Friday, 17 June 2016

Playing footie in the sky with diamonds

This is an update just in case you are wondering what I have been doing since my crowd funding bid ended for a publishing project  called ‘JUMPERS for GOALPOSTS – Stories of Grass Roots Football from Brighton & Hove’ (working title);  I am glad to report that it has provided adequate finance to produce a decent & stylish print run!

A deep ‘thank you’ goes to all of you that supported me in this project, with your advice, honesty & arguments,  volunteering time to tell me your stories, filming interviews, helping  with photography , copyrighting and making this a community collaboration that is focused upon our shared passion for ‘a beautiful game’. These are elements that will guarantee a worthy publication in the long run – and there is still time for you to contribute your stories!

Over the past 2 months I have been:

1.   Training in Photoshop / publishing techniques to provide printers with a document that is accurate, entertaining as well as inspiring in a modern format.

2.   Continued to interview past and present ‘park footballers’ (some with their children present) mainly at my studio/office, by phone or  in Al Campos on London Road in Brighton (with coffee for treats) –discovering a rich seam of ‘indigenous Brightonians’, as well as ‘recent settlers’ from all walks of life, which amounts to many inspiring experiences and stories, so I am confident that the finished publication will be very interesting and diverse.

3.   Undertaken a mixed media work of art I was awarded that will be exhibited in The Turner Gallery this summer. This commission enables me to increase investment in addition to crowd funding bid and publish even more books.

4.   Completed 23 portraits of players in multimedia formats and posted their portraits online for feedback. I have incorporated many different skills to make all these images unique in styles, so far : ceramic tile mosaic / pen and ink / pencil / felt pen & ink dots; and also I recently purchased a wood burning tool that I will use to complete a few other portraits and already completed a 'test run' by decorating my ukulele with a portrait & pattern motif, having to do this outdoors as it sets off fire alarms - but it’s fun!

5.   Selected Launch Date in late September 2016 but this depends on a) standard of work produced b) how many interviews have been completed c) responses from my team that is helping with quality control. Mindful of importance to independently finance this project because normal publishing routes could diminish the quality, style and function of the book. With this in view I have undertaken training in another field of work that awards sufficient funds that also offers me time to develop the project in a meaningful and timely way. It means that it may take a while longer to produce but things of quality always take a bit more time and effort …it’s a labour of love anyway...

6.   Negotiating with a community caf√© in Poets Corner as an ideal space for a launch party for the book, with adequate space for children to play, families to enjoy barbecues / indoor buffets as well as room to play a little footie. I will be checking how Keith’s launch for his book of poetry goes before confirming the date.

7.   Undertaken a new training regime to get back in fitness incorporating cycling, swimming, yoga & steaming and playing on Hove Lawns (Tue & Thurs from 6.15 pm) again! This is great because playing there is one compelling reason I elected to remain in Brighton after completing my studies here 30 years ago.

8.   Arranged with Rodney (the film maker that is attempting a documentary about grass roots footie in Brighton) to use a drone to film some of the action at Preston Park and East Brighton Park with a view to doing more at Hove Lawns.

9.   Followed up on the invitation from Head of Parks & Recreation from the council as he responded so well to my initial contact him for an interview but he has not responded to my efforts ever since April, so I am assuming that his behaviour is indicating a polite rejection.

10. Taken a parachute jump in Devon – a wonderful experience that puts life goals into a courageous frame, inspiring me to be fearless in this project - my children’s births were the only experiences that were better than jumping from 15,000 feet. I felt close to ‘God’ and was profoundly moved by seeing this planet from that height. My instructor let me control our decent after our ‘flight’ and I felt the power of self determination in a whole new way - elated with an overpowering sense of joy and fear so exquisite that my eyes poured water all the way down until I kissed this earth.

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