#outsiderartdebate – A perspective from Outside In artist and poet REaD Rhymes

As we continue our dialogues and debates around the term ‘outsider art’, a view from Outside In artist and poet ReaD Rhymes, who says he chooses to “stay outside.”

Iron No:04 – homage to Anthony Gormley’s Iron Man and John Lennon’s ‘Mind Games’ – REaD Rhymes.

“I want to be an outsider/an outsider artist. It’s not about having a safe place to express myself from. It’s where society has allowed me to be. For me health was the starting point. I could have gone Outside to Switzerland if my working class family could afford it. They couldn’t. So health meets class and i’m institutionalised in a place not too far from home but everything was so much slower then so add distance to the pot and exclusion is building.

“From a special school window, burning fields and distant black hills. An internal desire to be even further out of it. Away from home, institution, growing ideas of elite communities, friendship groups or more separation.

“The swinging 60’s they say happened for 200 people in London. Papers reporting on this would blow under our fences or be found stranded in our lane. Aspects of the inner world coming from the inside outside. But could i grow my hair with barber nights on thursdays. No but i could cling to a vision of drugs making me feel free some day some distance away.

“So my inside on the inside with its constant rulings, regulations and punishment schedules painted  its own pictures of inside life and  i didn’t want it. Close down close down build walls build walls lose the power to speak, gain numbness, no thoughts, anxieties and what nots. The future will be still.

“But of cause it grabs ya. It takes you like meat into the sausage maker and no one asks ya if you want to be there, only whose or what side you gonna be on. I was always suspicious. And they’re still asking today. Assume modern vocabularies. Integration, Assimilation. What in a society that never wants me. Inclusion indicates a choice, a preference. Mines to stay outside.”

We would welcome all views on the subject and to receive comments, written pieces or artworks in any medium. You can send to Matt at matthew.forbes-dale@outsidein.org.uk or post online using the hashtag #outsiderartdebate.  

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