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Richard Brooks - Reflective Journal

About the Artist RWB Journal

My work is informed by my personal faith, sense of vulnerability, bereavement, and, my personal experience.

My practice centres on addressing social justice issues of the human condition. I avoid making work of any individual person; so that neither, is the individual stigmatised, nor is the work unduly personalised.

Since January 2012 I have used this blog as part of my reflective journal.
Included in this journal is some of my documentation of my research; the underlined text provides links to web pages etc that have formed part of my research.
The Research Visits category includes some responses to gallery visits.

Open University Human Trafficking Introduction – 2012-06-26

Other Research Posted on Tue, June 26, 2012 18:33:37

It was good to find the Open University material, on their website and podcast; especially to watch the video supported by a detailed transcript which concluded with the challenge:

Yet, are people who have been trafficked always asking for protection or are they demanding rights? What if the language of protection and the very idea of victimhood are not part of the solution but part of the problem?

This is something that I will have to carefully consider so that my work does not and is not perceived to be, contributing to the problem!

Sanctuary Sunday – Ipswich – 2012-06-24

Research Visit Posted on Tue, June 26, 2012 18:11:15

This Sanctuary Sunday event was also part of the Refugee Week celebrations.

I was especially moved by the Ice and Fire Asylum Monologues about two individuals:

– the refugee form the Congo made destitute by the UK Border Agency’s lack of compassion and understanding


– the refugee, who had fled for her life from Uganda, having to leave chidden and family and forced to flee in the later stages of pregnancy.

These testimony’s were truly shocking, how refugees, including young children are detained, imprisoned, the apparent lack of even basic understanding and sympathy on the part of the UK border Agency – and I fully endorse how the Mayor of Ipswich responded: “Not in my name!”

The other item that made a deep impact on me was the personal testimony of the Bishop of Kigali [Rwanda], Louis Muvunyi – how he had escaped the genocide by being in Tanzania at the time and how his sister had escaped to sanctuary in Hotel Mille Collines.

Screen Printing 2012-06-21

Art Practice -Work In Progress Posted on Tue, June 26, 2012 17:42:22

I found it most therapeutic to spend the afternoon screen printing.

It was good to practice – both mixing the dye and medium to get the right tonality; and the technical aspects of making prints. I was pleased that I was able to further develop my technical skills.

By spending the afternoon making prints I felt somewhat demotivated and re-energised after struggling rather for most of the day.

This reminded me of the personal importance of making work to my practice and more general wellbeing.

Outpost 2012-06-21

Research Visit Posted on Tue, June 26, 2012 17:21:49

I was pleased to be able to see the Holmberg and Rafman show; especially as it had been featured in The Guardian earlier in the month.

The performance aspect: being greeted with –

Congratulations you are the most recent visitor

was both amusing and a little disconcerting; perhaps even detracting from my experience of the rest of the show as I became a little preoccupied with that phrase. However, that might have been the intention to disturb the “normal” encounter that the viewer as of a show, and it certainly had the overall impact of lifting my spirits.

Etching Workshop 2012-06-21

Art Practice -Work In Progress Posted on Tue, June 26, 2012 12:27:01

Following my tutorial I found it helpful to make a further print [and secondary impression on tissue]; this provided me with some reflective space that allowed me to consider further what had been discussed at the tutorial.

I was reminded of how in the past I have found it useful to use the making of work as a tool for thinking and reflecting on discerning how to further progress my work.

It was also encouraging to examine and collect the three prints that I had made a couple of days earlier.