Photography: Katie for Inside Outside 

I’m not usually lost for words.  And I’m not entirely sure where to begin. I’ve been pondering this blog for a while. I just can’t seem to get the bloggers flow on the go.  Too much has happened.  What we really need is a camera crew following us about.  But then again the reality T.V generation is just another form of exploitation through the vicarious world of ‘the expose’.  Anyway Linda and me talk in riddles.  I think the camera crew and our hypothetical audience would just get annoyed at us.  There is eye contact and signs which only we know about.  I have a new one, its called the ‘VEX’.  When one is completely overwhelmed to the point of tears.  You wave your hand beside your face and whisper ‘VEX”.  Linda taught me this and it encompasses your complete emotional state.  Oh and we have been so emotional in Holyrood.  Standing talking to MSP’s from all parties trying to do the big deep breaths to stop the tears is a whole new skill we’re working on and it’s yet to be mastered.

So then I thought I might start this blog with my horror at being exposed to a film which in my mind glorifies evil and narcissistic sociopathic behaviour. It’s the crude antics of the main character,  Deadpool.  But then I thought no! That ‘not so’ superhero deserves no more airtime.  And I’m glad to be banned from Monday night whiskey club as I rant on about my new mandate.

“Enough of your feminist mandate!” (All said in good spirits though, just to clear that up.)

Then I thought I could regale tales of me belting out Sinead O’Conner, Nothing Compare to you in the car driving home from Holyrood.  Then, I thought I could further my hopefully humorous blog about the fear of losing my passport  and the sudden realisation that I might not get into Holyrood.  Excessive perspiration, the destruction of my house and studio and then the tears.  Muttering through a massive lump in my throat,

‘I always fall at the last hurdle.  If I was Usain Bolt I’d probably start running backwards just as I was about to cross the finish line!’ 

It’s surprising what analogies whizz through your mind when you realise you are basically a hopeless case.  Or the time when Linda nearly dropped Natalia’s statement piece whilst we nervously hung the exhibition in Holyrood.  It was intense to say the least Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson amongst others where walking past quietly talking politics whilst we made our hanging of the exhibition into almost performance art.  At one point I had my shoes off and was padding round or space barefooted. (It’s so hot in Holyrood and the food is delicious to boot.)

So I have decided I want this blog reflect the gratefulness that both Linda and I have about the many people who have given their time, energy and expertise to the project.  I feel like not a day as gone past when someone, man or woman has offered their support and help.   I’m worried I will miss someone out.   I’ve now had two large pots of excessively strong coffee and my solar plexus is pulsing.  I can’t help but miss Linda today as she is in Holyrood and I’m perched on the end of my bed….

As Gertrude Stein once said, ‘Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.’  So the following notes of gratitude are written by me in the hope that you will all really feel how grateful I am to everyone of you.  None of this would have been possible without you all….

Linda Thomson (The one with idea):  I’m grateful to you for expertise knowledge and support you’ve given me. Thank you for all the great examples you have shown to the many women and men you work with each day.  Thank you for giving me the freedom to freely explore my ideas within this project. You are thee most incredible and inspiring women I have ever met.  I cannot wait for you to meet everyone on Friday! And I’m honoured to be your sidekick in all of this.

Elsie Hoey (My mum):  I cannot even begin to quantify the support and encouragement you have given me.  Not just with Inside Outside but with everything I’ve ever tried to do and achieve in life.  I’m so proud to be your daughter.

Kenny Baird (The Printer):  Thank you for graciously giving your Sundays #thesundayprintclub to Inside Outside.  The quality of each photograph is perfect.  Thank you for the roast chicken dinner and the casserole you made for us.  I’m glad that I never lost the plot this time.  I’m not a control freak I just like things to be printed ‘my way’.  I’m excited for you and to see your reaction when to see your printed works of art hanging proudly in the Studio 11.

Rod Smith (The Framer, but me and Linda call you Rod the Farmer because of a daft typo in a message I sent to her):  Thank you so much for the beautiful bespoke frames.  The Gesso looks incredible.  The antireflective glass adds the final touch to the softness of each frame.  Thank you for all the cups of tea and potato gratin that I had on visiting your home//studio.  You will be overwhelmed when you see them hanging.

Brian Hutton (The graphic designer): Thank you for putting together the Inside Outside Book.  It is truly beautiful.  Even down to the tactile feel of it.  I really hope we can cross paths soon. Your patience and expertise has been well and truly honored.

Marilyn Rattray (The kilt pin maker):  Thank you for taking the time to make the bespoke #iwearthemaskforyoupins.  They are truly beautiful.  Rhoda Grant MSP who sponsored the Woman’s Support Project into Holyrood wore it with pride and also wore it into the debating chamber.  I took great pride in telling her about you and the method you used to make them.

Tim Hogan (The installation guy):  Thank you SO much for everything you’ve done for the studio.  Your expertise on lacing up the wires across the studio was just genius! Without you, ‘I Wear The Mask For You’ would never have happened. You rock!

Sinead Daly (The Manager):  Thank you so much for all the time you have given to Inside Outside.  I’m so grateful to the support you have given me and the project.  It’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope that this is just the start of many great things to come and in the future. And a massive thank you to everyone in Wrasac.  Their support has also been wonderful to us.

Velma Pickles (The muse):  Thank you!  Your encouraging and heartfelt text you sent to me when we were installing Holyrood made me smile and knowing you are there for me and the kids just keeps me calm or hysterical with laughter.  You are a source of inspiration to many. ‘I love you like my spleens!’ We’ve since discovered what the spleen is and that there is only one!

Gabriela Rose (My far away friend):  Thank you for being my NJ Love Affair.  I’m actually sure I post and blog just to keep you amused.  If you were here we’d be an almighty team.  I miss you terribly.

Holly Scanlan (The blogger): Thank you for your wonderful take on Levi’s transcripts.  I gasped at the end of your blog.  Honest, open and completely truthful to how you feel.  You have been a constant support to me and the project.  I love being your friend!

Caroline Hogan (The blogger): Thank you for the hilarious Skype chat when we were discussing your heartfelt blog.  Your time and energy towards the project has meant the world to me.  Massive love and respect to you.

Joan Ray (The Mask Organiser):  Thank you for washing the 136 masks so the sticky label was removed. There was something very beautiful about the time we spent together preparing the masks for the install. 

Betty Costello Ward (The blogger):  Thank you for your beautiful words in your blog after the Hope and Dreams workshop.  Your constant support has been immeasurable.

Marie Riley (The support and friend):  Thank you for endlessly supporting me.  For cleaning my house when I was out of domestic control.  For listening to me constantly when I start a conversation mid sentence.  Thank you for making me laugh and all the encouraging words of support you have shown Inside Outside.

Louise Wilson (Personal Press Officer):  With the best theme tune in Dundee I am grateful to you always.  You are the best kind of friend I could ever ask for.  I love that you are my newly appointed spokes person for the press. And will always be there to sort out my whopping grammatical errors (You know what I’m talking about 😉 ) 

Alan Wilson (The journalist): Thank you for taking the time to come to the studio and find out more about the project.  You have been of great support to me and have encouraged links between the project and the press.

Lucy Hay (The friend):  Thank you for all your help with the kids over the past 6 months.  I know I can call you at anytime happy, sad or hysterical.  I love walking into your house without knocking and you are there waiting with a glass of red wine and a big hug!

Steph Devlin (The friend): Thank you so much for always being there for us.  Your friendship is invaluable to me.  Thank you for the early morning text on Monday before Holyrood. I really needed it as I was freaked, no photographic ID for Holyrood.  I couldn’t even breath by that point.

Willow Wilde (The friend):  Thanks to you for bringing cheer and love into the studio. And for all the research you did on prostitution.  I’m so excited to eat the mask chocolates that you are making for Friday.

Kirsty Doig (The friend):  Thank you for your continuing support and for hanging the very first mask.  The marble plinth looks amazing in Holyrood. You are a magical bean.

Pat Jones (The friend):  Thank you for your time and your constant support.  The glass head that you gave us on loan looks fabulous sitting in Holyrood with a mask on it.

Lorraine Bairstow (The source): It all started when Lorraine gave my phone number to Linda.  Both Linda and I are SO grateful you.  Thank you for visiting the studio and helping hang the masks.

Garry McGovern (The Electrician): Thank you for installing the new lights in the studio.  They look fantastic and will certainly add a new dimension to Friday’s opening.

Rosie and Poppy (The friends): Thank you for coming to the studio together armed with cupcakes.  It was so special that we shared International Woman’s Day together.  Seeing our kids stand together in the City Square was just the best!

Gaynor and Steven Thomson (The friends): Thank you for visiting the studio at the Hopes and Dreams workshop.  It was great seeing all our children together.

Sarah and Freddie (The friends): Thank you for the hugs and for you and Freddie joining us at the Hopes and Dreams workshop.

Mudge, Baby-boom, Daisy Petal and Teacup (Our children): They are the reason why we exist and are the reason why we want to see change in the world.  We want a better world for you and for all your friends.  Thank you for allowing us as your mum(s) to let us work hard. You keep us both going even when we are exhausted. You are our light. You make us proud!

#iwearthemaskforyou (the install): To everyone who took the time to come to the studio and hang the masks.  That meant the world to me.

Inside Outside Holyrood (The Parliament): Thank you to Rhoda Grant and all the MSP’s and the people that work in Holyrood for your time, patience and interest with our exhibition.  It’s very important to us and our women that the Inside Outside message is spread across the board. For you to hear our voices and to acknowledge the women’s photographs is incredible. Thank you.

But MOST of all I’m so overwhelming grateful to the 4 most courageous women I have ever had the honour of knowing.  Levi, Natasha, Katie and Natalia. And to all the other women we have worked with.  Words cannot express how your honesty, time, effort and tenacity to keep going has meant to us.  Without you all, none of this could have been possible.  I’m grateful to have met you and to call you my friends….

With a happy heart,  I’m very grateful and humbled by Inside Outside.

Love Kathryn x