My name is Carmel Green. I am a local Chelmsford artist and, like so many other local free-thinking creatives, I want to create positive change in the world.
As a child I was mentally, physically and sexually abused. This is something that I came to normalise; hiding it from friends and family members. Then further down the line I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. This was my way of numbing the the pain – or escaping completely. I found myself in a vicious cycle of abuse; from the way I treated myself to the way I allowed others to treat me. I was stuck in the weekly drug dependent rat-race and an endless cycle of abusive, toxic relationships.
It’s not been an easy road dealing with what has happened to me. Along the way I’ve not only learnt about the myriad of forms of the specific abuses that I’ve fell victim to, but also the many more subtle forms of systematic and cultural abuses that many people suffer every single day. This will continue to happen if we are not aware of how manipulation and abuse works
Then it came to light that the same person had also abused someone else very close to me. This gave me the courage to SPEAK UP and led me to the idea of ‘Speak Up’ — an artistic expression, spoken word, poetry meet-up and visual arts exhibition named Air Your Dirty Laundry.
Setting up this exhibition, specifically based on abuse, was not only just what I needed but what many other people that also suffered/are still suffering needed too. We have to talk about this, show ourselves, come together and shine!
So there it was, Air Your Dirty Laundry became a plan in action. Along with other creative and compassionate individuals from all over Essex and London, we are now pulling together this incredible event. I want Air Your Dirty Laundry to be a catalyst for the creation of a new safe creative space in Chelmsford. A space for people, who like me, find immense value in using art, in its many forms, as a tool for expression and communication. A space that can provide therapy, solidarity and sense of belonging. A space where we are not alone and are empowered to speak up!
Air Your Dirty Laundry is on the Sunday 9th September at A-Canteen in Chelmsford City Centre. This event is open to the public, and is also FREE. If you are an artist interested in contributing to the event or supporting Carmel’s long term vision for a Safe Creative Space in Chelmsford email firstname.lastname@example.org.