Janet Stead was born in the 1956, Dulwich, London and moved to Sussex in 2002 . And this is me at the age of 8 enjoying the wonders of life. Tel: 01825 840095 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk Aged 8 Click enter to move through presentation
Also in that year the following happened: Andy Capp, Bo Derek, Carrie Fisher, Mel Gibson, Sebastian Coe and Tessa Sanderson were born Elvis Presley’s First movie “Love me Tender” TV’s first Eurovision song contest Non-stick pans first made their appearance Production of the farthing coin ceased Letter post was 1p, Tea 26p per lb, Pint of beer 8 1/2p, Gallon of Petrol 24p, First TV Licence - £3 Jim Laker took 19 wickets for 90 runs v Australia at Old Trafford Prince Rainer of Monaco married Grace Kelly 1956
My grandmother had a tough life, she brought up six children virtually single-handed. They were aged 4, 6, 9, 14, 15 and 17 years when their father died of a heart attack,aged 43. Of course the older children left school to help support the family and Gran continued to work as a piano tutor. Putting her children first would have come naturally, but the further loss of one of her sons at the age of 26, was more than she could bear. He had been diagnosed with cancer, dying just a couple of weeks after marrying his childhood sweetheart. Gran carried on but was herself diagnosed with dementia and hospitalised at the age of 64, where she stayed for the next seven years, rapidly declining before her death.
Grandmother It seemed natural to me as a young person to record her decline and this is the haunting picture I painted of her after visiting her in hospital. It was my way of letting go of what I saw.
This was a painting I did after the death of a child, who was killed by a bomb detonated by the IRA in the 1970’s Victim of IRA 1970
Who’s that? People crying, weeping sorrowfully for the dead. A coffin is carried eerily through the streets, followed by another. But this one is only a child, Surely too young, to know the true meaning, of hate? People move uneasily as it passes, stopping momentarily, To stare and then moving on. Occasionally a wailing sound emits from within the walls of a nearby building. In recognition of the grief, that passes before them. The small procession makes its way wearily to the outskirts of town. The graves are already dug in anticipation of the new arrivals. Slowly the coffin is lowered into the open earth. A trickle of dirt can be heard as the ground eagerly begins to entomb its host. Who’s that? Just another victim of atrocities in a war torn zone Or a misunderstanding The wrong place, the wrong time? A mistake perhaps? More questions than answers. A young child dies and is laid to rest, The parents are comforted he died for a good cause, But others ask; who’s that? They do not know just how he died, In fact they do not care. It was others that thought the cause was right, To make him lie down there. But they have taken away the present, What cause could possibly do that? Surely present is a gift and that’s why it’s called present. It is the gift of life. As time goes by only those closest will remember. The images of a happy carefree child snatched away. His laughter echoing but for a brief moment, when reminded of his face. But he is not alone and others will follow. Only a child. Do we care? J. Stead Written in memory of a young person killed by the IRA during the 1970’s. I wrote this poem whilst still at school, because I believe life is a gift.
It is funny how I have always used art to express something I couldn’t put into words. One of my brother’s contracted a rare eye infection and was hospitalised. When visiting him he explained the painful treatment involving an injection to the back of the eye. So without thinking I used this as an emotional release. Eyes
Sweet Sixteen, I had lots of ideas for my future but left school with virtually no qualifications. It was a difficult time, my parents were divorcing and being one of four children, thoughts of going to art college were now dashed, instead I had to find a job and earn a living. Aged 16
Art wasn’t just an emotional outlet, I loved to draw and paint everything I saw. Living in the suburbs of South London I had a passion for history and in particular architecture. My favourite being the wonderful Victorian buildings that were scattered around that part of London. Victoriana
And now their was another budding artist in our midst
In fact she loved it and took a sketch book with her everywhere
Having a child didn’t put me off building a career and by the age of 26, with the support of my husband I set up my own company, repairing components. This was a very busy time for me because I wanted to build the company around the needs of my daughter.
The company continued to grow and my life was caught up in a delicate balance of being a wife, mother and career woman
Keeping up with the variety of products we repaired was a full-time job. And here are just some of the printer heads we repaired, which can be found in bank cash dispensing machines (ATM’s).
However, my world was about to change, a change that would alter my life forever. It was my art and an ability to write about my feelings that now became my only refuge. I could never have imagined that violence would enter my life and even my home. Or that my writing would lead me to write a story of my own one day. The inner child
The Mask, Canvas, acrylics I was now leading a double life, one which only my daughter and I knew the truth. I could not speak openly about it and this painting was one I originally did to show how I was feeling. 10 x 14”
Eventually painting became a difficult task as I took a route I had no control over and didn’t know where it would end. And so I entered a dark period in my life. This shows pink rain running down a window pane and the outside world is just a blur. The window pane, Oils
It was a drawing by my daughter when she was 8, that made me realise I needed to find the courage to stop what was happening to me. Unfortunately, it took another seven years and this reproduction of her work is illustrated in a book, I eventually wrote. Just Another Day by Lucy Day ISBN 0-9548710-0-6
Getting my life back in order was no easy task. I left the company I built and started my life again but it proved to be quite a struggle. 1999
I had previously looked at the repair of LCD laptop screens and in 1999 joined an electronics company. With the help of the technical staff, we successfully launched a repair service for manufacturers.
With dedicated staff a workshop and repair equipment enabled us to offer the service to manufacturers
It also took a number of years for the full story to pour out and even longer to decide what to do with it. But the cathartic exercise cleansed my soul.
Determined to help others, I published. A story of a girl growing up in the 1950’s, encouraged to believe she could achieve anything she wished. ISBN 0-9548710-0-6
Psychological abuse is more difficult to prove and this is how I represented it. I used this image for the front cover of the second book Watercolour
This book gives an insight to psychological abuse and offers useful information, including a self confidence chart and tips for recognising the wrong person. ISBN 0-9448710-1-4
It was the second book that made me realise society sees what it wants to see and that it’s only through the eyes of an artist, that we can really appreciate the world around us. I feel I was given a gift that has helped me understand myself better. Photo
I have never lost sight of the wonders of life although there were times when I felt like giving up but having persevered through the difficult times, my art and writing became my therapy. Photo
So maybe art is in the blood. It certainly runs in the family. Take my uncle for example, he also writes books and loves to paint. And has even been influenced of late to try his hand at abstracts. Uncle Reg lives in Edmonton, Canada, famous for stunning mountainous scenery but as Reg is a ‘Shropshire lad’ at heart, he keeps close ties with England. The following are just some of his work……………………………. Uncle Reg pictured on the left at a recent book signing
My mother took up art classes in her mid-seventies and this is one of her watercolours .e of My mother was born in 1929, pictured above on her wedding day
Many women have inspired over the ages such as Mary Wollstonecroft (1759-1797). Her father, John was a despot who bullied his wife, Elizabeth into a state of wearied servitude. Mary was the second of six children, leaving home to live in London at the age of eighteen. She went on to write a book titled ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ and sought to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body. It is a lesson we are still learning today. Tel 01825 840095 www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk
In celebration of Refuge's 35th birthday, a moving poem written by Judge, the poet: Refuge Family should be a blessing, not a curse; Living in comfort and never in dread. “ Home is where the hurt is”, “Home Harsh Home”: These are cruel words that should never be said. We all hopefully cling to this loving dream. For many, things are not as they should seem. The dream is shattered. A nightmare ensues With partners who choose to hurt and abuse. When you hear of victims of domestic violence, The cold statistics defy all reason, each sense. Two women die every week. Do you care? 90% of the time, the children are there. Tel 01825 840095 www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk
Thirty-five years ago, out in London’s west, Some brave people rose up to face this test: Against unspoken tragedy they made a firm stand, Offering respite and refuge. A true helping hand. Now hundreds every day, thousands each week, Have a place to go and a chance to speak. REFUGE has the required skill and expertise To guide women and children from pain to ease. Attitudes alter slowly. Much is still to be done. Changing minds and saving lives – one by one. Through research, counselling and awareness campaigns, REFUGE will prevent so much tragedy and pain. But your funding is needed for every section Of these aims: Provision, Prevention and Protection. By supporting all the vital work of REFUGE, The difference you can make is simply huge. Let us take this chance to break down the mystery. Together, we’ll consign these problems to ancient history. By being REFUGE’s generous partner and friend, you can help to make the nightmare end……………….
Janet, Sussex 2002 Tel 01825 840095 www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk
Tel 01825 840095 www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk Spring Crocuses, Canvas board. Acrylics 14” x 18” by Janet Stead
Tel 01825 840095 www.reach-for-the-skies.co.uk Reach for the Skies, Spitfire by Reg Stead