There is no such thing as finding happiness. Happiness is created through doing something you are innately very good at and therefore you love doing it. I have learnt that by allowing both the time and headspace to let your natural talent breathe, doors will open and the opportunities that may follow are endless. Trust me. Try it.
Conflict and displacement also carry with them the less visible scars of grief and trauma - feelings difficult to manage in adults, and even harder to manage in children. While it's unimaginable to ignore the effects of the war, can there really be reasons for optimism and hope? A group of Syrian artists believe so.
Voices and ideas from the areas of food, land, travellers, domestic violence, poverty, asylum and debt are all vital to finding grains of truth that allow us to face up to our Hidden Civil War. To face difficult truths in troubled times, we require deep collaboration, reflection and above all, listening.
We know how lucky we are to have the NHS and it's services, spanning physical and mental health care. Sometimes though, we leave with our bodies healed, and our spirits a little diminished. If you have spent time visiting a loved one in a mental health unit, a situation that curator Niamh White and artist Tim A Shaw found themselves in, you may come away thinking that the environment of these units could do with some care.
As a photographer I feel it is my duty to take you somewhere when you are looking at my work. Saying this I realise that out of all the arts, photography pulls the short straw for this...photography I always find has the confinements of the throw away culture we are so influenced by today and I return to my duty as a photographer - to help you escape.
It's hard to write an accurate account of Supernormal festival because a. it's just slightly too surreal to capture in writing, rather than tape loops or gong-based, Ganesh-inspired performance art, and b. it's hard to let everyone know how excellent it is for fear everyone else turns up and ruins it.