Saturday, 8th November
This is to do with a Guardian article I was reading about sexism and ageism at the BBC. The article was written by Olenka Frenkiel, who had worked for the BBC for thirty years. When she was ‘forced out’ she was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, more commonly known as a gagging order. She refused because she wanted to be able to tell people about the way the BBC treats older women. Except that she doesn’t need to tell us, we can see it every time we turn on the television.
Out of all the over-50s appearing on screen, 82% are men. Overall, across all major broadcasters, women over 50 make up just 5% of on-screen presenters of all ages and both sexes.
It amused me, in a perverted way, that gag can also mean a joke.
1. Something forced into or put over the mouth to prevent speaking or crying out.
2. An obstacle to or a censoring of free speech.
3. A device placed in the mouth to keep it open, as in dentistry.
4. a. A practical joke. b. A comic effect or remark.
5. The act or an instance of gagging or choking.
I like to make art from stuff nobody else wants. Stuff from the bin. Stuff with a secret history.
I absolutely never cut up books which could otherwise be read, or clothes which could otherwise be worn. Nor, do I erase the blemishes left by life. I cherish life’s blemishes.
A few years back, I bought six vintage linen napkins in a charity shop, for the meagre sum of two pounds. So far, I have turned three of my napkins into sewn diaries, using fast food leaflets, old magazines and books.
Each of my napkins represents a month, with a different entry for each day. For example, the day Lynda Bellingham died, I added the Oxo box from my kitchen cupboard.
November is my fourth napkin this year, the others are June , May and October. Some of them can be found in my shop.