Tagged: Charity

Keely Rutherford on dealing with depression

Tattoo artist Keely Rutherford recently lost her mum to depression and pyschosis, in this honest interview she talks about what happened to her mum and why she is holding a charity flash day in her memory…

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Keely with her mum and dad

Have you always been aware of your mum’s struggle with depression and psychosis? To be honest no. She struggled and was sectioned for nine months about 13 years ago. Mum had never shown signs before, when she was home it was something we never really spoke about. I wish I’d taken the time to understand her and how she might have been feeling.

I don’t think we ever fully recover from mental health issues, but my mum just got on with things the best way she could. She was strong, courageous and had a very happy life with my dad. Looking back over the years, Dad and I have realised Mum had an addiction with shopping. When she was worried or anxious, she’d spend money to make herself feel better. Since she passed away, we’ve found thousands of pounds worth of clothes all with the labels still on. I think mental health covers such a wide spectrum of symptoms, that it must be so hard to realise when you are dealing with a mental illness.

Do you remember this while you were growing up? The first time I remember Mum getting poorly, I was 20. She’d just retired and was at home alone all day while dad and I went to work. When we came home, we slowly started to realise that mum hadn’t changed from her pyjamas all day. She was extremely anxious and panicky and we couldn’t work out why. This went on for longer than it should have, but Dad and I were totally unaware of mental health symptoms of this nature, so we didn’t know what to do.

We finally got Mum to a doctor who referred her to a psychiatrist who was very concerned for her. She got sectioned within the week as she was showing signs of psychosis and depression. She’d lost so much weight and was severely malnourished. It took her about nine months to get back to some kind of normality. If I’m honest, I don’t think Mum was ever herself after this. She was a big worrier, but she was still bloody wonderful, caring and funny! We had a great relationship. She confided in me back in November 2016, just before she was back in the psychiatric hospital. Her worry was totally fixable and I took control to help the situation. Sadly it didn’t change how Mum felt, the damage was already done.

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Keely being tattooed by her mum

Do you struggle with mental health yourself? Who doesn’t? I don’t think as humans we were designed to put ourselves under the amount of stress that we do, with work and our lifestyles. We push ourselves so much to be these amazing humans that we all are, but I do think that can affect us mentally.

I’ve never been diagnosed with any mental health issues, but then again I’ve never been to see any one. I know I get anxious but never enough for it to affect my life too much. Losing Mum made me have emotions I’d never faced before. It’s only been a few months since Mum died and I’ve had a couple of days I just didn’t want to get out of bed – which is very unlike me and made me understand depression. I’m so lucky to have my boyfriend Andrew, he has been a rock, not only to me but to my dad too. I know the days could have been a lot darker without his presence.

What advice would you give to others who are worried about relatives? It’s so hard as everyone has a different story. Definitely talk to them, try and help them open up. The second time around my mum’s GP wasn’t very helpful. He wouldn’t look at her history or refer her to a psychiatrist as we suggested. So I called Mind and they said go to A&E and ask to see the duty psychiatrist, so we did on December 2nd 2016. They took us to a private room, asked Mum lots of questions – and Dad and I. They assessed her situation. They organised a team from Crisis to visit mum at home twice a day. By the 5th of December, Mum was back on a psychiatric ward. I never knew about going to A&E for this kind of help, so it’s something I want to share.

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“My parents both tattooed me in August last year. Which I’m so grateful for.”

Can you tell us a little bit about your decision to let your mum go? Oh man this is a hard one. On February 17th I was working the London Tattoo Collective. At 10.30am, my phone rings and it’s Mum’s ward. She was on her way to hospital as they couldn’t wake her up, she was unconscious from going into a diabetic hypo. She stayed in hospital for two weeks where they got her eating, they then sent her back to the psychiatric ward where within days she was rushed back into hospital as she was unconscious again.

Since about January, Mum had stopped walking and being able to feed herself through the meds not working and lack of support in the ward. So by this time she had been bed bound for a month. The hospital where mum now was ran test after test and found nothing, she was a little more conscious but she wasn’t talking or opening her eyes. We celebrated her birthday on March 10th, she was 73. She was now being fed through a tube and had been on a drip for several weeks and still semi-conscious. All her tests came back clear, so over the next week Dad and I met with numerous specialists, who all said they couldn’t find anything wrong other than Mum’s brain didn’t want to fight any more, it was shutting down.

So on March the 17th we had our final meeting, and this was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. To let Mum go peacefully. The doctors had no other options and poor Mum couldn’t fight for herself and I know she would have hated us all seeing her lay there day in day out. They said the chances of Mum ever walking again was near on impossible as her tendons were so dehydrated. So for my darling Mum’s dignity, the specialist, Dad and I made the decision to stop all the meds and let her go. Mum started palliative care (end of life treatment) on the 18th of March. So we sat with her every day and night for two weeks until she passed away on April 1st, this was torture watching her slowly die, but it also seemed so unfair to prolong her suffering. I held her hand until the bitter end

We will never know if Mum knew what was happening the last few months of her life. All I know is that I hope she knew that Dad and I were with her when her heart stopped beating.

Why is it so important to open up a dialogue about mental health issues? It’s the unspoken illness, yet it affects so many people’s lives. When I told people my mum was seriously ill people assumed she had a physical illness. I’ve had such an amazingly overwhelming response already from sharing my story and making a charity day [details at the end of this interview] to raise money and awareness. As you can image it was a very hard decision to go public, but as soon as I did it was like a weight had lifted. I hope by sharing others will be encouraged to confide in the people around them.

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Some of Keely’s flash available at the charity day on August 12th

What do you hope to achieve from the flash day? Awareness for people like my mum who suffered and felt too scared to ask for help. 100% of what we make will be going to the mental health charity Mind – they helped us so much. We have already had so many donations, I’m so grateful.

You mention on your JustGiving page that your mum loved cats and passed this down to you (and that is why it is a cat flash day) did she pass anything else down to you? So much! I’m very like my mum, she also asked daft questions all the time! Which I’m very aware of doing! I’m amazing at shopping so I think that’s down to her! She was a great mum and devoted her life to me, she taught me so much. To be caring, kind and to love. I’ll always miss our chats about life and love.

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Cat & MIND Charity Day

10am, Saturday 12th August
Jolie Rouge
364 Caledonia Road

London, N1 1DU
Pre-drawn flash available on the day
First come first served basis

Tattooers taking part:
Keely Rutherford
Clara Sinclair
Manni K
Lord Montana Blue
Mark Ford
Antonio Gabriele
Matt Difa

#tiarchive bidding extended 

Our exhibition The Archive #tiarchive has been a wonderful celebration of the end of the printed magazine and new beginnings (you can read more in editor Alice Snape‘s final letter)… And it has been incredible to see our back catalogue of Things&Ink magazines turned into stunning works of art, to raise money for The One Love Project.

Thank you everyone who has been bidding for the #tiarchive over at galabid… We would like to announce that we have extended the auction to end TOMORROW Sunday 17th April at 7pm! So don’t miss out on your favourite items and get bidding!


By Dexter Kay


By Julia Seizure


By Lain Freefall

 By Drew Linden

Place your bid over at galabid.com HAPPY BIDDING

The Archive Bidding extended

Things&Ink present: THE ARCHIVE

Things&Ink present:
THE ARCHIVE
THURSDAY 31 MARCH 2016 6pm-late
at THE CIRCLE, 21 NOEL STREET, LONDON, W1F 8GP

 An exhibition of Things&Ink covers turned into original works of art by people who have graced the pages of the magazine over the years…

Things&Ink is delighted to announce The Archive, a group exhibition celebrating more than three years, and 12 issues, of Things&Ink by inviting artists who have contributed to the magazine to turn back issues into original works of art. Opening on Thursday 31 March, and running for two weeks, at The Circle, in London’s Soho, to raise awareness for The One Love Project, with profits from sales being donated to the project that helps under-privileged children in Pushkar India.

The original face issue cover The original face issue cover, published in February 2013 The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams

 

The Archive will showcase the breadth and variety of artistic talent within the  tattoo community. With more than 120 contributing artists from across the globe, each of the covers will be auctioned off in a silent auction that will run across the course of the exhibition, with bids starting at just £6.95 – the retail price of the magazine.

Never afraid to approach taboo subjects such as DIY and facial tattoos, Things&Ink have published 12 issues to date and each has had a specific theme, covering art, love, history and even fruit. Turning tattoo media on its head and moving away from a more sexist model, Things&Ink promotes body confidence and self acceptance by featuring inspirational people such as tattooed bearded lady Harnaam Kaur. Its aim has been to celebrate tattoo history, give inspiration through high-end photo shoots and provide commentary on current tattoo culture, The Archive will celebrate this by bringing together everyone who has featured on its pages.

The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral

 

Each contributing artist has been sent a back issue at random, and there is no brief. They simply have to turn the cover of the magazine into an original work of art by using a medium of their choice.

The exhibition will run from Thursday 31 March until Sunday 17 April, and the artwork will be on display at The Circle for the course if it. There will also be a flash day on a date to be confirmed, with tattoos by two of Things&Ink’s favourite cover stars Grace Neutral (The Modification Issue) and Emily Johnston (The Horror Issue).

The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron

 

The archive event is going to be the first time that all of our favourite artists we have ever featured have participated in an exhibition together and I cannot wait to see what our front covers become after they have been transformed into original pieces of art.  The Things & Ink journey wouldn’t have been anything without the help and support of all the amazing contributors and we are eternally grateful.” Keely Reichardt, Project Manager of The Archive

LIST OF EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Cally Jo, Grace Neutral, Jondix, Bob Done, Rik Lee, Ashley Love, Shane Ivezic, Susanne Konig, Frederico Rabelo, Lianne Moule, Guy Le Tatooer, Mike Tea, James Hate, Robert A Borbas, Saschi McCormack, Antoine Larrey, Tina Lugo, Deno, Flo Nuttall, Rachel Baldwin, Brian Wilson, Emily Johnston, Claudia de Sabe, Drew Linden

PLUS many more artists to be announced…

The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin

Black Market Tattoos: Charity Day

On Saturday 8th August 2015, Nush Turner and Fiona Lewitt tattoo artists at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester organised a charity tattoo flash day to raise money for LOROS Hospice, a charity local to Leicester who provide free care for terminally ill patients.

Nush explained to Things&Ink the reason behind the flash day:

I set it up because its been one year since we did our last charity event and we’ve been wanting to do one for ages. The reason I chose LOROS was because of my granddad. He’s currently battling prostate cancer. He decided a few months ago to shave his head in aid of LOROS when he started his chemo. Since then everyone has rallied up and he’s raised just over £1000 on his justgiving page. I wanted to show my support by hopefully doubling that figure! He’s quite into tattoos himself having loads of old school military ones, and I tattooed him on the charity day last year, too.

The studio opened from 10am until late and hosted an array of fundraising events with a selection of flash tattoos, a raffle with prizes including tattooing time, tons of art work for sale, jewellery and, of course, some tasty cakes.

The flash on sale was available for walk-ins but many designs had been booked by email prior to the day to avoid disappoint. Many designs still remain available, both Nush and Fiona are still tattooing the flash, as one-off pieces, to continue to raise money, and raffle tickets are still for sale.

In the end Nush did 11 tattoos on Saturday and Fi did nine. The overall total is still being calculated but so far they have reached £1555.

Photos taken by Ellie Mackness

Charity Tattoo: Still Standing

Our Italian contributor Ilaria went to the charity event ‘Still Standing’ at Adrenalink tattoo shop in Marghera, to raise money for the victims of a tornado in Venice. Here is her diary of the day and the tattoos that were created…   

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On 8th July, a tornado hit the Venice outskirts along the Riviera del Brenta, known for the magnificent Venetian Villas. Many people have volunteered to help those who have been affected by this terrible misfortune.  When a tornado hits a place it doesn’t consider religions, borders or the colour of skin. It just follows its own route and destroys. Many homes and lives have been ruined. Millions of euros worth of damage has been caused and hundreds of families have been left without a place to call home. The fear was – and still is – huge, because such an event has never occurred in Italy before.

To support those victims of this natural disaster Adrenalink tattoo shop decided to organise a charity event!

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Crez and Stefy, tattoo artists and owners of the shop, who are known in the tattooing industry for creating high quality tattoos, influenced by Japanese history and culture. On Sunday 26 July 2015, they came together with tattoo artists Rio and Diego to help those who are unfortunately now in difficulty, with a 100% charitable event called ‘Still Standing’.

 

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Tattoos by Rio

The walk-in day started from 4pm, with tattoo flash prepared especially for the occasion, there were prints available to buy as well as DJ sets and entertainment.

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Everyone loved the array of flash and each tattoo started at €50 and then people would bid on each design, the highest bidder would then have the flash tattooed. I thought this was a great way to raise money, as everyone could help give to charity and the starting bid was really affordable. Every one who got tattooed during that day was also thinking about helping someone else. And that’s simply great.

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Tattoos by Stefy

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Tattoos by Crez

Once again tattoos are a force that brings people together, beating down old barriers. What better way to show your solidarity to others than with a charity tattoo? All of these tattoos have a story and piece of life to tell, they are now connected with the tornado and the disaster that ensued.

Bulimia Charity Gives Game Characters Makeovers

Bulimia ‘a resource dedicated to providing information and treatment options to men and women suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and other types of eating disorders‘, have altered the images of infamous female game characters to represent a more realistic body image.

They argue that:

If video game creators are going to pride themselves on accurate digital representations, then it’s time for them to get real about women.

The charity explains how the changed images are based upon the average American female body, but is this enough? Do the changed images reflect average women? The new characters are more relatable to women, certainly, but they are still operating within a realm of fantasy.

What do you think?

The Modified Dolls

Non-profit organisation The Modified Dolls support a different charity each month with the hope of demolishing negative attitudes towards modified women through their charity work.

We’re here to stamp out negative stereotypes associated with modified women!

Annamaria, Head Doll

The Modified Dolls UK Chapter is one of the many sisterhoods worldwide who, each month, support a different registered charity from around the world. All money raised at fundraising events is then donated to their chosen charity, with all progress appearing on their Facebook page. The Dollies do everything from bake sales to craft-making and organising live entertainment.

You too can become a Modified Doll!
They are always looking for  ladies aged 18 and older, with five or more body modifications or one large piece, which includes: tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, implants etc. to come and join their ever expanding sisterhood! For more details on how to apply visit TheModifiedDolls.org

The Different making a Difference