My studio walls and sketchbooks have been camouflaged with references to the blue period, which defines a series of monochromatic paintings by Picasso. My GCSE Art class have been exploring this technique and applying it into a series of self portraits. They are to produce large scale versions for a mock exam. It’s only a matter of time before I have close the door on synchronicity and producing an visual example of a certain standard for the mock exam is essential..don’t even have to say any more. Marie-Therese Walter was a major influence in this painting.
Since 2010 I’ve participated in the 5k Wirral Race for Life and today I participated in the 10K run in Sefton Park for the first time. Over 4,000 women participated in the race today and where motivated to race for their own individual yet momentous reasons or goals, varying from thinking of a loved one lost to Cancer, wanting to raise money speed up the process of finding new methods of defeating the disease and wanting to increase their fitness level. I always run for the three of those targets equally. Therefore I decided to synchronise yet again. I asked my relatives what they genuinely thought of the synchronicity, they responded positively..until I was standing in their presence synchronised on the spot..hilarious! But I knew they shouldn’t be embarrassed and this was because of the one reason why Race for Life is such an impressionable day. I’ve seen Women dress up as breasts, donkeys and David Bowie, I didn’t think many people would step back from me today. This turned out to be the result of the day and also due to running in 27 degrees, my mask collapsed after 10 minutes of starting the race!
The prospect of front row seats for an Alicia Keys performance at the arena was a great accomplishment. The arena capacity is 12,000 and I purchased the tickets long before my ‘synchronicity’, simply I thought what a perfect opportunity because there is not a chance any persons would escape my presence. I decided not to embrace this from the first moment I stepped out of the house. I was accompanied by a person who I call Unknown in this post. Unknown did not take the news I broke to her lightly and the prospect of her accompanying me in my synchronicity did not make her pleased. We are very both very different in terms of interest and levels of creativity. At first I thought it was light humour on her behalf that will easily disappear. So I shall not waffle on about prior engagements. After synchronisation in the ladies bathroom, responses surrounding me were minimal, breathing a uncontrollable curiosity in my opinion. I entered the public eye again to walk to the merchandise stand and I honestly lost track of the numbers of eyes focusing with mine. The assistants on the merchandise stand asked what the purpose of my synchronicity was and I responded with “This is what a girl on fire looks like.” Reference to Alicia’s latest single bit clique but I had a moment of condensed creative block and felt slightly embarrassed. Through out the evening, conversations between myself and Unknown were very awkward throughout the night. Unknown barely turned her head to look at me and from the minor expressions I can make from her eye lids, embarrassment covered her like a swarm of bees. It wouldn’t matter how much time I spent making inclusive resources for a naturally visual learner, step by step guides or any pedagogical knowledge I have into form of a lesson, it is out her interest altogether and she would not want/need to learn the objectives and purpose of this ‘synchronicity. “If a gorgeous man passed and wanted to talk to me, what would I do?” she replied, I think she genuinely meant to tell me “What if someone not versatile enough took the concept the wrong way and you were in danger?” So I was grateful. So how did the rest of the attendees in the arena respond? Mainly occurred before the show began and in the middle of songs. A security guard stepped forward towards me and Unknown to start a conversation. In 5 seconds of examining my face, he drastically pulled back in shock. He asked the most natural question of all and I responded with “This is what a girl who is on fire really looks like.” As I articulated these words, he reached out and touched my mask slightly because he wanted to see what it was made from. A child sitting next to me in the seating area innocently stared and I counted the minutes silently as I hummed to Alicia sing ‘No One’. Approximately 10 minutes in total. The Mother did not turn her head to any extent to notice my appearance. To end this article, I summarise the journey of the synchronicity as simple yet the performance of Alicia Keys: like a Goddess.
On 1st June, I attended a day time mini wrestling show in a night club Lancashire. I am passionate about wrestling and many British wrestlers who I frequently have seen live were performing. The show was followed by a question and answer session, guesting American talent who gathered their fame from participating in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and finally a meet and greet session.
My intention was not to reveal my synchronicity but to cheat and inform the curious that I was a professional wrestler myself and the mask was my signature identity in the ring. I was coached by a wrestling acquaintance on what questions I might be asked: is wrestling fake? who trained you? etc. Naturally I wanted to anticipate and record reactions from the American wrestlers and depending how welcoming they were, I wanted to give them a copy of the mask for obvious broadcasting reasons: instagraming, tumblr, etc. Having been to so many wrestling shows, I was aware that surreal fashion statements are no holds barred (meaning in a wrestling match that pinfalls and submissions do not have to take place in the ring physically).
I had boarded the train with my friends to journey to Lancashire and had still yet to give myself an identity, I was given the following suggestions: Black Widow, Boom Boom Lisa, etc. None of them made an impression on me. However, I bought a copy of Art Review and came to a photography showcase, featuring a professional wrestler Adrian Steel who I knew nothing about. A glamorous character he was which enabled me to think of Glam! The Performance of Style and the film Velvet Underground, who identified himself as Exotic Adrian Steel. So my identity was born: Exotic L Carter.
I placed the mask on when we arrived at Lancashire Railway Station. We witnessed the usual warm up reactions from a few travelers and residents, glimpse like a bad habit and head down. There were a number of times when I had to ask for directions, and the response I received enabled me to feel that my mask may have disappeared and I was simply accepted into the community. Once we got the venue, a group of teenagers commented positively “ I love your mask.” So I presented my story, no questions were asked, possibly they were feeling quite intimidated.
So far nothing unique to record until the show began. A British Wrestler, Dave Rayne performing a comedy speech before a match stood on the ring post closest to me and lip synced “What’s that?” so I blew him a kiss.
After a few short but decent matches, it was time to move towards a small stage for the question and answer session. The wrestlers participating were Chris Masters, Goldust, Douglas Williams and Rick Steiner. I stood close to the front and caught the attention of Chris Masters. He encouraged Goldust to look at me, like he was comparing our faces. Goldust wears face make up over his entire head and face.
Finally it was time to move onto the meet and greet and the group went our separate ways to meet individuals of our own choice, I stood in the queue to meet Amy Dumas who wrestled during the early noughties under the name of Lita and she is an athlete who I’ve admired for many years, nostalgically she was first human I saw articulate a moon-sault (backflip splash move in wrestling). Her response was minimal, I wondered if this was because she was versatile, having seen such beautiful tattoos on her arms. I wanted to ask her to describe the meaning of her tattoos to articulate a visual conversation but could due to the time limits for over 100 people waiting in the queue.
After meeting Lita, I moved onto to join the queue to meet Chris Masters who enthusiastically stated “Hey there sweetheart!” I’ve been waiting for you all night.” He seemed mesmerized as he studied the patterns on my face. I offered him a copy of the mask and talked through the instructions of how to place the mask on. He said he would instagram the mask. He is quite a vain character on social media so I have no doubt he will carry this through.
Next it was time to meet Goldust, when we came into contact he moved to Chris Master’s space to pick up the mask I gave him. He asked me about the purpose of the mask, I told him that I was a professional wrestler and he appeared to believe me. Then the conversation diverted to age restrictions in comparison to the UK and USA, I honestly have a memory block on how this subject emerged.
Finally I joined the queue to meet Shelton Benjamin. He said “Whats with the mask?” “I’m a professional wrestler.” “What name do you wrestle under?” Finally a sense of curiosity! I presented him my Adrian Street inspiration and he told me that he was very familiar with his life and performances.
So finally decided to call it a day, remove the mask and reunite with my friends. Thinking the experience was over, well, not necessarily. Overall I have never felt more exposed in ‘the concept’ in comparison to any other time I have worn it. The best part of the experience was not the quality of reactions towards the mask but the diverse identities of the people who reacted, quite like what Wrestlers experience through traveling nearly every day to perform house shows and tag (high five) millions of fans in different Countries.
If you type the name of each wrestler I have mentioned, you will gather plenty of information and be able to pinpoint them.
Am I eager to conjure expectations of reactions from public? Do I enjoy the thrill of what I perceive as individuality? Can I see more temptation and emotion within a person who gives a minimal response? Do I like applying/removing the mask because of how it feels on my skin? Do I like to experiment with contrast and threshold on a selfie? Do I embrace the fact that many people in my life think this concept is pointless? The answer is yes to each of these, how much I emphasise on each question depends on a number of things: how good my daily costa at 7:30am tastes? how my daily emotions balance and stretch? Recently I’ve made a decision to synchronize my involvement with an online community with elements of my daily routine. Why am I doing this? Refer to the questions.