Posts Tagged Carers
This week the enormous sums being offered to football stars sparked outrage across the UK.
In these harsh, cold, dark, smelly, unattractive times with our failing economy and only one Royal Wedding to pin all our hopes and dreams on, the anger is not surprising.
Many Brits feel that these giant sums are unjustified to young men playing sport. Young men such as Andy Carroll who are then perceived to spend the money on extravagant nights out and court appearances for drunken behaviour.
I decided to show the world who we should really be appreciating and treating with respect and awe.
I collected a group of carers, charity fundraisers, lawyers who work pro bono (once I found out that this wasn’t a sexual thing) and doctors and nurses working for Medicins Sans Frontieres.
I then told them the great news; that through one of my generous art benefactors, I was able to reward them for being the real heroes in our world! Their salaries would now be the equivalent of Premier League footballers!!
Some of them would even be paid as much as £50,000 a week (the ones who were better football players got slightly more than the less skilled players because I still hadn’t figured out an alternative way to grade their pay).
Their joy at this news was wonderful. And yet, to my horror, I saw them quickly become used to the idea and begin to squander the cash immediately!
The ink on the cheques was barely dry (none of them had internet banking which was also a hassle I won’t go into now) when they began throwing their money around. Suddenly they were buying large houses (with adequate disabled facilities for the people they were caring for) or splurging on drugs (for the underfunded Medicins Sans Frontieres) or even settling court cases (for the pro boners)!
They were behaving just like the immature footballers we had all judged so harshly.
And it didn’t stop there. When two weeks later I gave them the news that the salaries I had bestowed on them was less of a real thing and more of an artistic idea of a salary, a metaphor if you will (please say you will), they became enraged!
I can’t even begin to describe the spoilt behaviour as they shouted and used foul, offensive language (eg. ‘this is the worst art I ever heard of’ and ‘no one cares what you think’)!
As a final act of appalling aggression, they trashed the sculpture I had made to represent this whole idea of removing the divide in professions. It was a beautiful, giant statue of a footballer groping a nurse and made out of beer cans.
This was a metaphor for the idea that no matter what our income or level of fame, we’re still actually all equals who can touch each other’s souls or, failing that, each others’ naughty bits on a drunken night out.
I called it ‘When souls touch/rub up against each other in the toilet queue because the queue for the womens was massive after one of the toilets started overflowing and then we got chatting’.
This is all that is left of my art, along with the lesson we have all learnt from this, that large sums of money change even the most noble of person or profession and make them act like jerks who don’t appreciate great art.
Six million people in the United Kingdom provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail, disabled or who misuses drugs or alcohol’ Full story here
This is a terrible statistic. I tried to think how I could help increase awareness of the plight of carers. The issue made me think of the famous old tale of ‘The Old Mother’…
I have depicted here in sculpture the moment in the story when the Old Mother kneels before the young woman, saying ‘Daughter, why have you forsaken me? I am hungry and fed you and bathed you and looked after you for all those years‘.
The young woman replies ‘I’m sorry, old woman, I do not recognise you‘.
The Old Mother replies, ‘What are you saying, I brought you up from when you were but a baby!’
The young woman replies ‘You are mistaken, I know you not’.
The Old Mother replies, ‘How can you speak these words? I am your- oh, wait- no it’s fine… sorry, yes I know you’re not my daughter, I just had to hide behind you for a moment while that bloke over there was walking past. I owe him a LOT of money. Sorry, calling you daughter was the first thing I could think of to get your attention and crouch behind your skirts like that‘.
The young woman replies, ‘Oh! Oh I see! Oh thank goodness, you gave me a heart attack there!‘.
The old mother replies ‘Hahaha, that’s funny. I’m so sorry. God you must have thought I was a mentallist!‘
The young woman replies ‘No, no… nothing that bad- I was just like…woaaah, what’s this all about… hehehe.’
And the Old Mother replies ‘Ha ha… Well I guess I should be- ooh the old knees don’t like getting up after that long on the ground, he he.’
The young woman replies ‘Oh are you right there?’
The Old Mother replies ‘Yes yes, just me complaining.’
The young woman replies ‘He he…. ahem.’
The Old Mother replies ‘Well, thanks again! See you around’
The young woman replies ‘oh, yes, see you!‘
I think we could all do worse than to remember this story at this time.