Mischief Mayhem Pardon?
Words and thinkings by Hilary Bennett
THE FIRST RULE OF DEAF CLUB IS that one must indeed talk about it. The Second Rule is to talk about till until one is purple. This is because people cannot see it or touch it and therefore forget. It is worse with people I love the most….because I make a huge effort to listen and understand them, as I wish to understand and they then don’t realise and forget a little more. Although people who I don’t like so much can be just as pickle brained.
Let us start the complaining…er…explaining deafness in the workplace. One has spent nearly 13 years in an office environment and at first wished to engage without ‘making a scene’ as I was only a 19 year old babe in arms. As I grew older and moved about offices and teams I learned it was best to address one’s deafness as colleagues would treat me as an idiot if I did not. The laying it on thick approach was eventually the only way I could deal with working, but even this failed a lot of the time. My request on the first day of working within a new team was that I had to see a person’s face if I were to understand them. It always started off so well. Especially when I would say it was perfectly reasonable to touch my arm or shoulder gently to gain my attention. Alas, as time went on, the team would forget, along with management. I mean, how difficult is it to remember to write important things down for me? This should be done anyway.
So, eventually and for about two years before I left the office entirely, I gave up trying and reminding people and tried to view it as ‘their’ problem if they forgot. Therefore the last two years were most funny, to me at least. I was working with a bunch of crazy folk who all started a sentence midway through and I got to say that I really really did not understand them if they did that. I got to swear myself blue if someone were to standnext to my desk without alerting me to their presence. The most challenging events were completely silent team meetings, in which I fell asleep a lot.
The next group of folk I wish to speak about is family. I love my Dad and he has been extraordinarily helpful over the months that my mobility has been challenged but he will insist on vacuuming in another room and deciding that’s the best time to impart some important information. Then we will fight about it later that I am the forgetful one in the family. The rest of my beloved family are much like colleagues in forgetfulness but as I usually see them one on one, it is easier for me to concentrate, as my lip reading skills are pretty ace. In fact….don’t gossip in my eyeshot. I have learned many things…..some I wish to know…some I really don’t….by lipreading eavesdropping. The best people to talk to when deaf are children. Up until the teenage years, children tend to demand your attention and what to see your face and know you are listening to them. They also are far more exaggerated in their mannerisms, which are awesome for someone who has to read faces. Group family events are a struggle. The Christmas Dinner table is most impossible to keep up with, but as long as I say nice things and wear my hat, I have managed to wing 35 of them.
The most varied of people and experiences in deafness are friends. My close friends are aware of my deafness but put much more of my behaviour down to my eccentricity. Being eccentric has actually been a gift through life when deaf, as people shrug my confused responses off and think no more of it. I do meet friends one on one a lot and make sure they sit directly in front of me. It is walking side by side that is the most difficult, along with getting drunk. The drink makes people forget even more so but then you can shout at them and no one cares. I have endeavoured recently to meet up with more online friends. I usually explain the deafness straight away and most folk are really good. One experience recently actually rather tickled me. I had gone to Edinburgh on holiday and met up with three Glaswegian friends. We first met in a rather dark restaurant and I struggled and had to explain why I was a little quiet. We then went to a pub which was brightly lit, but as the time ticktocked and the drink dropped, the accent got thicker and thicker. I had to give up and just laugh along. When they are smiling I smile along too.
I am telling you all this in case we meet again. I do not mind if you forget though, as it’s part of my charm.
Hilary…she loves to knit, play with words and love things. Proficient in domestic sluttery and is slightly feral. A tiny bit deaf…so throw stuff if she does not respond. ”The greatest gift you’ll ever learn, is to love and be loved in return.” Nat King Cole.
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Is there life on Southgate? Barely! A forgotten planet, riddled with charity shops, banks, fast food outlets and an ASDA up the road. If you are in search of culture of the creative nature, you are better off going to Wood Green. But what is this I hear? An art gallery? In Southgate? No, it can not be true! Well, it bloody well is and so The Emporium of Genius braved the smokey and sewage ridden streets of North London to have an artistic chin wag with Fionn Wilson to find out more …
What is Space?
The simple and straightforward answer, generally speaking, is that a space is a set or points satisfying specified geometric postulates. From there on it rapidly starts to get sort of complicated and rather abstract and somewhat boring. In Southgate, however, SPACE is a new art gallery located at 141 High Street, where the old Barclays Bank used to be. This feels like a sign of the times.
You’ve transformed a bank into an art gallery. What the … how?
Explosives and balaclavas. The problem was getting in. Once the door was open, all it took was determination, a passion for art and a whole lot of hard work.
Are you working alone, or do you have a trusty Gilbert to your George, a Frida to your Kahlo or a Rolfaroo to your Harris?
The gallery is run by Gosia and me. We make up what we like to refer to as the Central Committee and we make the decisions. Beneath us we have officers, and the officers have operatives who have field agents who have informers. And then, of course, there are the artists. The artists are the ones doing the important work. We understand art because we are also artists. We’re doing the gallery for one reason, because we love good art. We want people to get a chance to see it and to come share our enthusiasm – and to get inspired.
Do you insist on using just local artists, or are you venturing further afield (for example is Arnos Grove too far as the crow flies)?
We have artists from all over the globe coming to Southgate to present their work.
We will be exhibiting Scandinavian artists, American, Russian, Iranian, and more. Already we have a full 2013 calendar, and all of the artists are presented on our website. We’d be happy if more local artists came forward. We aren’t scary, honest!
What is the process one has to go through to get ones piccie stuck up in your Space area?
It’s a very rigid and exhausting procedure involving both loads of paperwork and some late night rituals dancing naked under the moon. Since none of us can be bothered, honestly, we usually just ask people to drop us an email with a website link and a few examples of their work attached. If we like it and feel that it could potentially be gallery material, chances are that we will be able to work something out.
Photo of the Space Gallery by Gosia Stasiewicz
A turd on the head of a Blue Tit. Is it art and if so, can I submit it for your viewing pleasure? Discuss.
What kind of a turd is it?
I hear you have several stains on your carpet – please explain!
I am a painter, and painting is messy business. There’s a lot of rubbing and smearing and dripping involved. When you sit there with your brush all wet, and you get excited and caught up in it … Accidents happen. It can’t be helped.
How would you describe your work?
It’s difficult for me to talk about my own work, partially because I’m so involved in it and it’s an ongoing project. My work is probably characterised, I think, by my fascination with the interplay between objects and lights, how it all emerges from this weird black mirror that I see, to create spaces and bodies. Faces and surroundings. I am particularly interested in the female nude. It’s a classical motif, of course, but for a very good reason. The female nude is perfect for exploring and expressing this feeling of emergence or coming-into-being whilst at the same time getting the sensuality or eroticism of it. The female body is the most beautiful thing to me.
“Venus 2” by Fionn Wilson
Who do you admire in the world of all things arty?
There are many artists that I admire, some of them famous and some of them not so famous. I admire people who have the courage and the integrity to be honest with themselves and to be critical about their work. Those who actually try, even if they often fail or don’t quite manage to get it right. I am less impressed with pretenders or people just trying to make a name for themselves. There’s a whole lot of fakery in the art world. I want honesty, and I want SPACE to be a place for real artists – and for people who enjoy real art.
Is Space the Final Frontier?
I certainly hope not. My hope is that SPACE will be not only a gallery for everybody to enjoy, but that it will also enable us to collaborate with all sorts of people and groups, and that further new and exciting things will grow from it in the local community. It would be truly wonderful if that happened.
“40 x 30 Scribble” by John McKie
(Exhibition now showing at the Space Gallery. Go and see it, it’s naughty)
For more information regarding the Space Gallery go to
If you does like what you have read, make sure you click on our WE LIKE YOU, WHY DON’T YOU LIKE US? link to receive notifications of our blog via our Facebook Page, or follow this blog via the email systematic. Who likes the word “Via” here?
Something’s happening here.
What it is aint exactly clear,
BUT IT’S GOING TO BE BLOODY GOOD!
What’s that sound?
Sorry I got over exicted and I’d leave it ten minutes if I were thee.
The times they are a-changing
AND SO IS THE EMPORIUM!
We will keep you all posted on the whats, wheres, whoms and prunes!
Until then …
… hoots man and a scon.
Hello me lovely Creatives. Tis that time of year once again for sucking on a sprout and buying novelty gifts that you would never wish to receive. The Emporium started it’s very own “12 Days of Chrisbos” on Facebook in homage and respect to this festive rainy season. For those of you that were lucky enough to miss it, here it is in all of its sweaty entirety …
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me …
One, two, three, FOUR, FIVE,
Six, seven eight, NINE, TEN,
Eleven Doctors Time Travelling
(Pointy finger out. Which one to have first? I think I’ll save Sylvester McCoy for last)
Ten Flickering (I said “Flickering”) Lights
Nine Lives of a very naughty pussy
(as in I “eat” – past tense “ate” – numerical form “eight”, oh, be quiet, I’d had a difficult day,
mind you, it’s a marvel what one can do with a bin liner and a bit of imagination)
Seven days of Loving
(Now, there is a lot of choice for innuendo here, “Cream”, “Fountain”, well, perhaps just two then)
Six Flying Pickets
(If you had to make out with one, which handsome capella would you pick? Or perhaps it would be a shame to break them up, for they make such sweet music)
Five Chaffing Rings
Four Fab Friends
(Not too sure what is happening here, but they seem to be having fun, and that’s all that matters)
Three Tiny Turbans
Two Woolly Snowmen
(as created by the infamous and slightly talented Mrs Liz Coleman)
And for the first day, there was a dilema betwixt …
Little Tommy Squatter
The Hulk having a poo
or even …
This Charming man
(see what I did there – groans)
but nothing could withstand the power and the girth of
(prepared to be amazed and aghasted and anything else that begins with “a” within reason) …
A CAT DRESSED AS “HELLO KITTY”
The Emporium wishes everyone that has either written rather good wordings, answered extremely naff questions and taken time to read the bloggins a bloomin lovely Christmas and a Happy New Easter.
Plenty of kisses under the Mistletoe and a gentle dose of Herpes.
Well! We don’t know about you … but we’re spent!
We really hope you enjoyed your time at Miss Hegarty’s Emporium of Genius. If you did – please come back and visit us again (you can bring a friend with you if you like) and if you didn’t – just leave quietly through the back door and speak nothing of what you have seen here.
We have plenty of other ideas and “things to come” for a future Emporium Experience and will keep you posted regarding our concepts for the future and beyond!
In the meanwhile, please feel free to leave your comments on our blog or facebook page.
Also remember to send us your pictures for our Nifty and Thrifty and Unfinished Business postings!
Thank you for coming – and please call again!
Miss C and Miss H
© Liz Coleman and Kerry Hegarty and Miss Hegarty’s Emporium of Creative genius 2012e]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Liz Coleman and Kerry Hegarty and Miss Hegarty’s Emporium of Creative Genius with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.