• I'm With The Band


    I have joined a band. This is definitely not a cool rock group, but three parents of children who take music lessons at The Rhythm Studio in Kensal Road, London W10. Writing this down it seems even more embarrassing than it is in real life, a few fantasists performing rock covers. But, I don't care at all. I will walk through the cringe barrier and take my place at the drum kit and make mistakes and improve slowly - I hope.


    My 11 year-old son Jimmy is a brilliant drummer and manages to make proper beautiful sounding music whenever he plays. The more I learn about playing drums the more I am in awe of his talent and keep telling myself I should give up because I can never be as good as him. Then I think if he is so good maybe it works backwards and somewhere this ability is buried in me. I get so much pleasure from it. Joining the band, albeit only for 7 weeks, is the most frightening thing I have done. The teacher at the Rhythm Studio said most adults that do start music lessons there don't persevere because adults are used to being good at things and don't relish showing themselves up, especially so loudly. When I used to sit for my father and he thought it wasn't going well he would sometimes stab himself in the leg with his paintbrush, or stamp is feet very suddenly giving me a terrible fright. He never gave up though. Good lesson.


  • Submission


    On Wednesday, I held a launch for Submission, the short film I have made in collaboration with director Martina Amati. It took place at the Max Wigram Gallery in New Bond St, a beautiful space. I was anxious about being a poised hostess while feeling raw since coming back from my holidays, and doing everything for the first time since my mother and father died. I think things like "I'm a bit old to be feeling the lack of parents", but it doesn't work like that. Good feeling, when it surges up, connects to missing my mother or my father and then I feel overwhelmed and choked up. Mainly I remind myself that nothing bad happened to them; they died. They weren't killed and they both died peacefully. This is incredibly consoling



    The thing that has got me through it all has been my wonderful friends, and my dear sisters and brothers. Wednesday was full of friends and it felt extra good to be surrounded by them. Submission is five minutes long, and stars models Susie Bick and Abbey Lee Kershaw, and actresses Antonia Campbell Hughes, Phyllis Wang and Olympia Campbell.



    Submission is set in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where you learn to use your opponent's strength to vanquish them. The unlikely winner engages us in her internal dialogue, remembering the moment in her childhood when she discovered how she wanted clothes to serve her as a protective armour. The film is a portrait of a group of unique women rolling on the mat in exclusive costumes.




  • A Tribute

    Interior with Plant Reflection listening (Self-portrait), 1967


    My beloved father died last week on Wednesday July 20. He was 88.


    When I was younger I used to be able to make myself cry in three seconds at the thought of losing him. Even though I will miss him for the rest of my life, it seems reasonable that he should have gone.


    What has been the biggest shock is my mother Bernardine dying four days after my father, aged only 68. She walked into Ipswich hospital in pain and discovered that she was in the advanced stages of cancer. A week later we were told she had a week to live, and she died 13 days after being admitted. When she was still able to speak, I sobbed in her arms as she lay in the hospital bed. She reassured me with such tenderness and said "I don't feel emotional about what is happening to me." She was fearless and calm, I am trying to be like her.


    Pregnant Girl, 1960-61


    Here is my father's self-portrait around the time they were together; the painting he did of my mother aged 18 and pregnant with me. And me.


    Baby on a Green Sofa, 1961





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