Sue Santilhano is a member of the Glastonbury Friends of the Earth group (so I am lucky enough to get to work with her!), works at the wholefood shop Earthfare, and is studying the Foundation Art and Design Course at Strode College. Her current college project is ‘What do you care about?’ With many discussions going on around plastics at the moment, Sue chose to base her artwork on using plastic waste in art.
Sue’s textiles tutor suggested that she collect crisp packet rubbish from the college, to show that it all would have all gone to landfill. Her main project next year is on Design Activism, and Sue aims to alert people alerted to what they are wasting, to encourage a change in mentality. If we worked together, imagine what we could achieve, like the Zero Waste Village in Japan.
One of Sue’s main influences is Alison Harper, who is doing a PHD on using waste for art. She knits paper from single-use paper coffee cups, aiming to alert people to what’s going on when we just throw them away. We are living our lives as if we can endlessly throw things away. She made yarn by cutting plastic strips and reinforcing stitching and manipulation of paper from disposable cups.
Harper created a book out of paper cups, without text, calling it the ‘Book of Lost Knowledge’ – a reflection of the detachment and lack of knowledge every day people have from basic materials. Harper has had exhibitions all over world.
Paper was once a luxury item, and very expensive. Japanese momigami paper is crumpled paper from particular plant. There is a spiritual connection with it, as the paper has a direct connection with living plant. It is respected as coming from the earth. We have clearly lost that connection: paper come from trees that take ages to grow, and then we just coat it in plastic so it’s waterproof, so it can’t be reabsorbed into soil.
Sue sees the tricky side of creating things from plastic, because the things she makes are all still plastic! Harper knitted crisp packets together, and people would comment how beautiful it is. She would think ‘no it’s just litter!’ It’s a hard thing to communicate. Of course there is an argument that it is cheaper to make crisp packets, and it’s better for climate change than creating glass and driving these larger items around the countryside. What is for the best?
TerraCycle is an organisation that collects certain company’s rubbish: it’s about zero-landfill. For example McVities packets sent to them. It is good that some companies are trying to be responsible enough to find somewhere to recycle them. Many things are recyclable but it’s getting them to the place to do it! Sue has found that it’s become a bit of an obsession: there are lots of recycling ways available, but it’s not yet fully broken into the world of plastics. Even if we could easily recycle it, it doesn’t stop consumerism: surely it’s also necessary to consider what we’re buying in the first place!
The first step is changing the mentality. Sue has introduced 3 recycling bins in Earthfare: for plastic bottles, polythene, and the tetra cartons. Tetra can be recycled very easily! However, people are often in a hurry and put things in the wrong bins- the fact is we still can’t sort our rubbish! The Book of Lost Knowledge reflects how we have become a throw-away culture. Things are 100% recyclable (there is probably enough aluminium in the world to keep re-using it, if only we can recycle it). In a capitalist society we need jobs to make money, so we perhaps have a child-like mentality like when as a child we’d throw litter on floor and think ‘that’s someones job to pick it up’. However we are seeing more and more jobs in sustainability now.
Sue aims to use this art work to change people’s mentality, making the invisible, visible. We so often throw things away and forget about it: but it still exists somewhere! It should be easy, but we are getting there. It was not so long ago that they introduced recycling bins outside houses and lorries that sort it. Green Wedmore are making a map for all green initiatives in Somerset.
And other countries do it very well: in India, they recycle everything, it’s a good business! The Japanese are very good, such as Kintsugi: the art of mending things. When something is repaired, it is more beautiful and more loved. Like when you have a row with a loved one, it feels broken, but actually the relationship becomes stronger afterwards. Just because something broken: love it and honour it, mend it! It’s a beautiful art form which repairs ceramic with gold. They see it as a reminder that we are stronger and more beautiful for having been broken. This spiritual idea helps us in difficult times.
Sue and the other college students will have an exhibition at the end of the year. When the sustainability project is over, Sue’s next project will be about the Suffrage movement and how women got the vote. It will focus on persistence, about how people carry on even when times are difficult, how we must keep trying and trying. Even though things can be painful, the result is maybe even more beautiful for having been hard.
Sue Santilhano Blog:
I was delighted to meet the visual artist Shakti Christa Fox in Glastonbury. She invited me to her house to view her stunning art pieces.
I was having a low day the day I went round,
but beautiful Shakti and her art pieces really lifted my spirits!
Shakti takes her inspiration from many different places and told me many stories about her artworks. She tells me that the pieces speak through her, the energies of the places she is in, or experiences she is having at the moment.
And so we get 'series' of artworks, such as the flowering women, the tree women, and the Tantra series. Then there are pieces that speak volumes about the places they were inspired by, such as the Ocean Dance pictures, which came through Shakti when she lived in Greece, and the Bali and Thailand-inspired ''Sacred Life'' series with the flowers and birds.
Some images came to Shakti through spiritual awakenings, such as the Rainbow Serpent Tree Woman, of which she told me a fascinating story. And some through dreams, such as the tree woman she is currently working on. Some images come from experiences with nature, such as the hummingbird in her room in Bali, and the Sea Eagle she couldn't wait to catch a glimpse of in Thailand.
Shakti's spiritual inspirations are numerous too, as reflected in her name 'Shakti': the divine feminine, and 'Christa' embodying Mary Magdalene, the female Christ energy. I love the way she flows and moves through the phases of life, picking up each place, energy or moment, and transforming it into the most incredibly beautiful images.
Thank you for sharing this special piece of you, with me, Christa.
Much love xxx
All images Copyright Christa Shakti Fox
I live and work in Somerset. I have long been inspired by the countryside, in particular the levels. My work over the last three years has been influenced by the landscape.
I have in the main, chosen to use charcoal as a basis for my work, overlaid with different media such as acrylic paint, pastel and graphite powder. I feel that this is sympathetic with the subject matter, allowing me to interpret the change of light and dark. I strongly believe the freshness of the landscape has a vitality that brings new qualities to my work all the time.
Some might think that a landscape that is predominantly flat can be dull and featureless, but I feel that the more I draw it I am getting nearer to the essence of the land, establishing a greater understanding of its changes as the seasons pass.
I was born in London in 1974. Although I spent the early part of my life in London, I have always felt drawn to the Somerset levels, visiting them many times as a child. I can still remember sketching donkeys on the levels where my Grandparents lived and feeling a strong connection with the land.
I studied art for four years, starting with a pre-foundation course in London and then moving to Wimbledon School of Art 1993 -4. Sunderland University 1994-5 and Kent Institute of Art and Design 1995-6. After leaving college I continued with my artwork, participating in a number of courses, both in London and in Somerset.
See more of Matthew's work:
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a creative person. This manifested itself by the sheer excitement of cardboard boxes and empty loo rolls magically transformed into puppet theatres and dolls houses with just some sellotape and felt tips.
I’ve always loved reading and writing. In my vivid imagination my world could be transformed into solving mysteries in an Enid Blyton novel or writing and drawing my own comic strip.
From a young age when asked what I would be doing when ‘I grew up,’ I would confidently reply ‘a writer or an artist.’ Well I’ve never actually made my fortune through my art but I’ve always brought creativity to whatever role I’ve had. In my spare time I like to draw, write and make jewellery. I’ve also dabbled in other forms of self-expression including sculpture, mosaics, photography and film. I do wonder sometimes if I was reliant on my creativity to make my living whether I’d still enjoy it or whether it would become a chore.
I’ve exhibited my art in various exhibitions and it never gets easier. As an artist I can always see what I could have done better and that frustrates me. I’ll never be at the standard that I’d like to be. There is always room to develop and improve.
I find there is inspiration all around. Sometimes I glimpse a face on the tube and think I’d love to draw you. In my mind I trace their lines. There is something about their face that tells me a story, which is why I love portrait and life drawing so much.
I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of 18. I produced a collage using photos, paint and barbed wire about animal experiments. It was a strong message, one which people commented on saying ‘I didn’t know you felt so strongly about it.’ Art gives a voice when you cannot articulate what you want to say.
I might not be where I want to be in life but for the time being I’ll be letting my art do the talking…
Your beauty surrenders me
As you hug me into your naked body
I curve my body to fit yours
Eyes close contently
As I wish time would slow to capture this moment……
@evonart - twitter
@eviecreates - Facebook
I am a creative bloke, nothing special, just creative.
I’ve recently realised that throughout my life I have never looked for work or ever been to a job interview! There is one exception to the rule where I landed a warehouseman’s job on the strength of wearing my mate’s trousers that had neon blue flecks all over them! But all the jobs I’ve ever had were ‘handed to me on a plate’ as it were, some of them I didn’t even want but did them to stop friends pestering me.
All my jobs have been great fun with great bosses who have always given me a certain amount of autonomy within whatever job I was doing. My last job was a Degree lecturer in Sequential Illustration. At the time there was only two of us lecturing on this type of course in the whole country so I was very fortunate, and it was just around the corner from where I lived. As I didn’t want to do it I cheekily asked ''could you not pay me more money?'' They said there was a starting wage and when I have been working there several years I could go up a pay grade. I said I’d do it if they paid me the top pay grade from the start. And this they did! To top it all I do not have a degree myself which I thought was funny.
Like everything in life I try to do the best I can and attempt to better myself in the process. I also read a lot and watch many, many lectures on every subject you can imagine except sports and classical music, it just doesn’t resonate with me. I write and draw comic strips… and this is what I taught for 12 years part time.
My wife and I have not worked a full week each for at least 19 years. We have always been able to dove-tail our jobs so she worked three days and so did I until I went to two days a week. This helped enormously with home educating our children, we never sent them to play group or such like and they never attended school until they were in their teens. The social life was immense while the children grew up… while we were home educating there were about 60 families in and around our town alone, we knew of them all.
I was a leader in the Woodcraft folk and knew lots of people in and around the local pubs. I knew hundreds of people’s names, which I found quite extraordinary at the time what with teaching 70 different students a week and having to get on with all the University staff as well!
We never vaccinated any of our children ever. We rarely see a doctor, preferring the alternative practitioners instead as they actually do some good. I would advise never seeing a doctor or letting anyone stick any needle in you for whatever reason.
If you’re in an accident, they’re great, everything else, steer clear and avoid synthetic drugs!
I have studied medical corruption and psychology for 35 years and these help in writing and making health decisions. I am now a househusband as well as a creative artist.
But I am a man first, art must always be secondary in my book. Being a husband and a father and doing your own housework is important before the art malarkey. Actually how can anyone be a real artist if they put themselves in an Ivory tower and have that feeling of self importance… that’s just your ego, what would that artist have to say that’s of any relevance?
I subscribe to the concept of cleaning your own house, if its too big… downsize, but take some responsibility. I am interested in all areas of subject matter from Astro-theology to Zionism and everything in between. I have no truck with any organised religion, this includes Government, Money, the New Age Movement, Fiat/Materialist Science and Atheism… they are all religions and systems of faith over fact and control… ‘mind control’ if you will.
With the regular religions I dip into and enjoy the Koran, Bible, I-Ching, Talmud, Torah, Satanic Bible etc… and many more holy books and the works of occultists and secret societies. As for politics the same people control all of the different parties worldwide so it’s simply a farce to even vote, you’re just voting for different sort of criminal, a different master who has no interest in your welfare, and has never had.
We see the NHS as one of those so called wonderful things that happened through the political system, but in reality it is the Big Pharmaceutical companies that control our hospitals, doctor’s and nurse’s training and our health system in general, which is an inversion because they really control the mass slaughter of society by doing away with us slowly, hence the term ‘killing us softly.’
The same people control the banking, oil and music industries as well. If you spend time looking at how the mafia runs its operations you will see amazing similarities with how most governments operate. Indeed the etymology of the word government is ‘mind control’. Govern means 'control' in Latin and ‘ment’ is from ‘mens’ which means ‘mind’ in Latin. So there you see, the use of etymology is insightful and you wonder why they don’t teach these subjects in school, like employment law, sacred geometry and the like. Wouldn’t school be interesting then?
But school is there to indoctrinate not educate, you’re best educating yourself by avoiding schools, colleges and universities altogether. When you finally get your graduation (using phonetics = gradual-indoctrination) you will be under a lot of enforced occulted mind control. Occulted simply means ‘hidden’ it is nothing to be scared of.
I see politics as a great circus tent act with people in the ring entertaining us… we cheer or boo at the performers. Peopled with the likes Farage, Cameron, Thatcher, Blair, Boris, Clinton, Bush or Trumps who perform for us. I have no interest with any thing any politician has to say, at worst they are war criminals and involve themselves in abusing children in various rings and at best they are manipulated, like the Greens over climate change… there is no climate change or global warming if you prefer, it is merely a hoax set up by oil companies.
Do your research and you will see that this is true. I’m interested in who owns the circus tent, who is counting the money, who’s putting on these characters for our entertainment and enslavement? I am also thinking about the terms and meanings of Collectivism and Individualism, and I am firmly stood in the Individualism camp, which simply means everyone is an individual and everyone has worth and potential.
And I mean everyone on this planet, all the humans and indeed ultimately extended to all animals. Everyone is important, not one person left out, you do whatever you want as long as everyone around can do what they want without harming anyone else, or animal. It’s every individual’s responsibility, to help those who need it, nobody gets left behind. Everyone is fed and sheltered and must have the means to express themselves… it is not about being selfish, it is the opposite of selfish, it is existing under natural law.
Then you have the ideology of collectivism which we do live under… all political parties are in essence collectivist. The extremes of collectivism, is to be found in totalitarianism, and simply read the books Brave New World (Order) by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. Both these books were not solely works of fiction but rather warnings of what awaits us in the future under collectivism. Then ask yourself about smart phones, smart meters, smart tvs etc that can spy on you and listen and watch you in your own homes. The micro-waves personal phones emit. Chemtrails falling from the sky impregnating us with nano-particule technology. The poison Flouride in water and in bottled water. GMOs. Chemicals in your clothes. The list goes on.
We are being cooked, sprayed, looked on, listened to and eventually they’ll want us chipped… that way anyone complaining can be simply switched off... all your money gone! Huxley was Orwell’s lecturer and friend from university, they were both members of secret societies, and this is where they first heard of what is planned for us, so they each wrote books as warnings. Collectivism means everything for the group, so individuals can be sacrificed for the group. Young men sent to wars, sacrificed for the group! All must be vaccinated for ‘herd’ immunity.
Even schools and universities act for the good of their school not the individual student, they can be sacrificed for the greater good, I have heard educators say this where I’ve worked, ‘This is not about the pupil its about our standing in the league tables its about our assessment, how we are seen and judged.’ So the individual student can be sacrificed for the group, like Richard Dawkins saying its better to kill a Down’s Syndrome child at birth, sacrifice it for the greater group.
But as the wonderful Edward Griffin says, the word ‘group’ is an abstract concept meaning more than one in mathematics. A group of people in reality are many individuals together, you cannot touch a group, but you can touch an individual. The same with forest, another abstract word, you cannot touch a forest but you can touch an individual tree, you cannot see a forest but individual trees. Collectivism is found in all the terrible ideologies from Fascism to Communism to totalitarianism and anything else that thwarts a person’s freedom and right to be whoever they can be.
Fracking is another collectivist concept case in point, in Lancashire the council said no to fracking but the government overturned their decision for the so-called greater good of the country, so Lancashire will be sacrificed for the group. It is simply sickening evidence of no democracy and no community influence.
I will do whatever I can to spread truths where I find them. Being creative is part of this action. True spirituality is where truth lies, anarchy is a wonderful system of living in the true spirit of spirituality and individualism with no hierarchy or authority. You have to accept you are no better or worse than any other creature on this planet to live under natural law.
‘An’ means ‘Without’ in Greek and ‘Archy’ means ‘Rulers’ in Greek… therefore Anarchy simply means ‘Without Rulers’ it does not mean without rules, which you are falsely taught. Anarchy, like individualism means everyone is important and because of that no one is sacrificed for the group, so there would be no armies, no police, no borders, no poverty, no lawyers, no religions, no money etc and this, folks is what we have to visualise if we want a world away from tyranny and collectivism. Everything created must first be visualised. We all have work to do.
Remember no one in France liked the French resistance during the second world war. But they were vindicated at the end of it all. About three years ago we went through a process we have since found out many other people are going through, a kind of spiritual awakening. We are blessed and we have to take responsibility for telling the truth. As George Orwell puts it in these two quotes, ‘The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those that speak it.’ And ‘Freedom is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.’
I will end by telling you something that you might not want to hear. We are, as a world, run and enslaved by Satanists, coming from Astro-Theology, which is worship of the planets especially the planet Saturn, which is another word for Satan. Satanism is the oldest religion and the biggest religion, it is behind every religion we know. So to be religious is to be a Satanist. Satanists regularly steal children for ritualistic sexual abuse and ritual sacrifice. It is happening right now and lawyers, judges, politicians, industrialists, military, police, priests, holy men of every persuasion and secret society members are all involved in this psychopathic depravity. Virgin sacrifice simply means pre-pubescent, this is why they target children. Thousands of children go missing every year, and what happens to them is beyond comprehension. For us to look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening is evil, it simply cannot be anything else.
To be truly spiritual you have to look into the abyss and act, it’s not only about meditating and pretending everything is all love and peace. We want love and peace and we destroy fear with love. Love is also truth, and telling it might be hard but that is the way of love. Because to pretend certain things are not happening is to put one’s head in the sand, and when your head is in the sand your arse is in the air and you will be fucked one way or the other!
I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.
I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against.
I’m a human being, first and foremost,
and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
- Malcolm X
Much love and blessings to all who are reading.
Love, finding and telling the truth is what’s needed now more than ever.
Love, Roge X
Follow Roge on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BalSpeerOfficial
As a child I never really fit in anywhere, neither at home nor at school, which meant that I spent a lot of time in my imagination. I was always much more interested in magic and being with nature and still to this day I have no idea what the ‘popular’ kids did instead. I do know however that I am incredibly grateful to have nurtured my inner world as it brings me so much joy even now.
When I was 13 years old I moved 150 miles away from where I had always lived and the change in outer circumstances prompted me to change myself. I decided I needed to ‘grow up’ and so gave up a huge part of myself, namely the side that wrote poetry, drew pictures and played with magic. I saw it as childish and useless and thought I needed to be more practical. Although this meant I made more friends it also meant at home I just shut down. My family weren’t loving and I suffered different forms of abuse so instead of creating art I retreated into reading books and listening to music.
It’s like my being froze, I didn’t create or process my life in any way.
At school I escaped into meaningless banter and at home I escaped into the fantasy worlds of fiction. Reading and watching fantasy stories had a huge effect on who I am as a person. Without any decent role models to follow in my physical world I learnt all the lessons on how to be a good person and what was important in life from these stories.
As a teen I tried to dip my toe into writing again but I found there was a lacking in originality so I gave up easily. As for drawing I found that my art lessons at school were so horrendously boring that it crushed my passion. It wasn’t until it was time to go to university that a spark reignited. I had decided to do English Literature and Language but whilst on an open day I saw a degree in creative writing and instantly my heart fired up and for the first time I was truly excited about the details of the course as well as university in general.
Nerves crept in as I hadn’t written a poem since I was 13 but I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. For the first time in 5 years I actively indulged my imagination and creativity. It was wonderful to re-open those doors within myself but at the same time I found my writing influenced by my life experiences which, considering they were so traumatic, meant I was essentially poking at my deepest wounds. This I do not regret in the slightest for it was a gentle way of easing myself into the healing process and it’s a brilliant form of therapy.
Not long after I started university I became interested in philosophy, myths and the ways in which science and spirituality complement each other. I joined a society called Krishna Consciousness where I met all sorts of young people interested in spirituality and being a good person and we had many interesting philosophical discussions. Through-out my life one lesson that has been very clear is that association is very important. One of the main reasons I changed so much in my teen years was because the people I ended up associating with (although they were nice) simply weren’t nurturing their right brain all that much. I was lucky enough that as a child I had one great friend who I shared my love of magic with which seemed to have fed my creative side of writing and drawing. Who you spend your time with largely effects what kind of person you become and this applies in both childhood and adulthood. We are forever changing and so in the same way what you eat becomes the building blocks of your body, the energy of the people you spend time with becomes the building blocks of your own energy.
At the age of 21 I had an intense spiritual experience whilst meditating which completely changed my life. I began to chant Maha Mantra which helped me connect to the Divine and opened the door between my mind and heart so everything I had been learning filtered down to the deepest parts of myself. Not only did spiritual teachings start to integrate into my behaviour and attitude but those along with the metaphors behind the myths began to feed my creative writing. It was like a flood gate had opened and I began to see characters and scenes in animation.
Two years later I had another awakening, this time one that helped me become more grounded which seemed to halt the animations. I began to panic and doubt the awakening was a good thing despite the fact that it had saved my sanity as I had reconnected with a long lost part of my soul and I was on a much more positive path. The images I then saw were mostly static and didn’t have long storylines behind them. At first this disheartened me until I realised they were more personal as they were glimpses into my own experiences and healing journey.
Some of my art is abstract and inspired by nature but most of it depicts something about my spiritual life. Although I wrote poems as a child I found the inspiration I received as an adult was at first for stories and then for paintings. It wasn’t until one day as I was sitting in the garden delving deep into my emotional darkness and waiting for a storm to arrive that I wrote the first poem since childhood that felt like it came from the heart and not the mind.
I don't have much control over my creativity, it mostly just appears and then I have an overwhelming urge to manifest it. It has become an intense passion of mine to communicate my spiritual journey through art not only to express it but also to help guide others with the lessons and experiences I have gained.
The most important part of a creative journey is not to shy away from it. Nurture it as much as possible in as many ways as possible and
don't be afraid to go deep within yourself.
The most wonderful inspiration is born of your own experiences and understanding of life but first you have to be brave enough to embrace all of that.
My advice is don't try to force it or stick to one form of art or one genre, just open yourself up go with the flow.
Below is the poem I wrote whilst I was surrendering to my darkest pain...
I dream of dancing in the rain
To cleanse my soul of all the pain
Rising up to join the storm
Release me from this meagre form
Rage with thunder my fellow friend
Expose the wound to start to mend
Bright lightening strikes to shine a light
On all that I have had to fight
Wind flowing through I hear his roar
Purging, urging, release, adore
The only force that can relate
Surrender to my cosmic fate
Lightning brings forth Divine Light
Heaven to Earth with all its might
Thunder feels the fire in my veins
Burns through my core to clear my chains
A minor glimpse behind the veil
Reveals the light that we exhale
We break as one to rise anew
I cherish now my monsoon blue
- Asha Brigantia
Bry is my cousin, and I think he's awesome,
so I want to celebrate him by showing you some of my favourite stuff he created.
UV Portrait of Will and Mandy:
Tribute to Prince:
Bedroom wall art:
I had a difficult childhood and suffered a complete mental breakdown at 14, experiencing extreme anxiety and depression. After many years of living in comparative isolation I discovered the rave scene and began to self medicate with recreational drugs. This would lift off the weight I carried and I found I could express the huge love I carried inside me that felt so squashed and repressed in my daily life. I would dance for hours on end and reach states of ecstasy and bliss. It was the first time in my life I felt a true sense of belonging.
This opened the door for me and showed me what I could achieve. I recognised along my path that the extreme highs and lows of the drug experiences were no longer serving me and I wanted to explore means of achieving ecstasy without abusing my body. I began to practise yoga and daily meditation and became interested in raw food and juicing. I also began a long period of doing development groups in Glastonbury where I would bare my soul, my deepest vulnerabilities, in a small group of people who were deeply committed to facing their shadow, so they can truly bring out the light. In sharing my burdens I would feel lifted up and such bonds of trust were created that allowed me to express and to move through the deep psychic wounds I carried.
I believe we live in extremely exciting times, that the seeming chaos we are experiencing in the world is happening because we are being forced to face the shadow that has sat over humanity for thousands of years. The old ways no longer serve us, and they have to crumble before the seeds of a new form of consciously living on the earth can arise. Art has a huge role to play and can help connect us to the timeless, spiritual dimension, beyond the comings and goings of the world.
I am in love with poetry because of the subtle ways it can open our hearts and minds.
As extensions of love and of the creative energy that gives rise to whole worlds, I believe it is our nature to create. That we are fulfilling our highest purpose by unlocking our creative potential and shedding the egoic patterns that make us feel afraid to share our song, our voice, our truth, with the world. That the world needs conscious beings to stand up and make themselves visible and to help light the fires that are igniting in hearts around the world.
Infinite love and blessings.