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Joe is a disabled Irish writer and emerging-better-late-than-never visual artist living in the UK since the 1970s. While increasingly alienated and terrified by the toxic la-di-da of the capitalist mainstream, he finds that being reborn as an artist makes life worth living again.

Joe McConnell is the new kid on the blog

12 July 2010

Blog

This could actually be called Joe Blogs. But the joke would run thin very quickly and must have been used many times before. That's me alright. Always joking. Partly because all my life I've had an impairment which falls into the tabernacle of taboo. Well nowadays is there really such a thing? But if that is now, well way back then having a condition - acute hypogonadism - which meant that you hit the andropause before yer mates had even entered puberty was definitely taboo. Drawing a discrete...

Comments: 6

Joe Mc tells the truth for a change ...

22 July 2010

Blog

The writer and performer, Julie McNamara, once advised me to 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story'. Maybe it is ironic that, with her recent humdinger of a play Crossings, Julie went on to spin a heady weave of stories fearlessly uncovering terrifying truths about the history of the world. As John Keats put it : When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, Beauty is truth, truth...

Comments: 5

Joe Mc and the food of love

26 July 2010

Blog

red and blue pastel of a figure drumming

I mentioned the other day that my recent recovery from a year-long period of severe depression was helped by making art. This is still working for me. And many friends and colleagues are remarking that I seem better in myself than they have found in a long time. I'm feeling so well at the moment that I have decided to slowly, over the coming months, reduce my intake of anti-psychotic drugs (currently Quetiapine) to zero. In the past, I have done this myself. And, sometimes, too abruptly. Things...

Comments: 5

Joe Mc in search of '5 Rhythms'

2 August 2010

Blog

Watercolour image of a man playing an accordion

In the last post, I mentioned the power of music in lifting the vibe and helping you get through when it's difficult to do anything much at all. Listening to music seems key to what unlocked a lifetime's reticence when it came to making art. But the door had many locks and needed other keys as well: dance and movement. At the Jules Thorn Recovery Centre, mentioned in my first post of this blog, there was a wonderful session devoted to moving mindfully to music. Some of my mates sniggered...

Comments: 4

Joe Mc remembers Naji Al-Ali

30 August 2010

Blog

I have really enjoyed the past few weeks blogging on DAO. One of the pleasures has been sharing this space with the sparkling insights of Caroline Cardus, Sophie Partridge, Rockinpaddy (move over Jojolito), Dolly Sen, Vince Laws et al. And the polemical cartooning of Dave Lupton aka Crippen. Or is that the other way around? Dave's work reminds me of the intensely political cartoons of Naji Al-Ali. Although he was mysteriously assassinated in London in 1987 at the age of 50, Al-Ali's work is...

Comments: 5

Joe Mc is learning to draw ...

4 October 2010

Blog

For some time now, the NHS has been rolling out the Personalised Mental Health Care Programme. Since hearing about it a few months ago, I haven't been given a clear idea of what it's about. But I do know that it enables Mental Health System Users to access funding for education and training opportunities if a professional agrees that there is benefit for your mental health. So far, I'm really happy with this as I've been able to enrol on a one-day-a-week course with the Prince's Drawing School....

Comments: 3