You are currently viewing Month 5. Liverpool 1st to 4th August 2022

Welcome to my blog recording my fifth trip away as part of my one-year project of twelve art road trips.

This leg of the trip was slightly different to the others as I stayed in a small-rented house for just 4 days. This was due to me spending most of the rest of August in Edinburgh preparing and performing at the Fringe. I needed to stay in the house as I had to be near an exhibition I wanted to see called “Out Of The Blue”, by Parkinson’s Art.

My good friend, artist and fellow PWP Chris joined me and the dogs for two nights, and we visited the exhibition at The Reader, set in Calderstones, a beautiful park and building near where we were staying in Woolton, Liverpool.

Out of the Blue art exhibition
“Light” acrylic on canvas
“Light” acrylic on canvas
“Calm” Acrylic on canvas
“Calm” Acrylic on canvas

One of the 47 plus symptoms of PD is losing strength and clarity of the voice, and I’ve been affected by this lately.

Sometimes the dopamine levels are so low that I can hardly make yourself heard.

The worst thing is when someone doesn’t hear you and says pardon, as repeating yourself is the last thing you want to do.

The self-portraits both Chris and I worked on weren’t great, but mine captures my mood.

The first image (top) is the self-portrait created using pastels and charcoal and features words that describe what you lose when your voice leaves you.

The other two images are digitally altered to fade out the mouth and therefore the person.

I also created a ppt presentation that describes the effect of loss of voice whilst the images fade in and out, describing the symptoms and its effect.

For me at present this is one of the scariest things that can happen to me – I still have loads to contribute verbally to life.

Self Portrait 1
Self Portrait 2
Self Portrait 3

We walked to the gallery via some local landmarks near to the Woolton district of Liverpool, and later I tried to recreate the melancholy feel of the church yard where Elenor Rigby was made famous in the Beetles song.

Sketch using pastels and charcoal of Elenor Rigby’s Grave
Sketch using pastels and charcoal of Elenor Rigby’s Grave
Chris, me and Rosie outside “Strawberry Fields”
Chris, me and Rosie outside “Strawberry Fields”

Chris and I talked a great deal over the 2 days. We have a mutual understanding of what it’s like to be diagnosed with PD, and therefore can council each other like few others can. Once she’d left, I felt quite alone and had the need to express myself using reds and pinks in dramatic style in the landscape / sea scape painting below.

“Fierce” Acrylic on large canvas
“Fierce” Acrylic on large canvas

This stage of the art trail although brief was a good experience.

I was impressed with the area of Woolton and enjoyed the daily walk in the nearby park with the dogs.

It was great seeing my work in the “Out of The Blue” exhibition. Unfortunately, Chris’s piece was being re-framed due to the glass breaking and therefore not in the Liverpool stage.

The disappointment Chris felt was alleviated by the friendliness and attitude of the staff at The Reader. Nothing was too much trouble for them to try to help us find out why the piece was missing.

Fortunately, Chris’s piece featured in the online auction and the main phase of the exhibition at the OXO in London.

There will be an extra blog covering my time in Scotland and at the Fringe from 14th – 27th August, and then the next official, stage 6 of the road trip will be in Sussex…

J Shipton
Arts Council England

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dave

    Sorry to hear your sound has been turned down. I suffer the opposite end of the conversation in that I am getting increasingly hard of hearing. Indeed, without seeing mouth movements, I really don’t understand what folk are saying. I was just wondering if you were able to enhance your enunciation with exaggerated mouth movements?
    Failing that, I employ an app called hearing helper which translated talk into text fir me to read. Maybe there is something similar that allows you to type and it speaks for you? Or a notebook and pencil. Dave

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