Thursday

Children to school.

I walk to the polling station in walsden. I take images of every red thing I can see on the way to vote. The sun is shinning, hopefully to a happier, brighter socialist future, no more of fear and hate and greed. Kindness, respect, love, care for the vulnerable. A better life for all. Not the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. No more. A stop to austerity and the break up of our well fare state, our NHS. No more hatred.

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Back home spent day completing booklet for Visualising Birth Through Art. Stayed at home too tired to get to studio after working the previous evening delivering the Life Drawing Class.

Collected Children from School

Attended focus group at The Hepworth Wakefield. A very weird experience. Its been a long while since I have been in an all male work situation. One woman seven men. One woman with a family seven single men. One very nice man from a theatre background, kind, considerate, well educated. One man who looked like a banker but managed an art studio who was dissolutioned by his communications with the gallery. One man who did work in a bank who loved culture and travelling and wore a tight t-shirt revealing a very muscular torso. One quiet man who was a fashion student. One man who wanted to kill time by day trips to the gallery. One man who was a writer and visited the gallery to be inspired. One man who ran the focus group tidy haircut, recording our thoughts, taking notes, directing our conversation, polite pale blue shirt just off   the train from London.

“But you are the only one here with a family so your opinion does not count”.

I went to the toilet when I suggested that the gallery was a family friendly place and my ideas and thoughts were dismissed. Good to be reminded of the reality of the equality of work or rather lack of it. I am not sure why I have been selected for this focus group. Random selection ?

I left with a plastic tub of toffee crisp snacks that had hardly been touched to bring home as a gift for the children and my £40 cash in a plain white envelope for taking part.

I walked over the bridge from the gallery with the nice theatre man. He told me that Wakefield had huge council estates and poverty problems. A fancy gallery is often picked as a solution to social deprivation. Culture, Architecture and Art to cure social ill. Not all of it quite adds up though, still the gallery shop sells overpriced tit tat and art materials that no child could afford, the coffee shop is expensive, no where has been designated as an area where a family could eat their sandwiches, the reception area is forbidding and no one in the focus group seemed to really understand what Barbara Hepworth had to do with the gallery at all.

It was a long drive back home in the dark. I tried not to scoff too many of the toffee crisp snacks when to my horror I discovered that the  M1 north was closed for roadworks and had to navigate my way back with a map and the dying light of my mobile sat nav. Thankfully I have a surprisingly good sense of direction.

I listened to the radio. I listened to the results of the exit poll and my heart sunk. I listened to the first results coming through a labour win in Sunderland. Jubilant. Surely the exit poll cannot be true.

I get back home, Syd is still up listening to the political broadcasts. I am impressed about his political interest, I tuck him into bed and go to bed myself. I am totally shattered. I hope to wake to a brighter day. A new beginning.

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