors of words look back angry, disembowelled or whimpishly

The Conflation
No single or unique God
It is not a humanist world either.
The Occupy movement she observed is not where power exists.
It never was you could reply, it does not diminish the movement.
That is the scene changer in Amanda Beech staging with a clumsy rhetorical gesture to enlighten a largely young audience of students and practioners..

Much more complex – more diverse – the art world is in crisis what is the rubric that it has?
Art fails? Central failure is rationalization – implication.
Everybody is implicated. Those questions asked, the void is not filled.
The direction of divine travel is it appears – a screen of PowerPoint text which inhabit the written work and seems to be the direction this lecture will go – is the Art as the rubbing of the stones, except their cells of AB.
Instead of rubric however comes rubout. Like an LA detective novel; of Dennis Lehane, Michael Connely? the location AB resides, Phillip Marlowe chastises the new neighborhood and hunts down the perpetrator of the crime. Less compelling jeopardy than the ‘Tempest’ of the novel.
This is as close as I’m ever going to get to finding a message from ABs work given it is noir fiction delivered as noir fact. It borders on the banal and mediocre but its extracts of flash envelop all our configurations of the meaningful daze we encounter. This rubric of one persons Art is sometimes needy and subjective plageristic cannibalism of others creative genius.
Cinema all around LA no triple screens no triptych.
The creative of critical analysis used is hubristic. Leviathan is opining while the locked eyes of AB juxtaposes the powered up lone crusader from the 24 from box of delights AB tells us she devours like film as a life’s arrived appetite for – well it seems the z source.

Zenith is God speaking.

Human subject without any ground – real world goes on without us – artists – setting themselves outside.
It has consequences on your politics this unfixed love of this freedom idea.
All ideas from liberal to right this indifferent world marks a crisis point where lost grip all agree on chaos and unstable space. All eschewed.
Artists intentions and outcomes not trusting function.
It always was in crisis, you only relate to the seen the never seen polemic you will never know, so how come you are so certain a new time exists.
Becket quoted. The playwright not the overure politicised grandeur.
Object oriented philosophy is the by word.
Never convinced in those practices.
Hunch was conclusions is they know it all failure is certain idealist fantasy contradicting knowledge ( not in my experience of insight information and knowledge hungry not a reversal of the art t has in mind.

Art comingles with the real of sensory affect
Feel it man
Art s free by nature
Art is must work to manifest this freedom in the realm of the political
Art commits to freedom
Is an agent of dispersion, producing instabilty its a myth, and indeterminacy.
Art is incapable of organizing and planning
Art is a
Ways dismantling the form of power.
Art is sad abut confronting art.
Images with power
Albert Speer he used light?!!!!!!
Josef Thorak she is attracted to the phenomenon of its expression she called it differently
Thomas Hobbs was working with Kings validation we will all kill each other
A belum of all against all
We cannot trust so we need organisation.
Ey ond the law 24 he represents the ethos of violent replacement
Consistent investment In this from the artist
My big problem with art
Idealistic connection between knowledge and power

Art as the process of difference and change – its attempt to escape from itself brings itself back into the circle of critique!

Art as enlightenment – making us aware assumes that art is already different
And can transform

Can Art think in a wholly different paradigm?

Life is always a couple of hours north – the very nature of Little Kingdoms.

Hardly the garden city, the island of Aldous Huxley or the narrative of Thomas More whose Utopia was an island.

the place of Harlow Essex is a location of nothingness which Sir Fredrick Gibbard bonkers as he was devised as arnegade GLC architect.

These artists do not follow the BIG dots of this approach She is so niave and displaced or not on a real insightful journey.
Thather gets a mention the ramofications
Let’s build a gallery
Circus festival – it HAS AN AESTHETIC heavens above

Michael Stuot

The accelerationist
The norm the normalcy is their landscape






THIS IS AS A DEGREE OF LOOKING – we are meant to look – express your thoughts – have power of rejecting the violence of mere rhetoric.
Rhetoric is functional – this is having your cake and turning it into art and have -Donald Davidson write supportively

This Is empowering someone who agrees, accepts has a connection.
AM at UU Central Belfast.

James Ellory uses the force of rhetoric.
Didn’t Hemingway lay a trail of middle clas. Paper materiality for dank consumption.

I am going to tell you everything

If only AM OR JE

John Graham

27 October 2014


Scent of Dust as Memory

imageNo poverty of Poetry
Such is our fortune in Belfast and on this island to have a people who know the immense importance of all kinds of Poetry it is treated with great appreciation by many in the community.
Writers readers alike, aplenty, axiomatic, liking and writing mastery alongside the double jointed realism of words limitations which yield and weld solid lines and canons in some hands, none to many, greater than Michael Longley who would tell you winking there are far better than me.. Not a quote more a guess.
Those revered Poets to last longer and as art; in concert with the words of the poet Austin Dobsons lines -
All passes. Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne-
The Coin, Tiberius.


Of another art once said-
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
So warns us wisely, of the stature less statuesque words descending a page, onto another and an other. You know the kind.
Another accolade if such trite words are necessary, in ML poetry is he himself readily puts out, is the brevity he favours. Ten volumes and the rest of writing in other forms will go far in quenching the thirst born in the mind satiated like Jameson alongside the friends absent and around.
Two pillars Seamus Heaney and the building stands with the hand reaching down holding the air supporting our own Coliseum. To put no finer point on it. It stands and time no respecter is confusing as once again it’s yesterday.
The sounder this becomes; the brevity, when ML has found each cast of a poem embarked on.
The works of Oscar Wilde have many subsequent orations and many times assiduously pertained in the oddest contexts. The learned teacher in ML will know education itself is a limit so future forgotten teachings evinces the confidence of memory deep and putting the matter at hand to rank and order however forgetful you maybe.
Reflections within poems are so.
The poet offers in precision of line material and insight further heights of connection rapidly flowing in the rafters of your mind.
They construct the architecture with words modern ancient and of others souls reworked as the devil and spirit of God or fashionable disbelievers.
Poems made of things.
The poet pulls the strings.
Telling by reading
ML reflected on a choice of coma, of a lateness in putting down a written word which prevented him as poems dictate a measure found once writing to be obeyed Homer like, restraint, from appending or including favourite common local names of flowers or a roll call of a places collection of villages, even the outlying hills.
This book of Poems is sheer wordcraft.
From the title ‘The Stairwell’ unexpectedly set in America. Others cast out visions if that shore from this edge of Europe. Several rest in Mayo others next door. The scaffolding has been up and down for years in this immensely career defining passage of a book given the changes most recent.
At the heart of the murmurations.
ML is a bit like- but not an ultra obsessive kind who becomes fixated on a particular thing it eventually becomes the scene of his destruction; – that person the brilliant Architect Charles Jeanneret. Corb. who so admired his once lover Eileen Grays house it called him – once rejected – to reside across from it merely or fixedly to admire its motionless form in the ever changing storms of the south of Frances environ. ML has a penchant for having the Homeric sensibility enter into his mind as a route through to the thought embedded taking shape. Sometimes the direct reference, other times the tonality.
Form of ‘The Stairwell’ is a piece of mastery to invert the accomplishment without pretence of any countervailing realisation. It simply is a modern and timeless work. Like most binding capturing time present for presentation the work cannot nor did carry all. Once completed the new building had gathered another Poem ‘Starling’ like nature requiring another roost. The willow bends but tends not to be uprooted so the building takes on another outlier. The ever near birds and continuing memorial a memory throughout this work of ML’s twin late brother Peter the practical Engineer whose perimeter had also no boundaries but a place to live. That place coastal North East England.
A place honoured and mythical by ML’s account in that here and now.

Footnoted prologue.
The QUB Great Hall was full as full can be 9 October 2014; hereafter remembered besides, as the day UKIP attained their first MP to sit on Commons benches. From one perplexity of unknown Politics in a querulous affectation known in daily passing as Democracy. The Battenburgs at tea were sweet as catastrophe and Wall Street took in the other other places recitations on the day today.
To all and forcthe next they have to be cited and marked. ML no less interested in the matters all around kept out the world beyond the ex-gothic famine dated college walks fenestrated to let in an approximation if a calm place outside mothering by. Tungsten lights competing with the hanging rings of candesent mock flames over our heads.
The appointed time was forward by enough time to see the gathering and ML emerge, circulate, visit the Chancellors facilities in case discomforted mid sentence or between the amplitude of anecdotal, or as allowed, some rich story and reasoning accompanying the muse.
At a point when he hesitated once, allowing an audience member who was making a discreet to most eyes exit, he proffered advice assigned for such occasions, by I think it was the discretionary lady Enda, that the best way to internalise any conjecture of slight was to put it down to the persons likelihood of a weak bladder.
Astute he shared it and on other occasions sequestered Gynaecological footnotes or birth notes. By sense or sheer persist acne he also placed a footnote on the poem dedicated and about his long neighbour, present this evening, the eminent and retired paediatrician Claude Field who shared
His anemones as a gift to the divide between their houses. A growing act which like nature occurred with an unexplained self will. He made, in the poem, he relates, CF of the age of 93 prefrontal to abide with the Poems rhythm to replace CF’s correct age of 96. Another act appreciated no doubt, having 3 years in limbo perfectly still and held all the time in natures revered presence alive and still.

I dislike long introductions and set about a Poem I had recently come across in the style of its own manifestation. Of that see the authors apology at the foot. A tactic to reach the bottom – you can skip as Churchill when sometimes asked about a book he recited – “I have read it- in a general way” so mea culpa.

Summer brings occasional dryness
Through the ever open door
Wave after sunlight wave of dust
Has come indoors to lie in shade

Will it be disturbed this day?…..
It may lie until tomorrow, after sleep
shall I sweep or stir it with a cloth, maybe
gather a small community of dust

No. The dust may be a friend blown in
Returning after many years as visitors
Or the scraps of other nature maybe
Flowers or perished bark oak alder or beech

From where? the Yorkshire hills carried ?
Or Skye or the Hill of Slane? Curragh Plain
Could this dust be a warrior, sailor, Holy man
Or a victim of Gods refrain

On walls, doors, picture frames, a layer cast
Like a exotic creature in watchful rest
Regarding, replenished, open eyes observe
Around each room the dates unveiled past

Sun framed through garden window bars
over the threshold worn and grey
Light splits, spills on the table bright
Revealing on polished hardwood the dust

A dining rectangle, two triangles
Hesitation brings a thought
Wet a finger draw the fish in dust
With the open eye, the unscaled dead
Fish in air stare fixedly aghast to die

Psalms call the morrow on, Sunday
Simeon cradling the infant Jesus
Prophesies Jesus to die happy
Jesus looks up, shares the moment long

When winter calls the dust stays on
I let it rest, memory merges past
with the future skin I cast afloat
Bedfellows with the stories shared

Like a mind the cells link life’s
art of obtaining evaluation of
Dissent or assent? ever graduated
as education espouses to each an end

That theory becoming more, a fact
Prepared for long it will repeat
Gods patten revealed in halos last
Circling floating crowns, dust to dust.

All along the peace a layer outside
of snows crystals representing as life
bound water in constructed frames
To speak of all the kingdoms, us,
of futures evergreen, free words

John Graham
After ‘Dusting’ by Viola Meynell whose work is kept by Jacob Dallyn
VM who ‘imitated’? ‘translated’ a Poem by Theophile Gautier.

In the words of the beautiful Sade – ‘Is it a crime’ what price contentment?
Striking up a few words should be compulsory but wait then it would seem a chore which it clearly isn’t but it does bind you to the limitations of langauge and inform how that can be turned to advantage.