Non course work – Part 5

Submission to Issue 2 Edge Zine 

I’m really enjoying writing for this OCA student zine and have contributed another couple of articles this issue where the theme is ‘change’.

“A Change is Gonna Come”

It is thought Sam Cooke was inspired to write this song after being turned away from a hotel in the American South because of race. It is a song full of yearning but has hope and dignity, and was taken up by the American Civil Rights Movement as an anthem for its cause. Sadly, it was released a fortnight after the singer’s death in a shooting where the facts still retain some mystery. It was written in a time where being black in Mississippi was a dangerous one; murders, lynchings and other horrors were lurking, especially for civil rights workers. The line ‘tired for living, but afraid to die’ seems to sum up the feelings of people who needed change. This was a time when white and black people weren’t allowed to even drink from the same water fountain. In 2008, Barack Obama paraphrased the song during his victory speech when he declared “it’s been a long time coming, but tonight, change has come to America.” Next week, he leaves office, and it certainly makes me think what change is coming next?

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Change of heart

Our heart is described to be the source of great emotions and love and  while researching the origins of the phrase ‘change of heart’ [I couldn’t find much] I came across a study into heart transplant patients who literally have had a change of heart. This Austrian study in the journal ‘Quality of life’ found 6% of transplant recipients felt they had more of a drastic personality change than could be explained just by the life changing operation. Although not scientifically validated, I read some interesting stories…..like the man who dreamed of white flashes in front of his face [his donor had been shot in the face] to the middle aged man who now listened to loud music and dreamed of a different fast car….his donor was a 17 year old boy. What memory do our hearts have exactly?

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Oil painting

I attend a little local oil class, which is quite traditional in approach, but I have really improved my technical knowledge through it, and understanding of 19th century artists.

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Oil on tawny board A4 size

This is a copy of Van Gogh’s ‘Harvesters’ and it was interesting to copy his outlines of mountains and houses in cobalt blue which at the time was quite a departure from more realistic styles.

I have found I learn a lot more about paintings if I stand in a gallery and draw them, than if I just look and that’s definitely something I want to continue in the future.

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