Word of mouth

my dark self portrait
selfie sideways

One of my favourite fairy tales is the one about the girl who stepped on bread. She was a proud and selfish girl who was over-confident and self-obsessed. In the story there had been many unpleasant incidences of her cruelty.  The last straw was stepping on the soft white bread to save her lovely shoes from the mud. For this immoral act she was sent below ground to the devil's corridor of statues. There she was petrified while insects crawled over her face and arms. The only person to cry over her disappearance was her mother, but no one else shed a tear.

There is an artist born in the same year as my brother. This artist, Vik Muniz, makes images using unusual materials like jam, cotton wool and kisses. He has a photograph of Marilyn Monroe (after Avedon) made of painted puzzle pieces. This Brazilian artist worked for a time with the rubbish shifters at Jardim Gramacho in Rio. The profits for the photos went to the locals.

My brother got interested in spray painting card with the portraits of young models copied from the newspapers. When he was younger he had hung empty spirit bottles from the polystyrene tiles in his bedroom ceiling. There was a story that Andray told us when we were very young and growing up in Peckham. He said he had been taken to the Little Dutch Boy laundry by caring individuals who had fed him porridge before he came home. It was the most delicious porridge he had ever tasted. Even as an adult this story never changed. He had dreams. 

Eventually the girl who stepped on bread developed an understanding of others and learned compassion. One day her heart became a beautiful blue bird that flew out of her chest and into the bright sky.