Tag Archives: Grande Dame

Countdown to Spiritland!

London Friends and Comrades! In less than 2 weeks time I shall be playing records on the BEST SOUND SYSTEM ON EARTH at the incredible Spiritland! I can NOT wait! Been buying loads of new/old/rare tunes for your listening pleasure. I’m even having my records professionally cleaned – It’s that heavy! And what a treat it will be for our ears. Even Vanity Fair gave them a write up – wow!

Also joining me on the decks for an hour or 2 is the amazing, gorgeous bass playing, rock and roll powerhouse Simone Marie of Primal Scream and Soho Radio! Click the pic to hear her bad ass radio show! It’s gonna be a killer night, the system is so heavy, there will be loads aural pleasures to experience!
Check out the video below of their set up. OMG – I’m not worthy Garth! Ha! Again the event is Weds, Feb 1st, from 8pm – 1am. And it’s Totally Free!!! Spiritland 9 – 10 Stable Street, N1C 4AB – See You there! oxo GD

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New Beginnings…

Well, we finally have come to the end of one of the most turbulent years in modern history. I will not lie, it was certainly a challenge for me personally, and one of the hardest years of my life. But it’s ending as one of the greatest years for me too!

It began fairly good. I was working away, going through my animation library making gif loops. My plan had been to make 100 & then contact Giphy and ask them if they would feature me as an artist. But once I reached 87, they contacted me and told me how impressed they were with my work that they made me a featured artist! Result! Shortly after, they commissioned me to make a birthday card for Rihanna!

In early Feb I dj’ed at a local music festival and got really good feedback. I hadn’t played out in years and soon I started getting asked to play around town. 2016 was shaping up to be a good year for me, and then the bottom dropped out.

Feb 15th I was served an eviction at my lovely palace flat. I would be lying if I said it was a surprise as the new slumlord owners had been evicting tenants right and left since they took over. I knew the day would come where I too would have to leave, and assured myself that I would eventually find another gorgeous home. Then less than 24 hours later, I got word from ink-d (the gallery that repped me) that they would be closing for good in May. That was a real kick in the gut. For the past 2 years, since my last exhibition, I had been planning the biggest show of my career. It had been my 2 year plan. After I showed on the main floor, I would be able to go anywhere. I had tunnel vision. It was my life path, and then poof – in 24 hours I was homeless and without a career. I was absolutely heartbroken. And to top it off I had to dj the next night.

I stayed in bed for 2 weeks and sobbed. Once my tears dried, I decided to start looking around for flats, and that became an even greater trauma when I learned 99% of all estate agents do not rent to animal owners. And if there were any flats that would allow pets, they were the most depressing, disgusting places you have ever seen. Carpeted kitchens, foul odors, holes in the walls; I could almost see the faint chalk outlines from where the dead bodies had lain. Not really the last part, but you get the picture. There was no way I would live in a gross place, so I began to sniff around for somewhere stateside.

Portland seemed like the perfect place. I had a few friends, it’s west coast and very liberal, easy to get around with a bike, and the most animal friendly city in America! Not only do most places allow 2 pets, but some have doggy concierge, wash stations and give you a welcome basket with organic milk bones! Sounded like heaven to me! But a big upheaval as well. After 2 months of no luck, it was looking like the plan.

Then out of the blue, my dear friend Paula got me a viewing at a place she heard of. A beautiful flat on top of a hill, looking out to sea, lots of space and breathtaking views. I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I’m a artist weirdo, without a real job and animals. Normally when looking at a flat, I would assume I would rank low on the list for landlords – they want a normal person with a normal job. But luckily the owner of the lovely flat is an artist herself and chose me because she liked my art! How amazing!

I was all set to move in May 3rd, and then the day of the move, my darling cat Tom died in a freak accident. On top of that, the movers canceled and I had my phone and net cut off. So I was stuck in my old place for 3 days, with no net or tv, and no cat. I have never been so sad in my life as I was then. It’s funny cos Tom wasn’t really my cat. He was totally independant. He was actually a famous cat. He used to belong to the news agent across the street from me in London. In 2009 the owner’s old cat had died and he was really down. He went to Celia Hammond cat charity and brought this little 12 week old kitten to his shop. While making my daily trip to get provisions with Booboo, he brought Tom out to show us. Tom ran right up to Booboo and put his arms around Boos neck! It was love at first sight.

Then it became our ritual of going in to say hello to Tom, everytime we went for a walk. Whether I needed to buy something or not. Tom became the mayor of Haggerston. He slept in the post office, he hung out in the off licence, you could always see him at the waste market playing in boxes or begging for dog treats from Norman the antique dealer. It wasn’t just me and Boo, who made trips in especially to see him, lots of people did! He was a very special cat. Friendly, and independant. Not afraid of anything!

In 2012 Ash, the owner, sold the news agent and left Tom there. I assumed he thought Tom would be happiest there and that the new owners would want him to ward off rats. But they didn’t want Tom. They drove him across London and dropped off and he ended up making his way back. One day I was walking past and saw a crowd gathered round him and a few people were crying. They said the new owners were taking Tom be put down. Well, I knew at the time my husband would not approve, but I was not going to let Booboo’s best friend die. So I brought him home with me and a few months later the 3 of us made our way to Hastings.

I wasn’t sure it would work out with him and thought about finding him a nice home with a garden if it did not. But he loved the palace flat. He watched the gulls in the front, the pigeons in the back, laid in the sun on the balcony and went on long adventures all over, as I would pick brambles out of his fur! He sat on a chair right by the door waiting for us to return. He wanted cuddles and treats and naps and playtime, everyday at the exact same time, with military precision! And in the end, that is what killed him, trying to keep to the schedule, something I could not do as we were moving. His death really paralysed me. Those tender moments throughout the day with him were gone and left gaping holes in my life.

Once I settled in the new place, I had a few nasty art world door slams that really stung. After everything I had been through, it zapped the life from me. I lost my confidence. I had no direction. I felt the gravity of the world and resigned myself to bed. It was the first time in 15 years I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn and start creating. I obsessed on politics and climate change and just thought “What’s the point? there’s not going to be fish in 30 years!!!” I felt washed up and out of ideas and motivation. Once Brexit happened that was it. I wanted my mommy. I decided I would move back home to Georgia and make bowls.

And then the very next day, like angels – The Alabama 3 – came into my life and commissioned me to make a video for them! It was truly a miracle! Not only had I been a huge fan, but now I had a reason to get up out of bed and create. And I feel like it was visually the best thing I have ever done. I am forever grateful to them for that – giving me a reason to get up out of bed… 🙂

And ever since, my career has been on the up! I had a great show at a local bar and am happy to report that I am doing some animation work for one of the biggest companies on earth! And talking with another. I’m booked to DJ at Spiritland – the best sound system in the world! So many opportunities have been coming my way in the last few months that I have literally been pinching myself. The rest of the planet is going to shit, but it’s just getting better and better for me. Ha!

And I welcomed a gorgeous 6 month old persian cat named Genghis into my life back in Sept. It was slow going. He bit me on the first day when he saw Boo, he’d never seen a dog before and was terrified. I got an infection and had to be on antibiotics! I was sure he was one of those animals, that had to be the only one and that it would not work. But I spent an entire month socialising them slowly and now, I think they are even better friends than Boo was with Tom! And he is so cuddly and loveable, I have never known an animal to give so much love! We are a very happy family again.

The world is a scary place right now. I don’t have the answers. To be honest, I have to keep all the politics at bay just to remain sane. I hope somehow with my art I can make a difference and positive change. We all must be tolerant, kind and understanding to one another. That I do know. One consolation for me during my struggles, was that I knew there were many more people suffering out there. Not that I enjoy for others to suffer, but to know I was not alone was a slight comfort…

One thing I learned from all the trauma and stress I went through, was how amazing my community is. So many people came to my rescue to help. Even people I had not known before, were there offering me rides or meals, or doing nice things. I am lucky to live in such a magical place! Thank you Hastings and St Leonards!

I used to have a saying “when bad things are happening, it’s because something amazing is coming right around the corner, and the universe wants you to appreciate it.” But after all of the bad things that kept happening – FOR MONTHS – actually 4 months of shit – I forgot my mantra. But now I know it’s true. I had to be low to appreciate the highs and things are truly amazing now! Hopefully it stays amazing for years to come. If you got to the end of this – thank you for reading! All the best in 2017! oxo GD

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Ladies and Germs! Very VERY STOKED to announce I will be spinning records at Spiritland Weds Feb 1st! They only have the BEST sound system in THE WORLD! It’s totally custom made and built specially for them and serious audiophiles!!! You can read about them in this New York Times article. My dad would be so proud as he was a hifi dealer when I was a kid. Wow! The world is going to shit, but life just keeps getting BETTER & BETTER for me! Guess now is time I do a new DJ mix! Ha! Ok hope to see some Eclectic/ Electric Crazyland Lovers there! Totally free too! OMG! I’m not worthy Garth! Ha! Info here. Ok see ya there! More soon! oxo GD

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My VOODOO Sale at Fee Fee La Fou

Having a special sale on my original piece – My Voodoo On You – you can grab it for a limited time only for £1250! Savings of £250! Woo! Inspired by track 7 from the Grande Dame Album- Hand Painted Silk Screen with 24CT Gold Leaf Overlay Mounted on Wood in Gilded Frame 26″ x 30″ 1 of 1. Sale ends soon so click pic or here for deets! Hoppy Halidays! oxo GD

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Dear Friends, I have a new print on offer called REWARD FOR THE RIGHTEOUS. I did it a few months back and it is a symbol of hope. We are entering dark times. Where we are truly in a good vs evil struggle. But we are the light bearers. We practice acceptance and seek out knowledge of all cultures. We are inclusive and understanding. We honor the earth. We are on a quest for justice and truth. We are the Righteous and we WILL BE REWARDED! I was inspired by cemetery symbolism. This image of the finger pointing up can be found on old headstones – meaning of the hope of heaven. Giclee Printed on 225 Sommerset GSM, Hand Coloured with Acrylic Ink. Available unframed for £60 or framed for £110. I will be doing more colorways and sizes, I plan to cover this image all over the place. This is our badge of hope! The struggle continues… Click the pic or here for details. oxo GDS

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Come Together and Reflect The Light!

Wow, what happened? I like many others around the planet am terrified of the future. Yesterday I was completely overcome by the feeling of vultures flying around my stomach. Just listening to the new administration’s first agenda was horrific. It’s like all the villains from your worst nightmare have united to lord over us. I don’t know what’s in store. But I do know we must come together and love each other and celebrate our friends and family now more than ever.

Today is my uncle Diggie’s birthday. He would have been 70. He died of AIDS in 1986. Yesterday when the reality of the horror set in, I couldn’t help flashing back to when I was a young teenager having to deal with his death. Diggie was my everything. He had been the center of my universe since I was a baby. I planned my entire life around him, and bragged to all my school friends about how amazing he was – artist, actor, musical playwright, costume and set designer, fluent in 7 languages and world traveller! And so MUCH MORE! He was the ultimate bohemian. Leaving my small Georgia town to go visit him in New Orlean’s French Quarter every year was beyond amazing! He created this fantasy world for me, which honestly – saved me from suicide (I was severely bullied for being different) as I knew one day I would be able to be with him and live a bohemian life too! Back then, esp in the south, it was believed that AIDS was the scourge of God against the homosexual for sinning. Even tho we were 400 miles apart, Diggie was the rock of our little family – Mamma, Me & Him. To be losing the center of my universe was too much to bear; but to make matters more complicated, for our own protection, Mamma and I vowed to keep it to ourselves. Not out of embarrassment, but out of fear. Fear of vandalism on our property and harassment from the community. It was hard enough losing the rock of our family, having to be taunted during our months of sorrow would have broken us. That was from 15 to 16 years old. I was losing the most important person in my life, but I had to keep it to myself. Needless to say I just did not go to school that year and nearly failed 10th grade. I remember being on a school trip, one of the mothers was there to chaperone. She was big in the evangelical church and kept telling stories “of all the faggots” back when she was in college. I mentioned to her to not use the world, it was offensive to me, but she laughed in my face and continued her banter. Oddly enough her daughter, also big in the Evangelical church – grew up to have her very own Ugandan charity – and her BFF – on the executive board of Pro Life. These are my former classmates. To be that young in that time of the 80s, where genocide of a generation was happening (I lost a cousin I was close to as well as dozens of friends) and the govt ignored it, made jokes about it, and the raving lunatic christian right condemned the dying for their wicked ways – that shaped my young mind, and made me so fearful of the future. And opened my eyes to the hypocrisy of religion. Luckily times did change and we went forward for some time, then backwards again, then forward and backwards. And that is life a constant cycle of push and pull.
That’s what it felt like yesterday. That feeling of fear and dread. That is why we have to unite and love each other. We have to be vigilant to fight for the common good of the people. We have to stop and breath and appreciate the goodness that is around us! It’s hard to see but it is there! Hug your family and friends! Hug your animals and do something nice for a stranger! Let’s reach out and open our hearts and minds and become a strong, positive force in the world. We can change things. We are the light! The pic above is from one of my uncles sketchbooks. Even tho he left this earth 30 years ago – he is still with me! I am so lucky to have met him.

I am off to London to have my Cosmic Reflection Party. I will honor my uncle’s life with love! I hope to see my friends there too! Lets be the Cosmic Reflectors! The Angles of Light! Please come by Philip Normals after 6pm tonight at 45 Brixton Village. Say hello and have a drink, have some hugs and pick up a special protecting amulet/ magic portal to another dimension made with love and care always. Love to you all! OXO GD

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Dear America…

Like many humans on earth, I am absolutely terrified. Will we wake up weds morning to a fascist American govt? How did it get to this? Why are so many Americans filled with so much hatred? I posted months ago to throw my support behind Bernie Sanders. After the primary was over, I was so disappointed. He did not get a fair playing field and the DNC – completely rigged the entire election in her favour. It left a bad taste in my mouth – and I did not know what I was going to do. I thought I would wait and see what Bernie said. If he was going to veer off to a third party – I was going to be right there to support him as always. But when he came out and threw his support behind Hillary – it stung – BAD…

When this whole farce began – I was in the camp of “Trump is a false flag candidate/ reality star working with Hillary and the powers that be” – “he is so awful he’ll make her look better!” – “He’s prob on her payroll!” And I too repeated that mantra that many others do “He is an idiot – but she is REALLY EVIL!” But after much time and research – I know that a Trump win will be a planetary disaster.

There is so much hatred in the air. When I was pushing for Bernie, I joined a lot of Pro Bernie groups on Facebook. Much information was shared and posted – but once Bernie lost, I began to see that the hatred for Hillary overtook the entire progressive cause. The groups went from sharing fact based proper journalism, to right wing/ click bait/ fake news stories. Their hatred blinded them from the cause and fueled their movement. One by one, I began to unfollow them. Several left wing friends let the hate overcome their purpose, and they began to share the same fake right wing garbage, so I had to hide them as well – for my state of mind. Then I started to hide all news sites, until my feed was just a series of cat memes. I dont want anything to do with news at the mo, it just depresses me – I absorbed enough bad information – I want to take it out of my head – not put more in…

A friend shared this stores advert pullout from my home towns local paper. An ammo election sale! “Exercise YOUR Right!” It exclaims in bold letters, accentuated with stars and stripes, next to a machine gun. Advertising death as if it were the same as Home depot. Most people I know were horrified to see this, but my hometown and pro second amendment friends were completely desensitized – same old, same old. “No different than a store selling lawn mowers” a friend commented…

It’s weird because I know several Trump supporters. I am related to them or know them from my home town. None have lost their jobs or suffered any hardships under Obama. Contrary to what the rest of the world believes – they do not live in trailer parks or look like extras off a Deliverance remake. None are poor, white collar workers. In fact, from my vantage point – they all have it pretty darn good. So why the anger? Why the hatred? The only answer I can come up with is they have drunk the koolaid dolled out by fox news that the black people and Isis are out to get them in suburbia. Their main concern is the right to bear arms and welfare queens getting free stuff! Not even realising that the truth of the matter is that they are more likely to be killed by a crazy, white spree killer than an African American or Isis; and that the real welfare queens are corporations being subsidized and not having to pay tax just like Donald Trump!

Seriously! They honestly believe that people on welfare are using their food stamps to buy lobster and caviar! It’s mind boggling! But in a way, I think they like them being there in a tough situation, as that is a group they can direct their hatred towards and feel better about themselves whilst doing it.

To the white racist – no black person is above them – and that is why they have hated Obama so. He is everything they will never be – classy, eloquent, intelligent – and because they are not fully cooked eggs, this makes them feel inferior. Instead they should strive to be those things.

Recently I unfriended a relative. We had never met. A distant, elderly cousin in Northern California. Looking at her photos with her grand children, you could picture her baking cookies and knitting quilts all day long. But a glance at her feed told a completely different story. Memes with pictures of Hitler comparing him to Obama, and lots of pro Trump propaganda. I tried to engage her a bit hoping I might sway her. But she was completely crazy and her entire mantra was “They (Obama and Hillary) want to take my guns away!!!” This little sweet, 80 something year old granny!

I have a brother who is also a supporter of Trump. Most of the time I keep him hidden, I don’t want to see the hate. But was curious the other day and stumbled upon this meme. I couldn’t hold back and left a comment – “Really? Where on earth do you get this nonsense? He has screwed over and stiffed his workers systematically his entire career! You are a fool to believe this!” I shouldnt have called him fool, but where is any proof Trump cares about anyone but himself? He is one of the people who outsourced jobs to China, who let his casino go into bankruptcy, leaving thousands unemployed and their pension plans drained. His record shows another story – he does not care about people who work for him. But his supporters do not care about the facts…

I have seen other ridiculous memes and fallen out with several friends and family members. As has my mother, who is usually super diplomatic when it comes to politics. It’s just something you don’t speak about. But, unfortch – this race is unlike any we have ever witnessed. It’s not just the repubs and dems, small govt vs big govt – this is about human rights, civil rights and the state of the planet!

Nobody thought Brexit would happen here in the UK. Even I thought “The powers that be will not allow it.” And I like many others, was shocked the next morning when I awoke to hear the news the Britain would be exiting the EU. The win of the Brexiters legitimised the cause of the racists and soon beatings spread like wildfire around the country. Hate crime violence spiked off the chart, people were even killed. When they started to go after Polish people, even I got scared for my own safety. It was then that I made my decision, as I knew a Trump win would be a green light to the racists to celebrate with lynching sprees. I could not let that happen.

As stupid and ignorant I believe Trump is, he is stocking his cabinet with a truly evil team. In 2013 his VP – Mike Pence signed a bill to jail same-sex couples for applying for a marriage license! That was just 3 years ago. And sadly one of many anti-gay legal actions he has pushed for. As someone who has gay relatives and friends – their rights and safety are important to me!

What we have all witnessed over the past years with police brutality against black Americans is beyond horrific and the militarized US Police Force seems to have morphed into a gestapo type organization. The Police Union has backed Trump and again, I fear that a Trump win will just create more funerals in the black community.

Trump has vowed to overturn Roe VS Wade – a woman’s right to choose. That can not happen. And if it does, many women will die in botched abortions. He has made himself loud and clear about the way he thinks of women and it is disgusting! How can anyone, esp women and parents of daughters, want such a disgusting pig to represent them?

What he has openly said about Mexicans and Muslims is disgusting! It’s Un American! Our country is a melting pot of all races, colours, religions and must stay that way.

But to me one of the scariest things I have heard is that he believes Climate Change is a hoax created by China. He plans to leave the Paris Agreement. Defund alternative energy sources and subsidize more oil and coal! What kind of world does tomorrow hold for your grandchildren? It is not a hoax! It is real and we as a society must be vigilant in weaning ourselves off of oil and gas and accepting cleaner options! Time is seriously running out – it is no joke people!

So those are my reasons for voting for Hillary. Human Rights, Civil Rights and The Planet. Because those things are truly at risk. I beg my fellow Bernie supporters, not to throw your votes away! Writing his name in is a waste and so is voting for Jill Stein (sorry it’s too late and she is out of her depth). It makes me so frustrated, because if you truly back Bernie and were a supporter of his cause, you would follow his lead to fight fascism! Because if Trump wins, it won’t be 4 more years, it could be decades of authoritarianism. America will no longer be the land of the free and brave, it will be at the end of the cue, taking orders from Putin. And to my left leaning Putin lovers who think the west has painted an unfair portrait of him, 3 things – Ukraine, Gay Rights, and Pussy Riot. He is evil, no matter how you try and spin it.

As an American living in the UK, I am on the outside looking in. The terrifying thing with Trump and his supporters, is that they are blind to the rest of the world. America is the only country on the planet to them. But that is not true. Their hatred has blinded them to see America is part of a community. And most all countries and their leaders do not care for Trump. Electing him will only change America’s standing in the world and there will be dire consequences…

Every side in this experience has left me deflated. The way the republican party sunk so low with their main candidate discussing his penis size in primary debates, the way the republican and far alt right got away with spreading lie after lie with fake clickbait sites, the way the DNC completely ignored the will of the people to anoint their chosen leader – squeezing Bernie and his message of truth out as far as possible, the smugness of her die hard supporters, the far left’s blinding hatred of her – helping spread the far right’s lies; and the corporate media for creating this frankensteins monster and helping to build his cause and grow his fascist army – all the while capitalizing on hate! One big headache! And if I am honest – even if she wins, I still have fear – fear of the militias coming out to avenge their loss – as Trump is alluding to this…

Do I like her, not particularly, is she flawed – most definitely! But I do believe she does have good qualities too and has worked to help the poor. I also believe that money and power has corrupted her and she is too hawkish. But the things I care most about are much more protected under her. Bernie did not get a payoff to support her (as several clickbait right wing sites have alleged) he knows how the system works. And as someone who has worked tirelessly for decades beyond partisan lines, knows better than to burn bridges if he wants to continue to make a difference. If the dems take the senate – he will get Paul Ryan’s job and be able to accomplish so much more for the American people – perhaps more than he would as president! So to my fellow Bernie bros and sistas – let’s get behind him! And save the USA from becoming a fascist state.

I know this is a long winded rant, and wish I had written it sooner. A lot of people are sure she has this in the bag, but as we learned with Brexit – nothing is a sure thing. The world now waits on pins and needles – hoping and praying that America makes the right choice and does not thrust itself and the rest of the world down into the abyss… Dear America – please don’t undo years of progress. I beg you… GD

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