I realise that the brain is an edit machine. I have edited throughout my life stuff that I felt was not helpful or constructive. I learnt that at secondary school after being separated from my mother when she had her first breakdown. I was ten and she had brought up my sister and I without any support from our father, who we never knew. Just the one photo of him in RAF uniform, he had wanted to be a fighter pilot. As a kid I dreamt I could fly. I am always inspired and intrigues by butterflies. Recently on a transatlantic flight, I watched a documentary about the 100 metre butterfly final at the Montreal games in 2005. The world record was broken by Ian Crocker who had suffered from clinical depression yet still managed to win the gold medal. While studying Commerical Art in Bristol I would meet up with my mother on Saturdays. On ‘good days’ she was allowed to leave the ward and hospital; we would have lunch and watch a matinee movie in Bristol city centre. Electric treatment or drugs never seemed to fix her nerves permanently and gradually sucked out her energy – my foster parents always thought a career in the air force would give me security. By chance and intuition that plan changed when my mother signed me up to do a commercial art course at the West of England College of Art. Those four years as a student changed my life and was where I met Tricia whose spirit for living became my inspiration – like a butterfly both beautiful and free.
This project made me think of stuff from the past and the swimmer’s story illustrated the human ability to rise above the highs and lows, exceeding ones own expectations with coaching and encouragement.