Post archive

Is It Scary? How I 'Left' Neverland

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Leaving Neverland documentary rocked the world. One of my proudest achievements was having my blog Is It Scary? featured in the superb book, Man in the Music, by Joseph Vogel, a study of the creative life and work of Michael Jackson. I have been studying Michael Jackson seriously for around 13 years and felt I had become an expert on the man and his music.  I researched Michael Jackson, minstrelsy and the Gothic at Lancaster University’s Continuing Learning Group (mid-2000’s).  The passion and sheer joie de vie I got from the music, the performance and the study changed my life.

However, two years ago I put my blog into private mode. This was partly because my research had led me to conclude that Michael Jackson may indeed have had paedophilic tendencies to teenage boys. I had convinced myself that he may have been guilty of emotional abuse but not sexual abuse.  I wanted to sort out my thoughts and feelings about this in private.

I came to the Leaving Neverland documentary with an open mind.  I have now watched it three times. I thought that Wade Robson and James Safechuck were credible.

There are various clues to Michael Jackson’s possible desires in his music and performance, not just in the way that he lived.  It was these artistic clues that reinforced my suspicions. These ‘clues’ are too many/complex to go into detail here. 

Will I stop listening to his music?  No. There is no denying his talent and genius as an artist.  Writer Peter Conrad described Jackson as the most interesting man on the planet - and he continues to fascinate in death. He was obsessed with duality: black or white, good or evil, adult or child, father or son, angel or monster, Christ-like or devilish, gay or straight, narcissistic or selfless, male or female.

Will I ever resurrect my blog?  I don’t know.  There’s a heck of a lot to process.

 

 

It's a Five Year Celebration for Bay Framing

 

I am proud to have worked with Tom Chesters of Bay Framing for the last five years.  I have helped publicise some of these projects mentioned below.  You can see pictures of Tom on my gallery page.  Here are some words from Tom:

This Friday 22nd February sees Bay Framing celebrating five years in business. 

We spent three and a half years trading from Morecambe Festival Market before moving to our current shop on Regent Road in July 2017.

There have been some many highlights in the last five years. Framing the official Eric Morecambe portrait, becoming a partner of Morecambe FC, work for the Morecambe Hotel among too many others to mention.

Local artists are the core of the framing business and we are proud to work with some wonderful people such as Jenny McCabe, Artist & Printmaker, Mark Pickup Photography, Ginny Koppenhol Photography, LEE METCALFE LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY and many others.

Thanks to one and all for your support over the last five years. Looking forward to the next five.

Cheers.

Tom, Mrs Bay Framing and The Boss.”

 

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH: BENEFITS OF LONG-TERM BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

 

The publicity for the Lancaster launch of Fiona Frank’s book, Candles, Conversions and Class, went really well.

The press release was snapped up within minutes of being sent out.  It was taken up by a local magazine, we got a full half page in the Lancaster Guardian, and best of all, Fiona and her colleague, Janet Ross-Mills, from Lancaster University’s Continuing Learning Group, were interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire with Sally Naden.  

I attended the launch at Lancaster University.  The Continuing Learning Group was delighted with the publicity that their innovative programme had received as a result of our press release.  One group member said: “This is the best publicity we’ve had for years!”

The Challenge

Fiona’s book is centred around a Scottish Jewish family.  Fiona divides her time between Glasgow and her eco-home in Lancaster.  The challenge was to find a way of giving the press release a local, Lancaster angle.  

At first glance nothing seemed obvious.  But I’ve known and worked with Fiona for a long time.  I remembered that she actually set up the Senior Learners’ Programme at Lancaster University many years ago and that she made use of its Research Circle.  Indeed, Fiona introduced me to it and I used to be a participant myself.  Here was the kernel of the story: Fiona’s book had been written, in part, with the support of older Learners at Lancaster University, people who had attended a group Fiona herself set up!

Somebody who hadn’t known Fiona as long as I have might not have spotted that angle, or not as quickly.  This is just a small example of how long-term relationships can benefit the client.

 

 

 

Detox Your Dog: Reducing Toxic Load is Key to Health

 

I used to think that detoxing your dog was a fad. The research I did to write this article persuaded me otherwise. Read on to find out why and how you can do this for your dog.

Detox Your Dog: Reducing toxic load is key to health


Detox. Cleansing. Fads, right? And as for putting your dog on a chemical detox … Surely you’ve got to be kidding!
However, a detox could be one of the best things you do for your dog. Here we discuss the very real burden of toxins that our dogs may be carrying, why it’s important and how to reduce that toxic load.

The Culprits

There’s no doubt about it, since World War Two developments in chemistry have lessened our workload and improved our lives in many ways. But there are some serious downsides and these are coming more into focus.

  • Water pollution from sewage and industrial waste discharge as well as plastics.
  • Air pollution – not just from your immediate surroundings but blown in from across the globe.
  • Chemical preservatives in food.
  • Chemically manipulated foods – genetically modified, for example.
  • Farming methods have introduced pesticides and hormones and into the food chain.
  • Vaccines and medications
  • Most manufactured items, e.g. paints, carpets, furniture, cars, with plastics being a particular concern.

Then there’s mould. It may be natural but it is also a major toxin, and one that is not always visible. It can do serious damage to human and dog health, well beyond better known symptoms of itchy eyes and wheezing. Long-term exposure can cause neurological issues, including tremors and seizures and even death.

We even bathe our laundry and our skins in a sea of chemicals. The skin is an organ and chemicals move into our bodies transdermally. This is not scaremongering but it is important and is why we developed Dog Hair Day. When we urge you to you bathe your dog with our shampoo it isn’t just because we want your dog to look and smell nice, it’s because fewer chemicals will end up on your skin and on your dog’s skin. You can see the full list of ingredients in our shampoos. That’s one step towards reducing that toxic burden.

There are also toxins that come from within the body as by-products of metabolism and healthy liver and kidneys are needed to rid the body of these.

Your Dog May Be in More Need of a Detox Than You Are!

Dogs are smaller than humans. Their smaller organs bear the brunt of toxic overload more quickly than our larger organs. Also dogs are nearer to the ground than we are and they (mostly) do not wear protective shoes, which means that substances like motor oil or pesticides from lawns get onto their paws which they may later lick.
Our pets and their health are like canaries in a coal mine – alerting us to our polluted world.

How Your Dog May Display Toxic Overload

  • Runny eyes
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Dull fur
  • Halitosis
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach upsets
  • Bad behaviour
  • Lowered immune functioning
  • Sluggish liver function
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • A very overburdened body will cease to function and die.

How to Reduce Toxic Load

Diet

This is a huge subject area in itself and we will cover various aspects of diet in future blogs. Basically, the fewer additives and fillers in your dog’s food the better. Such fillers in commercial pet food benefit manufacturers not dogs. You need to be an ingredients detective! Try to feed the highest quality diet you can reasonably afford.
Also it is important to rotate your dog’s food. By this we mean do not feed your dog one source of protein all the time, such as chicken. Varying the diet will reduce the chance of allergic reactions developing.

Water

Give your dog filtered water. Municipal water contains chlorine which damages the essential gut flora. You can use water from a jug filter or you can buy a filter that attaches to the tap.

Clear Out the Chemicals

Reduce or eliminate the chemical cleaners, fragrances etc in your own home. (This will be good for you and your family as well). They really do contribute to that toxic burden. You can find alternatives in most supermarkets and online or you can even use things like white vinegar for a lot of cleaning jobs.

Brushing

Brushing your dog’s coat is an excellent way of ridding his system of potential allergens, mites and mould spores. Use a good quality brush. Additionally it stimulates lymphatic drainage. Brushing is a type of massage and therefore you need to massage towards the heart as stroking away from the heart can impede venous flow.

Bathing/Showering

Bathing or showering your dog is the best way to get rid of allergens and chemicals that are on the fur or skin. Also, once your dog starts detoxing from the inside waste products will end up on the skin and in the fur. Therefore, these need to be rinsed away or else they will just be reabsorbed. Use any of our shampoos for a great result. They contain natural antiseptics and soothing properties.

Go Slowly

When introducing any measures to reduce that toxic burden your dog is carrying go slowly. As toxins move out of the fatty tissues they enter the bloodstream which can cause some unpleasant side effects. Slow and steady is the way forward.
Even though we can feel overwhelmed by our toxic world there are definitely ways forward.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.

 

Who Do You Think You Are? A Scottish Jewish Family - New Book Launch

 

Currently promoting a book launch: Candles, Conversions and Class: Five Generations of a Scottish Jewish Family by Dr Fiona Frank.  It is published by the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre.  Fiona attended the launch today in Glasgow (3 February 2019) and there are further launches in Lancaster and London.

I originally proofread material for the book when it was a PhD thesis in development several years ago.  Am delighted that it is now a book available to all.

Written in a lively and accessible style, the story reveals the changing nature of Scottish Jewish identity through the last century, and the differing reactions of the host community to Jews across a century.  It looks at the changing experiences of Jewish women, education and work, Jewish life in the home and the public sphere, and the changing experiences of antisemitism through the decades. Previous studies of Jewish immigrants to the UK have tended to ignore the experience of people on the margins, for instance, those who married out, something that this book addresses.

LANCASTER LAUNCH AND MEET THE AUTHOR Wednesday 13 February 1 - 2 pm, Lancaster University, Fylde College, Lecture Theatre 3. Fiona Frank in conversation with Janet Ross-Mills. Includes refreshments. Free.

I’ll reveal more details as they happen.

 

A Cracking Christmas With Your Dog

 

A Cracking Christmas With Your Dog – Hints And Tips

Christmas time can be lovely for you, your family and friends and your dog. Probably you may have more time to spend with your dog and your dog may enjoy attention from visitors.
Also you may want to spoil your dog this Christmas. So here are some Christmas dos and don’ts to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Christmas Dog

Good Things

  • Do treat your dog but with something like a new toy instead of toxic foods or obesity builders. A toy will entertain and distract your dog at what can be a stressful time, with strangers coming and going from the house.
  • Put aside time to play with your dog every day during this season. Toys encourage bonding between you and your dog and the exercise benefits you both.
  • Take advantage of crisp winter days and get out into the park or woods.
  • You may want to treat your dog to a new dog coat.
  • Another good present would be a new dog bed. These come in all shapes and sizes and at a wide range of prices. Place your dog’s new sleeping quarters away from draughts and if you have an open fire, use a fireguard.
  • And, of course, we can’t not mention our Dog Hair Day Shampoo!
  • Ideally, every dog would receive the amount of love and care that you give yours. Some dogs are less fortunate.  Consider donating to a dog charity this Christmas. Or take extra blankets, clothing, food or toys to your local dog rescue centre.

Take Care

  • Don’t leave chocolates wrapped up under the Christmas tree. Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Your dog may decide that present is for him and go on a late night rummaging exercise only to end up with serious health problems.  It may sound dramatic but chocolate can kill dogs.
  • Keep your dog away from the pudding! The core ingredients of Christmas pudding – dried fruit, grapes and alcohol – are toxic to dogs (and to cats too, by the way).
  • Don’t let your dog chew on turkey bones as these may splinter and lacerate your dog’s throat or digestive system.
  • Watch out for those decorations. To your dog they may look like toys but baubles can shatter and tinsel can choke!  Keep your living room door shut at night so your dog is not tempted to play with decorations.
  • When out on walks make sure that your dog does not run onto iced-over canals or lakes in case the ice cracks beneath him. Please don’t make you or your dog headline news through a tragic accident.

Finally, a Merry Christmas To You And Your Dog From All Of Us At Dog Hair Day!

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.

 

TOM'S WORLD-FIRST FRAME UP BACKED BY TOP FILM ARTIST, MATT FERGUSON

 

One of the world’s leading digital artists has praised a Morecambe picture framer’s biggest challenge yet.

Tom Chesters of Bay Framing, along with many of his customers, is a huge fan of artist Matt Ferguson, who is known to millions across the globe for his film poster art for Marvel Studios, Star Wars, Disney, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. Matt’s work is highly collectable with some of his Guardians of the Galaxy prints selling for up to £2000 unframed.

Matt has previously shared and praised Bay Framing’s work to his tens of thousands of followers on social media and is particularly impressed by Tom’s latest framing - a huge triptych of his Captain America Civil War poster art.

 “Tom’s done a great job and has come up with unique way to frame this set together. People have asked me where they can get the tiered frames from, which is always a good sign,” Matt said. The UK-based artist added: “With some of my film posters a nice plain frame can work wonders as they have borders built into the art.  However, something that’s more like an art print is made better by excellent framing to really make the art pop. I recently had some work framed with museum glass and it made a huge difference to the viewing of the art. It’s definitely worth paying for a professional job and some extras.”

Tom whose shop is on Regent Road, said: “Validation from an artist of Matt Ferguson’s stature is a terrific boost to the business, especially as he has such a huge following on social media. Every cinema goer under the age of 35 will know the work of Matt Ferguson. He’s a big deal!”

Tom lives in Morecambe and his framing career began 15 years ago on Lancaster market.

He added: “No one else has ever framed this series of posters in one piece in this style. I first framed a miniature version and when that was well received I decided to attempt this full-size triptych which measures 6ft x 4ft.  It was a big undertaking, cutting out the frame and the perspex in one piece with all the precise angles.  I got my dad, Steve, who is a joiner, to help me. The triptych depicts the most recognisable scenes from the films.”

“The definition of what is art has changed. New generations view digital art as important as traditional forms like watercolours or oils,” Tom explained.  While Bay Framing frames virtually anything the business has developed a niche in creatively framing digital film art featuring superheroes, science fiction and horror.  

“Owning a piece of film art brings that passion for the film into the home. For example, the Bladerunner film may have up to 100 different related artworks. Some people will collect each and every one of those prints.  People love to share their collections on social media too.”

Tom attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School and set up in business for himself in 2014, based in Lancaster and Morecambe. Since he opened the Regent Road premises in 2017 his business has gone from strength to strength.  Bay Framing is the official framing partner for Morecambe Football Club.

Bay Framing, 24 Regent Road, Morecambe, LA3 1QN. 01524 936038. www.bayframing.co.uk    Open Mon to Sat, 9am - 5pm. Delivery service available.

 

BAY FRAMING CELEBRATES NEW COLLABORATION WITH MORECAMBE FOOTBALL CLUB

 

A Morecambe businessman is celebrating a new collaboration with one of the town’s most loved institutions.

Morecambe Football Club has appointed Tom Chesters of Bay Framing, as its official framer.

Tom, who opened his shop on Regent Road just last year, explained:

“I’ve been framing signed shirts for Morecambe Football Club for a while. The club gives these shirts to its sponsors as gifts. Now they've asked me to frame around 30 signed shirts over the course of the coming football season and have offered me a significant amount of advertising as part of the deal.”

Tom added: “This is great for my business, during a year that has seen the country gripped by World Cup fever. I’m really proud to have Bay Framing associated with such a historic club that dates back to 1920; this collaboration adds kudos to my business.  A nice connection is that I frequently see the away fans walking passed my shop on their way to the Globe Arena. I am a big football fan myself.  The framed shirts will go to businesses and individuals across the district and some will be on display in the club’s shop as well.”

Adam Wilde, Commercial Manager at Morecambe Football Club, said: “Sponsors bring in vital revenue to the club. These signed, framed football shirts are a gift that is hard to replicate and form part of a larger sponsorship package which we give to those who support us financially. We are delighted to be working with Tom and Bay Framing as the quality of the work is exceptional. We wanted to support a local business too.” 

Bay Framing will be advertised on a large board at the edge of the ground.  This will get the name out to thousands of people, not just football fans but those who use the Globe Arena for conferences, weddings and birthday parties.

Tom, who attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School, began his framing career in 2003 at the age of 16. He set up in business for himself in 2014, based in Lancaster and Morecambe, and has built up a reputation for friendly, expert service.  Since he opened the Regent Road premises in 2017 his business has gone from strength to strength.

The shop also features a gallery space which displays work by local artists, including Tom’s wife, Egle. 

“I frame all sorts of things,” he added, “not just football shirts!  Recent commissions have included a hand-carved Iranian metal panel, equestrian rosettes, and a 6ft tall oil painting from Denmark.”

Bay Framing, 24 Regent Road, Morecambe, LA3 1QN. 01524 936038. 

 

The Beauty of Guns n' Roses' November Rain; Stepin Fetchit; Dandy Blue Jim, and the Minstrel That 'Turned'

 

November Rain on Film
The video for ‘November Rain’ won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1992 at the MTV Awards. Recently it was cited as one of the most popular films on YouTube - after 25 years! That's remarkable. It’s a video that divides rock music fans and those interested in pop culture. 
To some it is a Gothic masterpiece, something that fulfilled W Axl Rose’s desire to outperform Michael Jackson’s highly successful and lauded films such as the John Landau-directed ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ directed by heavyweight director, Martin Scorsese. To others ‘November Rain’, based on a short story by Del James, called ‘Without You’, is pompous and silly, rightfully lampooned by the French & Saunders comedy duo.  For me it is a guilty pleasure.
Epic
I would argue that the video detracts from the song. When you listen to it properly - on vinyl or CD or digitally - it's a great song, possibly Guns n’ Roses’ attempt at something in the vein of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’- Axl was, and may well still be, a big fan of Queen – with a huge nod towards Rose’s other hero, Elton John, whom he emulates in the video when playing the piano. (Also with echoes of John Lennon). 
As the film begins we see Axl taking pills for some, as yet unknown, malady. We then see him playing piano in a small, simple church in a vast desert. This quickly becomes a large, almost cathedral-like church, a church in the imagination, complete with Jesus iconography. The shift equates with rise of band who came from nought but have now reach epic status. The weeping Jesus we see has echoes of Madonna's ‘Like a Prayer’ video, although Axl’s Jesus is white. Axl, in his role as bridegroom-to-be, is dressed like some European prince - or a toy soldier from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’. How you see him may depend on your feelings towards W Axl Rose.
Jim Crow
Slash, evidently the best man, stands next to Axl at the altar. Slash is rendered a Jim Crow character in this role. He’s in full minstrel mode – hat, hair, black suit. With the cigarette dangling out of his mouth he is portrayed as a bewildered, shuffling, comic character, too addled to have remembered the wedding ring. There is very much a Stepin’ Fetchit vibe here. 
Slash, whose race was an issue for some (he's Anglo-Afican-American), according to the man's autobiography and that of Duff McKagan, is cast as the shiftless negro, lazy and too focused on bodily pleasures, in Slash's case, drink or drugs, to be relied on. He may not have a drink in his hand or a needle in his arm during the film but the back story that all Guns n’ Roses’ fans (and those who weren’t) knew was that this was the most hedonistic band around, the “most dangerous band in the world” as Kerrang dubbed them in 1987.  
Seeing Slash fumbling in his pockets we, the audience, shake our heads and roll our eyes as we would about a child who constantly misbehaves. ‘There goes Slash, off his face again’. That’s the assumption. I’m not saying this was purposeful on the part of the video’s makers; these are simply tropes that are passed down through generations of ingrained racism and stereotyping. In minstrelsy the Negro was portrayed as someone who preferred eating watermelons or dozing in the sun to taking responsibility or working. In the film Slash must to turn to band member Duff, tall, blond, Anglo-Saxon, for assistance.
Sex God
However, as he strides out of the church there is a shift. This is the minstrel that turned. No longer Jim Crow but Dandy Blue Jim, the bird that white men fear. The bird that may procreate with your wife, daughter, sister. Filmed from above Slash seems to have grown in stature. The white shirt knotted at the waist screams sex god.
Indeed, Slash like Michael Jackson, is someone who plays with his sexuality on film and in photos, though he states that he hates photo shoots. Nonetheless, he knew how to work the camera to his advantage.  In some film/video shots - he is covered up, desexed, little more than a form that plays guitar. The beast. A beast of indeterminate race, possibly a ‘coon’ figure for ‘coon’ comes from the word ‘racoon’ – a beast. That’s who we see in the ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ video. Yet in others he is wild, free, sensual, self-assured in his sexual skin - face exposed, hair loose. He’s as slinky and slithery as one of his pet pythons. No wonder he recorded a song called ‘Slither’ with Velvet Revolver.
Give Into Me
Dandy Blue Jim is the Slash we see in the outdoor guitar solos of ‘November Rain’. This is also the Slash of ‘Give into Me’, his amazing quasi-duet, with Michael Jackson. Outdoors, in Guitar Hero mode, Slash seems to do battle with, yet also be at one with, the elements and the desert. It is as if the band, the church, the crowd imprison him and he is only able to be his true self out on the plain, like some mixed-race cowboy. He even wears the boots and the chaps. He must forge his own path, using his guitar in the way in a cowboy might use a gun, to ward off enemies and stake his claim. Interestingly, the desert used in the video is one that was used for cowboy films such as Silverado.
Coda
In 'November Rain' Axl is very much centre stage - the protagonist. Slash is the lonesome cowboy. Duff gets a look in whereas Matt and Gilby are shunted to the periphery. As Izzy Stradlin had predicted, G n’ R had become the Axl and Slash show. It is in sharp contrast to the ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ video where all the band members are focused on. The coda is the highlight of 'November Rain', both aurally and visually. Slash jumps onto the piano. Axl screams. His previous attitude of acceptance, lyrically, has gone. His true emotions surface. They are rage and bitterness, emotions that Axl appears to have struggled with for decades and which were brilliantly, if somewhat repetitively, expressed in the much underrated, sonically challenging yet hugely rewarding Chinese Democracy album. 

 

School's Out: Happy Holidays With Your Dog

 

School's out: Enjoy the holidays with your dog

The school holidays provide an ideal chance for you and your family to appreciate time with your dog. Fun in the garden. Walks in the park. Picnics in a meadow. Days by the sea. If he’s a quiet dog you could even take him to an outdoor theatre performance.child with dog on holidays courtesy of Pixabay

Generally, dogs are not solitary creatures; they love to be in the thick of it.

Caring for your family dog is a great teaching opportunity for your children too. Devise a rota and give each child a specific job. For example, one child feeds the dog, another child brushes his coat and together this would be a good time to give your dog a bath or shower with Dog Hair Day shampoo. Click here to buy. Regular daily dog walks are great exercise for the whole family and will get kids away from their screens!

If you’re looking to do something different why not explore some of the suggestions made by Dog Friendly Britain?

Please be responsible

And if you are going away for any length of time without your dog then book him into a kennel. Or send him to a dog-sitting service such as Barking Mad. Maybe have a trusted house/dog-sitter come to stay at your home.

Among all the fun activities remember that dogs are not simply here to entertain. Rescue charity Dogs Trust reports that they receive around twice the number of calls to its rescue centres when the school holidays are over.

Maria Wickes, Head of Dogs Trust Dog School, said: “While the majority of dog owners regard their dogs as valued family members it appears some may use dogs as four-legged nannies over the holidays and disregard them come September. In many cases dogs are not equipped to deal with the change in routine and may start displaying undesirable behaviour.” Dogs Trust urges anyone struggling to control their dog’s behaviour to sign up for training classes.

In fact, one thing you can do as a family is to take a training or socialisation class with your dog during the school holidays. This can be a very bonding experience and your dog will thank you for it.

Above all, enjoy the holidays with your best friend!

DISCLAIMER: While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied it is for educational purposes only. The author and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.

 

#HannahFrank110

 

HANNAH FRANK 110TH BIRTHDAY EXHIBITION COMES TO GLASGOW UNIVERSITY

19 November 2018 to 6 February 2019
#HannahFrank110

A new exhibition will open this November to showcase the life and work of the celebrated Glasgow Jewish artist Hannah Frank. Hannah died ten years ago at the age of 100, after a 75 year artistic career. 

A major retrospective exhibition opened on her 100th birthday, 23 August 2008, at Glasgow University – with the artist herself in attendance.  Ten years on, Hannah Frank’s niece, Fiona Frank, is working with Glasgow University to commemorate what would have been her 110th year. 

This new exhibition will take place in the same venue - Glasgow University Chapel. It opens on Monday 19 November, with a reception and launch - including a kosher buffet sponsored by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) - on Sunday 18 November from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, to which all are welcome. The exhibition runs till Wednesday 6 February 2019.

A programme of talks, events and workshops will run throughout the exhibition.  This will include an opportunity to spend a day examining Hannah Frank’s scrapbooks, papers, diaries and letters, which are held in the Hannah Frank and Lionel Levy Collection at the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre at Garnethill Synagogue. 

In addition, with the support of SCoJeC and Glasgow University Internship Hub, a team of knowledgeable Glasgow University student volunteers will be on hand during the exhibition to run tours and tailored activities for adult or youth groups.  The student volunteers have a strong affinity with Hannah Frank, who drew many of her most striking black and white drawings while a young undergraduate at Glasgow University. They are also available to travel around Glasgow and further afield to talk to your group about her life and art. A short film about her life, which was made to celebrate her 100th birthday and launched in 2008 at the Scottish Parliament, can also be shown at these events.  

Glasgow-born Hannah studied English, Latin and Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University while simultaneously developing her artistic talent at evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art. Her early drawings were published in the Glasgow University Magazine from 1927 to 1932 under the pen name 'Al Aaraaf'. During the war her drawings became darker. ‘Flight’, 1939, for example, links the plight of Jews escaping from the Nazis to the Exodus.  From the mid-1940s the drawings were light-filled, such as ‘Spring Frieze’, 1945.  In 1952 she turned to sculpture, studying under Benno Schotz at the Glasgow School of Art. She also illustrated posters and leaflets for many Glasgow Jewish organisations.

Her drawings and sculpture were exhibited for 49 consecutive years at the Royal Glasgow Institute and have also appeared at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. Her work saw a huge resurgence in popularity in the decade before her death; it has toured the width and breadth of the UK and in the United States including exhibitions at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, Brandeis University, and the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Centre in Connecticut.

·        Hannah Frank 110th Birthday Exhibition, Glasgow University Chapel: 19 November 2018 to 6 February 2019. Glasgow University Chapel, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow
G12 8QQ. Opening Hours 9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri. Chapel closed Saturdays and Sundays. 


·

 

 

Long Form Content Works For Royal Enfield

I have proofread two articles for Royal Enfield India. These long form stories were about the links between Royal Enfield and the military, tracing the story from the late Victorian era to the present day. The author is Gordon G May, internationally renowned as a Royal Enfield historian. Here is a short excerpt: 


"In mid-1941 a new military machine came to the fore, the 350cc Overhead Valve single cylinder Model WD/CO. Apart from the cylinder and head, it was very similar in appearance to the Model C and largely shared the same format of engine bottom end, ignition and frame, although many of the parts were beefed up to cope with the bike’s extra power. More than 29,000 were built for the Army, RAF and Royal Navy, giving sterling service right through to the end of the war. However, it was another Royal Enfield motorcycle that was to become the pre-eminent offering from Redditch, the 2-stroke Model WD/RE, affectionately known as the Flying Flea."

 

Lucy's Law for Dog Hair Day

 

Lucy’s Law brings a timely reminder on taking care when choosing a puppy.

Lucy’s Law has been in the news a lot lately which seems very appropriate as this is the Chinese Year of the Dog.  This is a campaign to see a ban on puppy sales by pet shops and other dealers, a trade which supports commercial dog breeding farms and may lead to a change in UK law if enacted.

The government has announced a public consultation on the issue.

Lucy’s Law, if enacted, will make it illegal to sell puppies unless the mother is present, stopping sales by third party dealers.

The campaign was founded by Brighton vet Marc Abraham and the name Lucy’s Law is from a Cavalier Spaniel called Lucy who was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm and became a celebrity in her own right on social media before her death more than a year ago. The Mirror newspaper took up the campaign and it has gained support from vets and celebrities nationwide who want to improve animal welfare standards.

Naturally, we at Dog Hair Day welcome the opportunity for us all to have a say on a law which should spell the end of businesses that treat bitches as breeding machines, supplying often sick puppies to dealers to sell on to an unwitting public.  Until this law comes into being, it’s a good idea to do plenty of thinking and research before taking on a puppy.  We urge everyone to do this anyway. There are lots of sources of advice on this. Here is a link to the Kennel Club’s advice on how to choose a puppy.

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.

 

Judith Coyle, Theresa May and The Commonwealth

 

Who runs the world? I will – well, at least for a few seconds/minutes.
I have edited some words that will appear on some light boards (exhibition panels) that will be seen by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, and ALL the heads of The Commonwealth states.

They are meeting in April and just three UK companies have been asked to provide exhibition pieces. One of these companies is Royal Enfield. I edited and rewrote around 400 words that will be seen by these dignitaries.

 

‘Hopeless Love’ Mystery Solved by Graduate Trainee

 

‘Hopeless Love’ Mystery Solved by Graduate Trainee –

Exciting New Hannah Frank Information

Detective work by a University of Glasgow graduate trainee has unexpectedly solved an artistic mystery going back decades.

New information about the work of Glasgow Jewish artist, Hannah Frank, came to light thanks to Marisol Erdman, who has just completed a graduate traineeship at the university’s Archives and Special Collections.

Marisol has been researching the work of Hannah Frank, born 1908, and who was a student at the university between 1926 and 1930.

“I discovered that Hannah’s lecture notes contain some drawings and sketches she had made during her time here,” Marisol said. “I’ve been trying to connect some of the sketches in her class workbooks with some of her artworks to gain insight into her artistic process and the development of her distinctive style.”

She stumbled on an unusual discovery surrounding a pen and ink drawing from 1929 entitled 'Hopeless Love',

Marisol immediately contacted the artist’s niece and champion Fiona Frank to reveal her findings.

Fiona explained: “Marisol discovered via our blog that the piece had gone up for sale in 2010 but that the origin of the quotation contained in the illustration was unknown. The words, in careful manuscript, are 'a lady murmuring low words of hopeless love'. Hannah often used poetry such as that by Keats and Omar Khayaam, as inspiration and included quotations in the finished drawings themselves. We put out a call for information on this unknown quotation in 2010.”

She added: “This drawing, signed ‘Al Aaraaf’, Hannah’s pen name, was untraced for many years. It features a woman, facing the viewer, wearing a long dress. There are typical eerie Hannah Frank trees and a closely-drawn dark nightfall in the background. ‘Hopeless Love’ went up for sale by silent auction in 2010, along with three other drawings and a set of two woodcuts. It transpired that this set of works had been in a private collection in Norwich for 30 years.”

Through examining Hannah’s English lecture notes Marisol has found evidence that the quotation almost certainly comes from a poem written by Hannah herself.

Marisol said: “Opposite a sketch, which I think clearly resembles the finished drawing, there is a draft of a poem with lots of amendments. The amendments made to the verse suggest that this is an original Hannah Frank poem and if you look closely you can see the words 'a lady murmuring low words or/syllables of hopeless love'.”

Hannah Frank had a love of poetry as much as for art. While studying at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated in Arts in 1930, she had a number of poems as well as a series of drawings published in the University magazine.  A close look at the sketches reveals the words: ‘A lady dreaming…’ 'unearthly woeful words' and 'chanting' and possibly the word ‘dreamless’ – clearly ideas that Hannah was playing with before settling on the final version.  The sketch itself is labelled ‘Lady’, presumably a working title.

“It is particularly wonderful that this news has come to us in the month when Hannah would have been 109 years old.  Her birthday is 23rd August,” said Fiona.

A major exhibition of Hannah’s work took place at the University of Glasgow chapel in 2008, which Hannah herself attended for her 100th birthday. She attended the opening night, receiving a standing ovation and a reception in her honour was held in the Scottish Parliament.

Next year will be the 110th anniversary of her birth and the family is hoping for confirmation of a commemorative exhibition to be held in Glasgow.  

Hannah’s drawings and sculptures have seen a huge resurgence in popularity over the last decade and has toured the UK and in the United States.

She died on 18 December 2008. In 2009 she received two posthumous awards: Glasgow City Council's Lord Provost's award for Art, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow.

Hannah’s many diaries, along with her papers and those of her husband, Lionel, (who died in 2003) have been archived at the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre.

·      ·        Marisol’s blog post about Hannah Frank's student lecture notes and sketches is now available on the University Library’s blog: https://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/hannah-frank-from-ideas-to-illustrations/

Ends

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes for Editors:

A rough transcription of the lines:

 ‘a lady dreaming on her hopeless seamless [or dreamless] love

 a lady chanting murmuring low

unearthly words syllables

of hopeless love

I saw a lady who

murmuring strange

[the next line is hard to decipher – but is scored out anyway]

unearthly, woeful words,

chanting’


 

How Effective PR Brought Art Nouveau Artist to Prominence

 

Case study - Hannah Frank Art

How Effective PR Brought Art Nouveau Artist to Prominence

When she was growing up Fiona Frank thought of the distinctive black and white drawings created by her aunt, Hannah Frank, almost as family members. But it was only in the early 2000s, when Hannah was moving into a care home and asked Fiona to distribute the large body of artwork among family members that she realised how important it was.

She secured two exhibitions in Lancaster, UK, but even Fiona, known for her tenacity, was struggling to make other gallery owners and art critics see the value of the work. “It’s like walking through treacle,” she told me.

I was immediately attracted to the stark beauty of the drawings and slowly we began to work together.

We identified that Hannah, born in 1908 and then in her nineties, was “the last living link to the Scottish Art Nouveau movement.” This became the driving theme of all the editorial I wrote, always working with Fiona to ensure the message was communicated as she wanted.

Our ‘story’ began to appear in the media and a well-received show ran at Lancaster City Art Gallery and Museum in 2004.

Fiona then travelled the length and breadth of Britain and along America’s east coast helping set up exhibitions, workshops and other events. I remained in the “back room”, tending to the PR work needed for this ever-developing story.  Each show was publicised in print and on broadcast media, whether that was BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour or a small newspaper in Staffordshire. Hannah’s work went on show in galleries from New York to Massachusetts, from Falmouth to the Shetland Islands.

Then came a major retrospective at the University of Glasgow to mark Hannah’s 100th birthday. The artist herself appeared, receiving a standing ovation from 200 distinguished guests. I overheard one of the organisers say, “Of course, she would receive such a reception – she’s Hannah Frank!” This was some turnaround from the days of walking through treacle. 

Our press release for this exhibition was used widely in the Scottish national media and in UK national, The Independent, as news stories and substantial feature articles.

We seized on new angles too. As Hannah was also a poet we ran a national Hannah Frank poetry competition. This involved schools across Scotland and thus brought her art to a whole new, younger audience.  The prestigious prize-giving was at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, which, of course, we publicised.

Hannah’s strong involvement in Jewish community life meant that we could write PR for the thriving Jewish press and a Hannah Frank drawing was used in a new edition of the Liberal Judaism prayer book.

Press releases also publicised art workshops, print sales, the launch of new products, such as Hannah Frank note cards, special offers and book promotions. The more publicity generated meant higher sales of Hannah’s prints which, in turn, meant that Fiona was able to pay for my services.

When Hannah died in December 2008 PR had to be handled sensitively. The resulting press release secured very extensive coverage in the Scottish national media and other publications in the UK. Her death was also announced on the BBC. Hannah was awarded a posthumous doctorate from the University of Glasgow and she also received from Glasgow City Council the Lord Provost's award for Art Both developments came about because of the increased publicity that we had achieved for her art over the previous years.

My work for the whole project has included writing regular newsletters, which go out to our long list of ‘fans’, writing and distributing press releases, co-authoring with Fiona, a book called Hannah Frank, Footsteps on the Sands of Time – A 100th Birthday Gallimaufry, writing and editing letters, writing articles for magazines, proofreading captions and compiling and maintaining our press list.  One challenging job was to write, with Fiona, text for the beautiful, heavyweight catalogue that accompanied the 2016 National Galleries of Scotland exhibition ‘Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965.’ 

The words of Sandy Moffatt, Head of Painting & Printmaking, Glasgow School of Art, said: “Her work will always be considered, when there's a discussion of art in the twentieth century, in Glasgow, and in Scotland.  I think her place is secure.” 

Why It Worked

·      Strong story that appeals on a number of levels.

·      Focused, organised client who was willing to delegate.

·      Patience and perseverance: understanding that PR is often a long game.

·      Snowball effect.  Once PR begins to appear in the media it becomes much easier to secure coverage subsequently.

·      Valuing accuracy. This is a story that spans well over 100 years, comprises a large body of work and a huge cast of people, dates, names, job titles, quotes and events. All needed to be checked before hitting the ‘send’ button.  

·      Client and PR needed to trust in the process – and in each other.

·       Project garnered help from journalists and other contacts, a loyal graphic artist, a talented filmmaker, interns and a host of other dedicated people.

Hannah Frank Art

Director: Fiona Frank

(+44) (0)7778 737681



 

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