I found myself having another ‘wobbly’ moment in the supermarket yesterday. The strangest moment having an unexpected quandry in the cosmetics aisle; staring at rows of deoderants and anti-persperants for oh, possibly 20 minutes. Feeling slightly nauseous as I realised that the hurredly chosen underwired bra that I was wearing is now impossible for me to wear…. it just makes me constantly aware of what is happening, that change and that painful area. (Incidentally – why does the word ‘lump’ have such a gross sound? I may have to rename it to something more poetic and with more character, I can hardly bring myself to say ‘lump’, I think I shall name it Wilhamina instead.) Walking backwards and forwards trying to decide which deoderant to purchase. It is strange the things that this experience is doing to my mind. Previously when buying deoderant, the only choice I would quibble over would be ‘heavy duty’ or ‘lasts 24 hours’ and ‘what is on offer’.

I have not allowed this diagnosis to send me running scared. I started looking up statistics on the web last week and stopped myself before I read halfway through the first page. I have been tempted to look up known carcinogens, but have resisted. It has troubled me that the fact that I am overweight/drink pepsi-max occassionally/may not have washed my veg adequately/used extra strength and sometimes cheap deoderant…and so on, and so on, – may have all been contributing factors. Have I caused this myself? HA! It would be quite possible to drive myself loopy! I have too much to do, to waste time on all this craziness!

So to research or not to research? To make a million and one drastic changes in my lifestyle…or live in the moment and get on with my life as it is now? To think that this might be my fault…or to think that it is just as likely to be bad luck and could happen regardless of these things?

I will be making changes but I have decided they will not be caused by panic and anxiety. They may even be quite subtle and I am certainly not going to become obsessive. I will think twice about some things and I will keep resisiting the urge to spend hours on the internet, looking at all manner of articles…

But yes… I did buy the ‘free from synthetic fragrances, parabens and alumunium’ deoderant with it’s gorgeous wild rose scent and I am taking extra care when washing the veg.


About gillianleesmith

A lifetime fascination with storytelling, history, fairytales and folklore, has led me to create imagery based on the everyday whirling mind of a person who does not always wish to be rooted in the realistic present. Themes of times gone by and reminiscence are especially evident in my designs and my work often delves into the expression and characterisation of our human nature, which we may hide away and only ever glimpse at when prompted by a reflection of our inner selves. My character sculptures in particular are a nod towards my own imaginations, avid reading and childhood dreams. They are a way of seeking the perfect representation of our character. Each tells an original tale, with a single image that endeavors to embody a whole life story in an uncomplicated way. My most recent work begins to explore ‘dwelling places’, a place where we can truly be content and again the setting that truly represents our character and history. Each material used is carefully chosen to create layers of texture incorporating textiles, paper, paint, hand painted imagery and meticulously detailed hand embroidery. The combinations of varying media help me to create many layers and textures, which are evocative of the memories and history that is integral to my work. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Performance Costume in 2005, I have since been working on my own creations as well as teaching workshops with community groups. More recently, I have been coordinating a project involving reminiscence work with older people. This has been a huge source of inspiration to my latest artwork and themes of memories, dreams and childhood.
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