The Syria crisis may have fallen off the news agenda, but it hasn't gone away. Every month around 100,000 Syrians become refugees. Again and again I was told the humanitarian situation is extremely fragile and critically underfunded, but there was enormous praise for Jordan - not a rich country by Middle Eastern standards, yet it is showing great generosity towards the Syrian people. This is an international crisis on an epic scale. It's a matter of global responsibility - Jordan and the other countries neighbouring Syria should not be bearing the brunt of this alone.
My oldest brother was always a very creative person. He was an excellent storyteller with an astute eye for beautiful imagery. He was skilled at drawing and painting with oil. I remember watching him draw in his room when he still lived at home and how I would try to emulate his style in my own drawings.
In the DRC women are already seen treated as objects, rather than individuals, in the eyes of society. If agents of the state are actively preventing women from empowering themselves and raising their voices to speak out against discrimination, gender-based violence and political sidelining, then the status quo is unlikely to change. If those brave individuals who do speak out against the government, or who speak for under-represented groups, are sexually tortured into submission, then others are not likely to follow in their footsteps.
If you continually cater towards the worst case scenario all sense of individuality and creativity is lost. In the arts community a defensive attitude is what leads to dull records, drab theatre and films that are so formulaic thought is not necessary. The fear factor spills over into all avenues of life. I want to remain optimistic. I want to be allowed to act with some suitable risk and courage and I want responsibility for my life...
I'm older and wiser and I know what I want now, so I'm sticking it out. I'm giving it a go. London, know that I love you and if Ukip become a genuine threat to us I would jump on a plane in a second to protest, but I just wanted to update you on what I'm up to right now, starting from scratch and living in Los Angeles.
Just as Ayn Rand's Roark subversively demolishes the Corlandt building after promises are broken and his designs changed, these artists are undermining a society that no longer functions for the benefit of the common people. Their art not only brings home the reality of today's surveillance state, but asks, do we have to live this this?
I'm thinking about how angry I am that someone in London fixing my bathroom has put in a shower tray rather than a flat-tiled floor. I'm sitting in this perfection, attempting to practise being mindful, focusing on the beauty before my eyes but no, I'm dragged back to the shower tray saga and getting more and more angry. I'm trying with all I've got to not hate myself for being so shallow.
You'd expect woodcuts to be quite dry, with the images rigid and lacking in artistic expression but not at all. The technical expertise in the 150 prints the RA has brought together is such that there is great detail in these prints with bodies outlined in curving sculpting lines, and cross-hatchings used for shadow.