Category Archives: community

This is not an update, update.


I said in my last Facebook post about my recent travails at Stepping Hill Hospital that that would be the last medical update, as I am now safely home.

However, I doubt that most of the readers of my blog are friends with me on Facebook, (some are), so they won’t know what the hell I’m on about.

Suffice it to say, I’ve just spent a week in hospital and let’s leave it at that. Because, what took me there isn’t the point of this post. What I did there, is.

Whilst wiling away the hours in my hospital bed I got a bit bored and asked Nurse Emma if I could borrow a pencil and a few sheets of paper.

I did a bit of sketching of patients and nurses who I was fortunate enough to meet in the HDU and ward B6.

So, like I said, it’s not an update per se. More of a ‘backdate’.

IMG_4726

Nurse Emma at her computer.

IMG_4740

Steve, fellow patient.

IMG_4709

Nurse Eta at the medicine dispenser trolley.

IMG_4751

Craig, fellow patient, (with black eye).

IMG_4749

River and countryside.

Bit of a random one, this. No, it’s not the view from my hospital window, it’s from a photo that a friend, Edel Gallagher, posted on Facebook while I was in hospital. I really liked the composition, so thought I’d copy it. Now, if you compared my sketch to the original photograph, you’d think it’s complete bobbins. Luckily, you can’t, so here it is.

Not as spooky as the stuff I normally paint, but from where I was lying, things were pretty spooky enough.

 

13 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, health, Illustration, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Uncategorized

Body of Work


I was going to title this post: Portraits of the Damned.

Then I started to include landscapes and still-lives to it. So, the title wouldn’t really make sense. But it will in a minute! Be afraid, be very afraid.

Some of you may, or may not, know that I volunteer for an Arts charity called Arc, (Arts for Recovery in the Community), in Reddish, Stockport.

I’ve done a lot of this work there, and some at home. But all the techniques I’ve picked up are from either attending or volunteering on their programmes.

Whether it be block-printing, collage, charcoal, watercolour, acrylics, inks, fabric, embroidery, clay or pastel. Not to mention the numerous techniques, yes brushes, but also charcoal tied to the end of a three feet long piece of bamboo! Bits of old Paymobil and Lego, edges of long out-of-date credit cards.

At Arc, it’s never about the technique and what end result you achieve, it’s about enjoying the process of doing it. Losing yourself, immersing yourself in art for a few hours – now that is medicine!

I appreciate that my work is more the stuff of nightmares rather than living room walls. But I like it!

Collage

8d2364020cddedeeda47a065fd90ac6a

0d7e2c657ccd8b575269f6cef379b4da

a12cf89a1b06e2f939a96c5a8d11351d

screenshot-2017-10-23-david-milligan-croft-milligancroft-e280a2-instagram-photos-and-videos-4

Pencil sketches

IMG_4726

IMG_4740

IMG_4709

IMG_4751

Watercolour

3645b0c7904bfa500f41f883f6a54062

Processed with Snapseed.

bc58468bdfadf1916203c670bba6fa19

ae4eca241a3e6e15b5ff4835788b5bf8

024f13d6a3d1897edde063eb909d9a5e

3c4b8fadf4d16fd154504899250af7ab

Self-portraits

Processed with Snapseed.

9fb40da7882c983ec7abc9581da80019

68ee34ef3f1d8ae4c74ffa0d7e817695

741943d0a7709c754772ca5390058734.jpg

Charcoal

2a2157baea19dee85f2d3f3fb0fd9f81

280e494e1fba1e263087ba3c2a2a025d

e29a7b45a9fdba1c8b55dfb8367adf8b

2ee1afb0ef0a83d528a97be4f3edeff7

Pen and ink sketches

1f2e5a09940c1dc3c117269499bc4a07

176795be638f9bc21ad43c0bc635ceea

408c3fdff697867d0f5c3e4c5d0b8b07

d7045714f8274322ba3c68bbcdb71720

Portraits of the Damned!

Mostly acrylic and chalk pastel on canvas or paper.

893b476be83d43ccdb36286843761fc9

3e9e77dd003871d69b3356fe2561dbfa

a452c463251cab353a653edf7c5d40ba

3a6a3bbba4c596a6aabe8b7e9634f134

82f993ad1bed5b6ae1a2a792939dd4f0

d7adfef5e775e0c9f98845c6494d992e

38206431a6d34f040c2add610bbff3b8

82de543776bde91e512dd92214b75aba

0f0342121384651b0e812b5c54c2cb3a

11021b146624e19166de6bc86ab01712cf4c350d6acd9de9ee610b3f2584b525

aa82c752a6b8bff63032ae124b7a581d

And finally, the installation I made for the centenary commemoration of the end of the First World War at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery. R.I.P. Herbert Jackson of Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport. Railway man, musician, fiance – and soldier.

0ceb66ce550af7d4db93d06744f15648

6 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, health, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, Nature, Uncategorized

The Diameter of the Bomb


I’ve posted this before in response to the bombings in Paris and Boston. But it seems particularly poignant in relation to the bombings in Sri Lanka.

20190421T1430-0648-CNS-SRI-LANKA-BOMBINGS

 

The Diameter of the Bomb

by Yehuda Amichai

 

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters

And the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,

With four dead and eleven wounded.

And around these, in a larger circle

Of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered

And one graveyard. But the young woman

Who was buried in the city she came from,

At a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,

Enlarges the circle considerably,

And the solitary man mourning her death

At the distant shores of a country far across the sea

Includes the entire world in the circle.

And I won’t even mention the crying of orphans

That reaches up to the throne of God and

Beyond, making

A circle with no end and no God.

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, community, Medicine, mental health, Politics, religion, Uncategorized

We Are Dreamers 2018


IMG_3317

As some of you may know, I’ve been working on an art installation with Arc to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

There will be hundreds of ‘dream’ boxes from local children, adults and artists depicting their dreams and aspirations.

Ten of the boxes, (of which mine is one), will honour the life of a Stockport soldier who lost his (or her), life.

The point of these ten boxes is to honour these people as human beings who had lives outside of being a soldier. In fact, this is what made up the vast majority of their lives. And they had dreams and aspirations too. What would have become of them?

 

The soldier I picked lived locally to me in Heaton Mersey. His name was Herbert Jackson. He worked for Cheshire Lines Railway in Cheadle Heath and played several instruments in the Heaton Mersey Prize Band.

He was due home on leave in the Spring of 1918 to marry his fiance. Unfortunately, his leave was cancelled due to the massive German Spring Offensive of March and April. He was wounded by artillery fire on the 26th April and was moved to a Casualty Clearing Station where he died the following day aged 25. He is buried in Haringhe (Bandaghem ) Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.

The letter, (which rests on top of the box), is not real. It is something I thought Herbert might have written to his fiance whilst in hospital. Tonally, however, it is based on actual letters from a friend of mine’s grandfather who fought on the Somme.

The ‘Princess Mary’ tin, which was given to all soldiers I imagined would contain mementos of his fiance, such as a lock of her hair.

For me, Herbert’s dream for the future was to come back to the two things he loved most – his fiance, and music.

The sheet music, which lines the interior of the box, is by J.S. Bach and the lyrics are in German. Whilst I doubt that Herbert would have spoken German, they would share the common language of music.

This tribute is to honour the life of Herbert Jackson and all the other men, women and children from every nation, who died in the First World War, and to what futures there might have been.

The We Are Dreamers 2018 exhibition opens on the 11th November, 2018 at the Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery.

Private Herbert Jackson’s biography details were provided courtesy of http://www.stockport1914-1918.co.uk/

IMG_3316

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Classical music, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, History, Ideas, love, Medicine, mental health, Music, Uncategorized, Writing

Happy 70th Birthday NHS…


aneurin-bevan-3

Nye Bevan

…Thank you for bringing me into this world. And thank you for keeping me in it.

Thank you for resetting all of my broken bones. And thank you for sewing me back together.

Thank you for operating on me when I needed fixing. And thank you for sending an ambulance when I couldn’t make it there by myself.

You have saved my life and patched me up more times than I care to remember. Without you, I would surely not be here.

Most of all, thank you for bringing my two daughters into this world. Thank you for taking care of them when they were sick and for vaccinating them from deadly diseases.

6933b1c0cf2cffc87e8c29c236af4929

To all the nurses, doctors, GPs, clinicians, technicians, auxillary nurses, dentists, paramedics, ambulance technicians, call handlers, midwives, radiologists, cardiologists, pharmacists, oncologists, scientists, anaethetists, surgeons, psychiatrists, counsellors, psychotherapists, physicians, administrators, managers, secretaries, receptionists, cooks, housekeepers, porters, Nye Bevan, the Labour Party and all the other staff of our National Health Service who I have forgotten to mention –

Happy 70th Birthday!

And, thank you.

(Have yourself a slice of cake. But not too much. Don’t want you getting diabetes.)

 

2 Comments

Filed under Children, community, Disability, Education, health, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Science, Uncategorized

A Soldier’s Dream


I’m really excited (and honoured) to be taking part in an art exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The exhibition is being organised by ARC (a charity I do quite a lot of voluntary work for).

The exhibition is being held at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery from 11th November.

After the war, residents of Stockport, rather than erect a traditional war memorial to commemorate the dead, decided to build an art gallery so that future generations may benefit from their sacrifice. Which I think is a brilliant idea.

The theme of the exhibition is ‘A Soldier’s Dream’.

Because, all of these soldiers were, once upon a time, civilians who worked in factories and mills, merchant companies and railways. They had wives and children, brothers and sisters. Mums and … well, you get the picture.

IMG_3012

Scale model of the exhibition.

Instead of focussing on what they did in the war, the exhibition aims to show them as ordinary everyday people who had hopes, dreams and aspirations. Rather than just one aspect of their lives which was to give it in service of their country.

The part that I am involved in is to create a ‘Soldier’s Dream box’. This takes the form of ten 40cm x 40cm wooden crates and each one will ecapsulate the dreams of a soldier who lost his life.

IMG_3013

I can’t tell you what mine will be about yet as I am still in the research stage. I have been finding out about people local to my area in the Four Heatons who lost their lives.

I have always loved history, in particular, the First World War, so I was really excited and passionate about getting involved. (I even did a tour of the Somme a few years ago. I know, I’m a great laugh to go on holiday with.)

As part of my research, (provided by the brilliant website www.stockport1914-18.co.uk), I have been reading brief biographies of soldiers from the Heatons who died. Of which there are many.

But, reading about where they worked, who they married, their children’s names, what team they played for, makes it all the more personal. They aren’t soldiers anymore. They are real people who lived real lives. And I guess that’s the whole point of the exhibition.

Some of the biogs even give their address! These are houses I pass every week. The stories that must be contained between their walls must be incredible.

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted when I have something new to tell you.

IMG_3016

 

2 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, History, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, mental health, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized, Writing

On the curriculum…


Had a nice surprise the other day.

A poem I wrote after the tsunami in Japan in 2011 is on the school curriculum at a group of London schools.

I appreciate that it’s year 6 primary and not a masters in English Lit. But it’s still very flattering.

IMG_2996.jpg

Opossum is a federation of schools which includes Newport Primary, Dawlish Primary, Oakhill Primary and Thorpe Hall Primary.

I also came across some samples of poems the students had written after they had studied mine and I was mightily impressed.

And if that poem floats your boat, why not pop over to Amazon where you can avail yourself of my complete collection of poetry and help keep me out of penury!

8 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, Ideas, Inspiration, Nature, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing