Mothers..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

Odd that I now have the lovely portrait I made of my own mother in my living room again. It is such a wonderful image, though, I remember my mother not liking it at all. I think I left it too late for her to do this honorable thing of making her portrait, and even later on, she would not allow photographs of herself to be taken. I think she felt she did not like her face with wrinkles. I suppose children and offspring look on a face with a different view, a familiar, and homely image, is what I had painted not thinking of how it looks to the rest of the world or how it compares for example. Old age can be a graceful thing that we all drift toward, well, eventually. I still love this painting, but the sad thing is that it remained in a cupboard for about ten years of more until now. It just shows you how the twentieth century has all been about ‘self image’ more or less encouraged by Hollywood and film stars. Women compare themselves to the icons of the screen, more often than perhaps wondering if for example, that some inner person the good inner person in them, is of more value in general. My mother looked beautiful for most of her life, until she was unable to control whether her hair was dyed or done by a hairdressers. This too is a lifestyle that became a ‘habit’ of modern day women in the twentieth century. I was introduced to hairdressers from an early age as, my mother, had always used them, and insisted that a hairdresser cut our hair when we were young too. I remember the Jackie Kennedy look, and that was a style copied by women of a certain decade, when there were platform shoes and flares in every shop window. I however, hated curlers, and anything ‘set’. I would be obedient enough to stay put in the hair salon, while my hair was done, but would literally run home to ‘undo’ it all as the whole escapade was unbearable, particularly sitting still, with nothing to do but wait while someone pummelled my hair into different shapes. I guess, it is something I have to contend with in memory only well, I have the painting before me, and it is still lovely to my own eyes at least.  There are so many aspects of a person other than looks that  an individual can love. And sometimes that is just the way they respond to you, and treat you. Though what is it with ‘looks’. And are we so swayed to needing a ‘Hollywood Star’, style partner? I am probably being fanciful here. Women in the past were victims of financial poverty and reliance on a husband for maintenance, this part is true.  The truth about my dear mother, is she became independent and chose a different path to most, though she had worked for a bank, and opticians, and the finance department of a university, all during and between having children. She wrote poetry and read poetry. Her ‘Liberated Woman’, was published by the local Echo. She based it on her observations of young students staying in her household during the 1960’s and 1970’s. She became the ‘modern’ woman. My cousin always said he thought  my mother had eccentricities. My only recollection of this, were the overly colorful socks, worn with those elasticated stretch nylon trousers in bright colors, that were indeed in vogue too and worn by the young for a while, but, then fashion changed, and they became dated. Her Alice band, was always worn to keep her fly-away hair out of her face, and create a youthful throwback look to when of course life may have appeared a little more carefree. It is wholly comforting to see her face whatever her age.

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The Running Man

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by kathydasilva

I was thinking very hard, about the way governments either ‘lie’ or ‘cover up’ their mistakes, and the people who become leaders, are told or do believe themselves, that they have to do this in order to save face. And perhaps it is also to save the world as they perceive it to be. There are some historical mistakes in the battles of history. The last world war, left most leaders with the sense of duty to prevent further war, because of being first witness to the destructive process of the whole affair. I think too, not only the sheer numbers of war dead, but too, toward the end, perhaps combatants too, become tired.

My greatest fear, springs from watching the futuristic vision of other authors, whose success saw their stories becoming media sell out films. Stories start with observation of life. But,  too, films influence human behavior. I think with America in particular in mind, I think of the characters who have thought their moment of fame, was when they had fulfilled hitting the headlines of a national newspaper. It sickens me, that lone creatures believing that killing in some ‘shootout’ scene, was the ultimate statement of their day on Earth.

‘The Running Man’, seemed to be about a whole population, that used prisoners much in the same way you would have seen in Roman times, in the Colosseum in Rome, a kind of excitement about the fate of another human in a much more vulnerable state of being. I do hope we do not get into that arena.  But, silently, in the last few months I have been surveying the land, and our country, and the response to various news items. It seemed that the leadership was in some terrible state of being, and would not admit some failure or defeat about the whole Brexit debate. This has been played by the media, television and papers, to the point that it is not news. It is regurgitated nonsense. Last April, I photographed protesters outside Southwark Crown Court, who supported Julian Assange. There was quite a crowd, there was a good show of support for Julian a Australian citizen, and someone whose journey has it seems nearly led him to a kind of ‘slaughter’ situation. I have no doubt about the various death threats that Julian Assange became victim of. I watched, twice the film Fifth Estate, not because of its ‘entertainment’ value, though even the production of this film, seems to have leaned toward, a kind of commercial and political persuasive tool. I felt sure that Julian’s soft underbelly of being, was not often exposed or discussed, and yet it is his best defense in the coming February trial. I fear too, Julian can become quite an emotional person, though he hides this quite a bit. The prison system, will to him appear so harsh, that it would be correct to call it torture, particularly the kind of isolation, that he daily has been exposed to. I cannot feel good about the way the press, the government, particularly May, talked about him. They openly used a public forum, literally the Houses of Parliament, to say he was a vile man. So also by saying so, that they had thought they got away with the slanderous stories of ‘rape’, as the word itself carries  a huge burden of duty. This character assassination is not the only tool employed to turn public opinion against him, but it acts like a barrier to interest being gathered, that might have been there for his natural defense  against the USA indictments that do exist and now have been proven to exist. We all are familiar with the stories that were printed in The Guardian paper, i.e. Collateral Damage, published with a desired expose that was also the paper’s wish. The story made headlines around the world and the editor in chief  of Wikileaks publishing organization, Julian Assange took the full brunt of the responsibility of this bleed. But, Julian had already had this experience somewhere in his past. He had had a wish to stop war, since his youth. The technology of the Wikileaks site which uses heavy encryption, has indeed, seemed, to be the obstacle to proper debate about the subject of the wars it mostly exposed for crimes against humanity. It seems, the technologist in  him, in Julian Assange had been growing from his teens. But, as we also know, there are leaders of governments whose science or lack of knowledge of science, has left them baffled and feeling humiliated in the face of the exposures. I cannot stand by watching all of the bearbating, and, at the end of the day continued detention of a journalist. I look at Turkey and exactly this idea of censorship, and incarceration for journalists is continuing to occur daily.  It is so backward stepping if our own democratic factions and tools are not at the ready to encompass all of the debate about why the wars exist in the first place, as certainly the evidence of the cessation of the Middle Eastern troubles is not close by. It is noxious, that the charities who stand by to save humanity, to help us recall, that sufferance is not right are the only ‘allowed’ media on our television sets, to indicate, well what does this indicate? Where is there any justification to let a disaster like Yemen exist? The incarceration of Julian Assange was a deliberate effort to snuff out a voice that seems to have been crying from the wilderness..’Help humanity!’ There is not a crime  in publishing truthful reportage. The story of Julian Assange, will be made, and  I would like to think, that he has not become this victim, this object of hate of the state.

The Salty Sea

Posted in Autobiography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2019 by kathydasilva

Why is the sea ‘salty’…. … so why is the water from a mountain ‘fresh water’…. there is a lot of mystery to our planet. And, too, the sea is blue or a blue-green. And our sky is blue, and navy blue at night. And the sand on our shores is a shade of brown or beige, or sometimes a little blacker. Earth. Still turning around and spinning to give a sense of passing of a day into night. There is no accident. There is no accident in a radiant sun and a reflective moon, that sheds light onto an Earth populated with human life. I am not an accident. I was in fact a planned arrival. I was also created so my sister, would not grow up like an only child. And my mother also explained this to me, she was a careful mother, who thought about children and how they may grow in a healthy manner, with the sense of social skills that siblings of similar youth create quite naturally. If you have a brother or a sister, you at some point share. And become aware of responsibility. I was as far back as I remember, a curious creature who loved learning about the world. Everything that flew, hopped, and buzzed. From a fluttering butterfly to ants swarming. I should have been a naturalist. I found myself trying with my heavy camera to capture a Painted Lady this morning. I am now heading into my maturity what I call the last third portion of life..I have lost that dear sister, whom I grew beside to a disease called Motor Neurons, and my mother passed back in 2011 of old age. I went to visit my one remaining aunt today too. And I learned about one of my cousins recent new position of work, in a pilgrimage site in Israel. Here an octogenarian with laptop! Showing me a garden, where it is thought Jesus’s body may have been laid. And there will be sceptics, I too, wondered how could we ever know? But, as my eyes dwelt on the picture of the tomb built into the rock, at the end of a garden, I started to feel an immense sense of Godly presence in the place in the picture. The feeling was very momentary, a few seconds, but a wonderful recognition, however, that a person can be God guided in life. It is my cousin’s husband who had taken a position in the ministry of the church of England. And now he is there in Israel. I found the most amazing thing happening. I will renew my passport, and I guess it will now be a British Passport (but outside European Union). I think I may just make that journey and surprise, them! I have always had a fascination with the story of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. I wrote a story once called ‘The Full Stop Story’ .. it was really a small synopsis of a story.. or idea.. it all started with the subject of ‘sand’ and how it became used to create ‘glass’. And on my way to my aunt’s place I noticed some large what looked like container ships, but, I thought hard they seemed stationary, and I thought again, perhaps these were dredgers, or more still the type of ship that draws sand for building materials from the sea bed. And all things do have a knock on effect. If we remove sand from the sea bed it might alter the weight distribution and physics of the environment?..Now … I will have to pursue this thought to find and answer. So why is the sea salty?…

London This Week Assange in the Dock

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2019 by kathydasilva

Hi everyone, I could not sit still after watching the law of our country somehow become the next manipulated thing of our time. I went along to the sentencing hearing of Julian Assange the famous creator of Wikileaks Publications, that brought the world many news items, Collateral Damage, and leaks concerning the status of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. I was there mainly to take some photographs and to hear the summing up of the judge, Judge Deborah Taylor, at the Southwark Crown Court. The sitting was over one hour long, and the court was packed full I had not managed to get there earlier. Fragile looking Jen Robinson, came out with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor of Wikileaks currently, with the story that all though the defense had made a plea for leniency, due to the extended detention of Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, she the judge had put the blame for his isolation on his own choice of action of skipping bail conditions seven years ago. The case had collapsed over the sexual allegations from the prosecution service of Sweden. There was no longer a case to answer and the formality of charging Julian Assange with a form of broken law, was really the only goal of the day. Most cases of skipped bail have only half this sentence if a sentence at all, and mostly a fine or a small amount of prison time. Kristinn, quotes the recent case of the man who had allowed his girlfriend the controls of a speed boat, which caused the accident they were both involved in, and the girlfriend’s death, so he stood accused of manslaughter. The boyfriend had tried to run from a sentence, but, was given six months jail for skipping bail. So Julian Assange is now confronted with the whole ordeal of yet one more year of detention  or so famously a period of 50 weeks, but this time behind bars. I have never seen a more persecuted person before and  in our country this is happening. The crowd that had managed to get seats in the court, all yelled  ‘Shame on you!’ To the Judge for making such a long sentence. The whole ordeal over, Julian was back in the van and going back to spend the night at Belmarsh a high security facility usually for the most dangerous criminals and ‘terrorists’ .. we can guess some of who influenced this treatment. America had its secrets widely published and was out for some retribution it would seem.  However, most of what was published is now declassified, and the leaks were about human rights abuses of power like torture and extraordinary rendition..this means allowing your prisoner to be taken to a foreign land for torture as our own laws do not allow it. You just need to read Craig Murray’s book on his time as an Ambassador to see what the torture sometimes entailed, and confessions under torture are generally unreliable. Some of the nations did do waterboarding, some however, also put a person into boiling water, where they either died instantly or were badly scolded. It is in my opinion the right of the people to know how their governments are using their taxes and how they behave in these times of trial. Julian Assange has been a totally selfless individual who has put his whole life on the line to let the world know TRUTH. It does not take a genius to see that locking him up is a means of both torture and impact to the whistle blow site. The extradition case that was also raised when Julian Assange was arrested, from America of conspiracy to help Manning commit computer fraud is very flimsy. Manning served her time, and was pardoned by Barrack Obama, but, under Trump she is back in jail for not being willing to testify against Wikileaks Julian Assange. Where is the justice, because the perpetrators of the torture roam free, while the whistle blowers they are given jail time. 

Katherine Da Silva copyright 2019

Moving Furniture…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

There is a plethora of dramas appearing on television, with the theme of time travel or deja vu, some of which I myself have had the experience of, well at least in a sort of dream state. Even, now, just now, I was so wholly concentrated on the computer screen, that I had imagined myself where the desk was last set, as if I was facing the wall opposite, to where I actually am. For one whole moment it felt like a time jump. I looked up and quickly realized that some part of my brain actually liked the position of the other wall, perhaps a tad more. Some people will liken this to the need to apply Feng Shui But, given that, for one second, I felt I had ‘jaunted’ across a metaphysical/psychological previous moment or placement. Well perhaps today I did feel a bit tired too and my powers of concentration a little weaker. I cannot help myself sometimes, because of the need for asserting a different look to the lounge to make it less familiar, and experience a type of newness, like when you discard old furniture for new design. I sometimes do it to tidy or try to declutter in general. Sometimes I think the oblong of a lounge I have is never going to be harmonious. When I first moved here, the previous tenants curtains were still up, and they were heavy lined poly-cotton style made-to-fit. The pinkish floral design, only flawed by the age, and mildew. After a while the curtains looked too heavy to wash, and too old really to spend the £25 at the dry cleaners. I replaced them with something a little lighter. But, the problem now is the current curtains, have been ripped by a climbing cat, and they never looked as weighted and heavy, and therefore lacked quality. Harmony I think comes with good design. But, there is a secondary problem. Noise, and intrusion. I say this while stating I am quite a tolerant person, I do not mind the odd party even if there is a bit of noise, but, the sense of intrusion on occasions, or risk of it. Well, now in Newhaven, where I lived, it was a much more relaxed place of dwelling, and I remember by accident leaving my back door open one summer night, and I had drifted into a deep sleep, right through until dawn, but, no one intruded, or even thought to enter my back garden. It was halcyon. The big problem with living in the capital is the number of relative strangers in any neighborhood. The temporary nature of some of London’s residents for example the heavy student population and itinerant workers. A person finds themselves subconsciously watching ‘their’ own back, nearly every day if not every day. Communal ..living .. even a garden, can be quite a place of contention.. a little yard or fenced partitioned part of a garden, is much more relaxing. I am a creature of habit. And the wonderful habit of reading, well, that comes more easily if there is a little sunshine and some time to sit in a sun drenched corner soaking in the warm. I end up reaching a point where if I don’t read I start to miss it, but, so many things today distract us from activities that create calm. Time spent browsing on the internet is something that has to be watched in my opinion it is such an addictive toy. It is the same with television, that the flickering warmth of an object projecting some of its own luminous glow perhaps imitates the warmth of the hearth fire. I almost could quote Susan Hiller at that point! Rather spookily she did mention alien intervention of our media networks, and telescreens. Watching too many ‘action’ movies and thrillers, well all of them projecting the need for survival, is bound to stay somewhere inside of ourselves.

I use to love going for walks when I did the odd field trip at sixth form, many years ago.. it left me feeling intouch with the planet and that was something very unique to the study of geography. But, at the end of each day after much rambling, and discussion, there were moments of solitude and time to fill in a diary or do some writing. I had also gained some reputation for my ability to draw pictures, and this is a handy tool if you are having to replicate certain features of rock or land and what is happening before you. Though most young people now would flick out their iphones instead and just snap the scene up with their internet connected ‘toy’ of the modern age. Susan Hiller died this year January 28. She was probably in her forties when she first came to Winchester School of Art Foundation course to do a workshop. She was the first significant female artist, who had work in at least Tate Britain, that I had the good fortune to meet. I also met with Charlie Hooker too, at my art foundation level. It is true you have to be strong in your desire to get somewhere if you choose art or writing as your career goal. It is also the problem with being way out front of the art scene, with almost no hope of a fortune unless some gallery manages to open their eyes. I realize, for women that this is almost doubly so. (…to be continued…)

January 2019 – New Year

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2019 by kathydasilva

I have had quite a quiet Christmas this year, and quietude makes me contemplative. I am glad for a gift of imagination. If I really want to enjoy winter, I dream of mountain lodges, with snow, and log fires, and brandy. The whole contrast of coping with the circumstance of battling weather changes, makes for conversation sometimes. You sit in a cafe, and the old dear, who sits there daily, a local, says ‘Hello!’ …Maybe, the first one of the day sometimes. But, people small talk about the weather, and sometimes, it seems, that it connects us as a whole, as a group. It is good to be human, our frailty over weather, the cold, snow, whether, it is wet and windy. The seasoned Londoners wear their long dark heavy coats, and this is not without thought, for the long canyons of office buildings do little to protect an individual waiting for a bus, waiting for a train. The black umbrellas, the heavy winter boots, and soles of shoes treading into the wet. And the venture to the shop when it is dark when you have run out of milk. I scurry to the nearest shop if the weather is bad, like a mouse worried about a dark hand of fate. The local shops have a familiar pattern to them. The chemist, the dry cleaners, the florist. The grocery store, is just about all that I need in one go. And that is that. And like an animal in hibernation, it is so easy to just sit still. I prefer to see sunshine, and seem to loath those grey uninteresting skies, where the entirety of the heavens is obscured by a flat almost opaque whitish- grey ‘something’. We cannot call it cloud in the ordinary sense. If you dream of grayness in the skies above, of an almost interminable nature, it can feel oppressive. Perhaps something is happening to our planet. I think I miss the sound of waves. The electric sunshine, of man made design sheds rays of white LED light. The modified temperatures have no control thermostat. To be continued…..

I’ll Be Home

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2018 by kathydasilva

Poems are where I start to understand some of what life throws at me…and this is a completely off the cuff moment when I had an invite to my old art teacher friend’s funeral she was indeed someone who made such an impression on me in life, because she was a career woman and eventually a woman of means.

And I’ll be home

 ‘I’ll be home someday soon!’

I left one summer late August

Taking a road to another town

Something had drawn my attention

Away from the bobbing flowers and grasses

Our forest scene.

The life road of wild, and happy, and furious

But, who knows, what art and culture can bring

I was happy for a while or so I thought,

And only when I found a country field,  did I really

Begin to hear again, so I celebrate

Whenever I come to a place of calm

Often I have worried myself into quite a stupor

Often, for no reason, other than loneliness

And it is in the company of others,

That we gain that ability to see

What nonsense the world is.

But, lest you think all is failure

Today I celebrate that which I truly discovered

The works of art amuse and deepen us,

The works of literature, give us heart and sense

The exchanges of all that is creative make us see worth

Education is the greatest endeavor.

What is the adventure worth?

I make art, and now write whatever I feel, and share it

I am in the life that surrounds me,

Daily there is something to wake for, and do

Daily I guess, there will be people who miss me

But, when I have endeavored to look back every now & then

I start treasuring nostalgically the truth of goodness.

A single act of kindness is something to note

All the good in people, all the brave in people

And we who gather every now and then to

Celebrate what is brave, I will not forget

For every friend who lent a hand,

And gave me their time

For every person who remembered me every

Now and then with a card a Big Thank you.

You paved my road and took away my fear.

For Anne

 (Poem from K Da Silva alumni student at

Hill College & Winchester School of Art)

The poem is three voices, my own, Anne’s and Jesus.. His call to us I guess in finding our way home eventually through life’s pathways and experience… it kind of reminds me of some of those classical references to walks through the woods..because in truth all of us are apt to take a walk through a wood every now and then and some of us can feel quite lost at times.. there are some wonderful memories I hold inside from people who helped me along the way to understanding art and it’s history…Anne taught me art and history of art at sixth form many years ago…but it is something I have continued to research and develop through… the medium of art.. for ever. There is an eternal principle in these things… art is glorifying to God too…..

Anne Howarth designed for a TV series The Avengers, and had her name in the credits. She also later ran a sixth form art department, and retired early at 55 to continue in Norfolk her pursuance of art, as a water-colorist and studied a second bachelor degree in history of art at East Anglia. She was born in London around I think 1933 Catford, near to Blackheath. The Reverend Elizabeth Jolly took the service in the Greenacres Woodland burial grounds which are housed inside Colney Woods ancient  forest in Norfolk.  The service took place on the 16th November 2018.

 

 

Green Acres Burial Site Colney Wood, Norfolk Credit: Katherine Da Silva