A perfect end to our series recognizing women, Michelle Souter shares with us her marvelous painting of Princess Diana! A heroine in her time, and inspiration even now, Souter captures the grace and beauty of this notable woman.
I’m Michelle Souter aka @_dolly_dooo_42. I’ve been making art since I was a child. After completing my BA and MFA, I worked on my solo career and opened @lazylinepainterbelle. My main passion though is tattooing. And I really hope one day to find an apprentice position one day…..if I’m lucky.
Join Anthony Mondal in the exploration of metaphorical females in his written poetry as well as his poetry video. His characterizations brings to light the need for cherishing and respecting the world around us as the lady she is.
The City Nights
In the middle of the night, outside I stepped Shops are closed and streets deserted. The neon lights shine, dazzlingly bright; And will shine on, remainder of the night; Unconcerned about anyone, For silent spectators are they, of tragedies committed out of our sight May a young heart, the city traps Enchanted by her gloss and glamour; Failing to see her cold and deceptive manners. Speeding cars rush thru the night, Leaving behind streams of light.
Yonder I hear music playing. Also sirens of ambulances and police cars wailing For a moment I thought , an old woman weeping. Thru the scenes of frolic of the city night I see the face of a woman in plight. She appears to be pretty, at first glance But on closer inspection, her cosmetic mask fades away Revealing her age, and wrinkles of skin ugly. Stands before me an elderly prostitute; For long she had her body abused.
Wandering aimlessly on the city streets, in agony of shame and defeat; The hollow laughters of frolicking women, in my head, they repeat. Towers of steel and glass surround us in plenty, Nay, they dwarf and ridicule our very own individuality. And the cool night wind, from every direction brings, To my ear, the sighs and groans of disconnected lives, Chained in their self imposed glass cages. And the city continues to be at war, in rages.
Anthony Mondal is a poet, novelist and actor. He considers himself simply as an artist beyond the confines of nationality and religion. He proudly calls himself a citizen of the world. His most recent book of poems was titled A Burst of Sunshine, which is his second published book. He lived in New York City for almost ten years pursuing writing, acting and song writing – well, then he had a breakdown! And now our artist recuperates/resides in Michigan, USA. As an actor he has appeared in the film “Sabrina” and the TV show “Strangers with Candy” (2000). He received his BA from Calvin College in geology in 1995. He worked in the World Trade Centre, Building One in 2001 and has survived.
Currently he is working on an existential novel tentatively titled “In Search Of…” and is looking for a publisher/agent for his completed Memoirs.
Kirsty Niven shows us the different sides of a woman. Perception and reality both dancing, but not always to the same beat.
I don’t need rescued; not every girl is a princess.
Blood red lips drip, staining snow white skin starved to a deathly pallor.
My Rapunzel hair thins, strands drifting away like dandelion seeds;
the feathers fluttering in the path, the aftermath, of a swan that’s taken flight.
Wholly sick of shadows, I wield the future as my sword.
My Grandparents’ House
They live in Dundonald, an ex-council house on a street that rhymes like a children’s book. You can just about see the castle from their door, if you peer through the cracks in the estate.
The living room is a green museum, holding an exhibition on their lives, a detailed mosaic. The photos of us grandchildren showcased, through every stage of life, diplomas and proms – well, until I dyed my hair a rebellious red.
The mahogany cabinet displaying the souvenirs of every holiday, from mildew ridden tents to constellation level hotels; the Austrian crystal, Welsh bells and the miniature Jersey jugs. Anniversary gifts: plates in silver, pearl and ruby. The tantalising sweetie cupboard beneath with its crumbling mint air and rainbow wrappers.
A clowder of cat figurines on the sideboard, scented with the pot pourri in the glass bowl. The vanity box down the side of the couch, filled with George’s marvellous medicines and the little sponges that became Barbie podiums.
I think their bedroom is still my favourite. I love to sit at her dressing table, wrapped in its rose perfumed air. My sticky fingers dip in and out of velvet boxes, her best earrings held before my unpierced lugs. Painting on her best lipstick, lines forgotten, its waxy clown smile lingering for days.
Her essence still breathes in this place, her eyes watch on through the pictures on the wall.
Your words step out of the page, crawling onto my skin and leaving inky footprints.
The images look into my eyes, burrowing into my brain. It’s like they never left.
Kirsty A. Niven is from Dundee, Scotland. She graduated from the University of Dundee in 2013 with a first class degree in English. Her writing has appeared in a number of anthologies such as A Prince Tribute, Landfall and Heat the Grease: We’re Frying Up Some Poetry. She has also had poetry appear in numerous journals and magazines, including The Dawntreader, Cicada Magazine, The Poet’s Republic and Dundee Writes. Kirsty’s work can also be read online on websites such as Cultured Vultures, The Wild Word, Silver Birch Press and several others.
O. Yemi Tubi lovingly recognizes his mother and all African Mothers in this masterpiece of colors and imagery! His painting perfectly captures the quiet warmth, culture, and the dedication of these heroines.
GELE (Africans’ Head Wrap): Vintage and Modern
This painting is a homage to my mother and to all the industrious African mothers of the vintage years. They spent quality time with their children while working to support their families. They carried their children on their backs while working on the farms or managing their trading stalls. The artist’s mum carried her child on her back and on her head is the tray of fabrics she sells from door to door to provide for her family.
What a spectacular recognition Joan McNerney gives to a profession that is unassuming, yet brings magic to people’s lives! Read McNerney’s delightful poem of a Librarian and the beauty she encompasses therein!
Always cherished the sanctity of
this place. This refuge of
knowledge arranged in infallible
logic of the Dewey Decimal system.
Judith loved to touch these volumes.
Especially heavy reference
dictionaries, atlases, almanacs
and encyclopedias. Those sheltered
in secluded shelves for staff only.
Children come along each day
to feast on colorful books. Lounging
in small chairs, they become
spellbound by cornucopias of words.
Mostly she likes the retirees who
linger with newspapers and
magazines in the reading corner.
They confess not to understand
computers, writing down requested titles.
At the end of evening, Judith walks
through the quiet. Before leaving,
she will select a saga of spicy
adventure to flavor her evening.
Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. She has four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest title is The Muse in Miniature available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net
Follow along with Larry D. Giles as he explores women from his book, Father Tree Water! They are a wonderful addition to your Saturday dose of artistry!
I may have thought God was strange
when she climbed up—
the hammer jiggling
from the wet belt
she stole from her brother—
he had no nerve for heights
forever twiddled in a box.
She straddled eaves—
like one peel of a banana
hoped for though not yet eaten.
It was almost dark, a bird
had also left its wing. She cussed it down—
then pounded like the devil
for the nerve of rain—
that old man drowning
in a corner brown jar.
Hungry at the table,
I imagined air solid and soulful around her blue T-shirt.
Hearing that stunted nail,
I swear down below
a muscle grew from a hole
in my pocket—
to the dry,
Girl with a Match
(after Alicia Keys)
pretty in pigtails
and afraid of matches,
who sucks her thumb
and rocks pink dolls in cradles,
bakes black mud pies
in little white stoves
along the shaded edge
of the field,
on the porch
scowls at kites,
dips just one toe in the river—
I thought for years
was just my sister—
like a sun-struck pilot
over the house
and then set
The Woman Down
I would imagine the sink
to pull her down,
down with the ceiling
and leftover spaghetti,
my brothers and sisters
to peer in after shock,
waiting for her to spew out.
Down beneath the heavy day
of hamburger grease
and scabbed paint,
down with the bent forks
and gray-water spoons,
sucked like the head
of a chalk-soaked mop
from my wooden fingers,
scraping against powder-wet
porcelain and fear.
Till I thought for once
she would not pull back.
For once, she would not
wring out the darkness
and rank, rank dust,
though plastered there
above the lonely depths—
I could still hear Otis crooning,
still feel Martin’s moaning,
“We shall certainly overcome,”
my ghost-white siblings
wrestling in the wreckage
and crying for their daddy
to bring home
I thought for sure
she would be demolished,
by that vacuous murkiness
the night he called
for the very last time,
she then twisted into a knot
of noodled flesh
so tight it would burst
into a thousand fibers.
But that night, too,
she was a plunger,
a great liquid voice
sticking to the walls
of that hideous hole in hell,
and each night she was
a plumber and a carpenter,
above all, the in-tact mother
who pushed up from drains,
looked out from sinks
and handed us tomorrow’s spoons
and saucers and plates,
that, though old and cracked,
still managed to glimmer,
beneath dim, dusty florescent
tubes and a squashed, yellow
ceiling that, like the sink,
somehow imagined it could keep
the woman down.
Larry D. Giles
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Larry D. Giles grew up on a farm just outside of Battery, a small rural community several miles from the Rappahannock River. Educated at Livingstone College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia, the writer has taught English and writing at his high school alma mater in Essex County and for the city of Richmond. While at Richmond, he received teacher of the year, the prestigious REB Award for Teaching Excellence, and an educational leadership fellowship. A Luard Morse nominee, he is co-author of Journey Home, with playwright Jacqui Singleton, a work produced in Richmond theatre. Larry has been published in The River City Poets Anthology 2019, Better than Starbucks Magazine, The Bhubaneswar Review, and in other media. Available at http//www.lulu.com/spotlight/LDGiles2020 and released in 2019, Father Tree Water: Collected Poems and Photographs of the Rappahannock Mind Body Spirit is the writer’s first published collection of poetry.
Larry’s poetry and creative nonfiction often center on family, rural Virginia life along the Rappahannock, and personal resilience and strength, with sometimes mystical multicultural interweavings. His poems often ring with personal conviction and revelation, his prose nostalgic reverence, pathos and beauty. Nominated twice by Better than StarbucksMagazine for Best of the Net for his Hoover Boys series, Larry currently resides in Richmond where he continues to write, paint, enjoy photography, and lead several online history and community education archives.
This pencil portrait is radiant with strength and poise of the only female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi! Rupesh Bhatia brings her spirit to life in this lovely piece of art.
We are going to talk about the Heroines among us so I want to say that Indira Gandhi was our Heroines among us who is also a big role model for all of us. She was the first and, to date, only female Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. She served as prime minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984, making her the second longest-serving Indian prime minister after her father. We salute to the work done by her great efforts towards her work for the Country India.
Myself Rupesh Bhatia and I’m an INDIAN ARTIST. I am working in field of Arts since last 9 years. I had done B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) & M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) specialized in DRAWING & PAINTING from Department of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana. I am still working in different types of techniques of arts like Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, etc.
I am working with my members of “De Novo” where we organised International & National Group Art Exhibitions in different states of India.
I am working as an Storyboard Artist in the “Unisys Info solution” where I make storyboards for the Movies.
I’m giving an art education to the students in the School.
I’m helping in the NGO- Pukar waqt ki, where I’m giving the Art Training to the students who can’t afford to take an education.
Ivana Mancic is a woman of strength, a sculptor, and a survivor of the Serbia bombings of 1999. Come reverently as you view her incredible piece that depicts the experience of this dark time and honors the lives lost.
Memories of a Yugoslav Woman
Dark times and rainy days. Sometimes it rains in a different way and it is peaceful and solemn, the rain that purifies. But those days were simply gloomy. That rain had nothing in common with simple pleasures of childhood, when one rejoices just by seeing the merry dance of the raindrops on the concrete and the surrounding nature breathing together with the soaking soil. This rain could not wash off the dark days. It did not bring any good, but gloomier and gloomier news from the war zone. Yes. They did really wage wars only an hour away. I did not know about it as I was only 11, and on the other hand it was there, in the air and we all sensed it. The dark days of our childhoods. The days in which we were to forget that we should be equal. The days in which brotherhood and equality were condemned by men who wanted to play war. The days in which we were so poor and some of them suddenly so rich. Those days were heavy, with lead skies that do not promise anything good. At the edge of my childhood there it was, the foresight of horror. The irony of it all is that it did not really happen to us, we did not get killed but parts of us died. There, at the edge of my childhood were worried faces of my parents trying to make some sense in madness.
I remember the bombing of Serbia by NATO in a 1999 operation “Merciful Angel”. I was 19. All the bridges that connected Serbia and the northern province of Vojvodina were already destroyed. There was fire and smoke everywhere. Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina was covered in flames. I can’t explain how it felt, as if you are turning grey from the inside. As if someone took all the colours away. As if all the sense disappeared. We, the ordinary people, could not face it. The psychological strain, the burden was too much. And it was grey, grey, everything grey. When I look back to those days, they simply have no colour. They feel like someone has stripped them of every meaning.
I remember looking at my country burn through the windowpane. I remember the factories burning in the distance. The effort of so many communist workers disappearing. The dream disappearing. Their hopes and beliefs disappearing in flames. Thick black smoke elevating towards the sky. I was aware that that bomb could hit any second. I was aware of all the senselessness of my friends hiding. But human beings are miraculous in their willingness to prevail against all odds. I travelled through flames and became resilient. I sometimes think that this is how I travel through life, in smoke, always through smoke and I think that this is how we survived. We became resilient, resilient to sorrow and pain, to hunger, to humiliation, to misery. We became rough and we endured. In these days I lost fear. In these days you realize the frailty of your own existence. And you prevail, through flames and smoke.
That is also how women during Yugoslavia and the conflicts surrounding it prevailed and even today, in the era of the migrant crises, with the migrants being stuck in Serbia in their attempts to cross the borders with EU countries, women are remembered again, in frequent narratives about the refugee men who are raping “our women”. It is this hypocritical relationship and understanding what marked the treatment of women in ex-Yugoslavia. They are and have always been involved in political discourses and used for media purposes. Therefore, women were misused by every single political system and betrayed by it. Nevertheless, through the constant clashes and conflicts, women did not only endure, they supported each other, grouped and fought for their rights.
The sculptural installation “Outside of Memories, I Belong” is dedicated to all the women from ex- Yugoslavia and from all the other war torn countries who survived horrors of war and displacement, for they are the true heroines of our times and the true heroines among us.
Ivana Mancic was born on 16th December in Ruma,Serbia.
At the moment she is a PhD student in Fine Art, School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The research she is undergoing in its focus has art practice and it is aimed at the production of multi-disciplinary artworks, videos and installations the purpose of which is to display the personal narrative. This narrative will address the issues of war, loss and belonging, related to the specificity of the ex-Yugoslav context in order to contribute to developing of the female voice of artists and pacifists in contemporary art. The personal narrative is presented in the written form through texts, essays and reflections on war experiences and current world crises through intersections between the present and the past.
She graduated MA at the Academy of Art, University of Novi Sad in 2011 at the department of fine art-drawing and in 2009 a BA in sculpture at the same Academy, as well as a BA in English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia.
She participated in many solo and group exhibitions, residences such as The Summer Lodge in Nottingham, UK and The Feminist Art Colony in Sicevo, Serbia. Conferences such as the Roots and Reach Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Global Heritage Conference at Nottingham Trent University and Art Festivals such as The PitchWise in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Festival de Arte Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
She is a published author:
2020. Art Therapy: Trauma and Ways of Dealing with it, in Uterus Effect, publication supported by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna (MA7) and the Association Kunstentropie, Vienna, Austria.
2020. The Order of Labour with Silver Wreath and the Plaquette of Yugoslav Trade Union of Industry and Mining Workers, Journal of the Society of Medals and Orders Research, England.
We’ve got some seriously cool art today in the form of 3D animated Short Film! Shreyasee Konar brilliantly designed her own heroine, who may be from an alien planet, but is relatable here on earth.
Won 3 awards and 21 screenings internationally, Pipe Dream deals with a young leader Sam from the gloomy-doomy Planet Kneon. She arrives at Professor Way’s kitchen on Earth, finds the elixir and carries it back to her planet to take the situation in control.
The name of the film suggests an unattainable dream, both of the filmmaker and the protagonist.
Michael H. Brownstein recognizes a heroine that is not quite so well known, Jo Anne Robinson! An inspiring reminder that all great things achieved through history are not from one person and one person alone, but built in a collective action, and each person deserves recognition for their part.
Jo Anne Robinson
Once when I was teaching school, the request was made of me to create a lesson plan for Women’s History Month, and I got right on it beginning with famous women of color, but– too many took their fifteen minutes and made them into Jesse Jackson time. Rosa Parks was not the first to get arrested for not giving up her seat, just the luckiest: Jo Ann Robinson, literate and intelligent, made her into the icon she became and we forgot the others, some who died, for refusing to move. and then there were the Harriet Tubmans’, smart and original, his story denied them their true place and found them another. She became the head of the underground railroad, a woman with headaches who could not read, but really one of our greatest spies who could memorized Confederate orders and pass them on word for word to Sherman. Other women of color freed thousands of slaves, but his story could not let Tubman be and she became somebody else. His story is his story, personality of the ones he wants us to know. Let it go: Without Jo Ann Robinson there would never have been a Rosa Parks, a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a truth about choices..