Lou Weldon: One Minute and 40 Seconds of Hate

1984 – O’Brien. ‘State Rule’  video  1 minute and 40 seconds

“I chose this tirade by O’Brien in 1984 because I studied this as a teenager during my O level years. This book affected my younger, slightly angry teenage self and seemed to echo my feelings of being suppressed and controlled.

Before being asked by Glenn to contribute, I  confess I had not returned to Orwell over the years (sometimes authors we are made to study at school get shelved !).

Orwell is a master of social observation and I like his head on confrontation of uncomfortable truths and also his integrity. I will now be reading more George Orwell.”

Lou Weldon:  Actor (Attic Theatre), Singer (No Mean Biscuit), Gardener and Whippet Enthusiast. Based in Cwm Cou, West Wales.

Watch Lou’s video here: https://attictheatre.wales/arts-outreach/

Other Links



Paul Steffan Jones: Four Lyric Pieces for a Time of Lock-Down

“Observations of the early days of the pandemic with reference to implications on state management of the population including restrictions on freedom of movement, the feeling that a police state is dawning as the Cabinet appears to fall apart and how inequality is seen in the Government response to health and safety of medical staff and the general unpreparedness of the NHS.”      PSJ

Roar of The Herd

Build up herd immunity

selves as cattle

livestock locked down

in slaughterhouse towns

stay home 

protect the NHS 

and save lives

protect and survive

taking back control

the language of our various crises

the slogans of our desperate times

the litany of avoidable lunacy

an opportunity to inform on those

who veer from the restrictions 

of the pandemic’s regime of new laws 

with new rules to learn

the requested change of behaviour

of travel and purchase patterns

the twitching net curtains

betraying an increased interest 

in the essential comings and goings

of one’s dear neighbours

funny how we find our true place

when we’re all in this together

and there’s no let up from spam

its faceless operators still having

to steal a living as thousands die

may these gangster spamsters

be eaten alive by their hamsters

as other life forms colonise

the polluted human settlements

and the air is cleansed again

there’ll never be a Spring

quite like this one

until the next time

the lemming army of hoarders

is marching over the cliff edge

of dried teats and no deals

with their gluttonous supermarket trolleys

and who’s profiteering from 

Personal Protection Equipment

ventilators and medication?

who actually is in charge

of the looting the delays

and the half-heartedness?

my grandmothers could have done better

they were not hampered

by feelings of entitlement

but knew from real life drama

what urgency demanded

where to start in Ravi Shankar’s back catalogue

now I’ve got the time?

pandemonium reigns

now wash your hands

there’ll never be a Spring

quite like this one

until the next time


A Round of Applause

At a time of instant gratification

followed by ramping amnesia

recollection can be a Herculean task

despite all the information

available to us in formats

that support both facts

and their polar opposites

and we’ve got too much stuff

that we’ve collected and archived

on shelves in boxes

squeezed into under places

on laptops and hard drives

our vacuum-packed hoard

of abandoned fads

and their pages of instructions

we’ve not enough memory

for too many memories

our Government also has difficulty

in remembering anything

that could become unhelpful

inconvenient or embarrassing

with the passage of time

and the changing of objectives

but remains comprised of

the same shameless people

who actually applauded the blocking

of a pay rise for nurses and others 

involved in the health and the safety 

of our nation

please don’t forget this when

you join in the next choreographed

doorstep round of applause

for our brave medical saviours

who are not all being fully protected 

from infection from a fatal disease

and are likely not to be

adequately rewarded

by their cynical employers

when the plague is over



Please keep your distance

I don’t want to catch anything from you

and I’m sure you feel the same way

staying indoors like a rained-off

summer holiday but this time

with endless advice on

how to fill our days as if

we can’t be trusted to function

outside the tethered thinking

of workplace diktats

I tell you how I will spend my time

I will memorise the confusion

incompetence and untruths

that have led to this moment

while I fashion my response

among the sawdust of my lockdown lock-up

I will weaponise a disarticulated 

wooden garden chair leg

convert it into a crude war club

a coup stick for future skirmishes

over toilet paper and chocolate digestives

sand it a little

scrape a chisel along its length

adorn it with smart black Gorilla tape

and a libation of teak oil

a camouflaged and concealed weapon 

that still looks like a chair leg

as that was what it was made to be

ordinary domestic now deadly

like any animate or inanimate object

I choose it because its shape presents itself 

to me from among the other fractured wood

the flotsam of materialism

because I surmise that I might need

to defend myself in the coming war 

with dark money dirty companies

and their secret servants



Two young men in the back of a small car

accepting balloons of nitrous oxide

the drum and bass booming

they turn it down a touch

as I approach

but are not laughing

what sort of animals are they?

I pull in next to them

the only other vehicle

on this bumpy patch of elevated ground

the gateway to the hills

to a sanctuary that has no walls 

but a view

a saner place of isolation 

in a curfew

what sort of animal am I?

considering whether a drone 

winging and glinting in sunlight

could be making a note

of my car’s registration number

for the incipient police state

the sheriffs of our private moments

getting away from it all

from nothing at all

what sort of animals are we?

Glenn Ibbitson: The Surveillers and the Surveilled; Moth Watercolours


crypsis   /ˈkrip-səs   noun: the ability of an organism to conceal itself especially from a predator by having a colour, pattern, and shape that allows it to blend into the surrounding environment.

Though 2020 marks the 71st anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, it’s central concept remains, ominously, as relevant as ever. How is the artist/ dissident to express unpalatable truths and criticisms of contemporary society and the state apparatus whilst still being able to function as one of its citizens; free from official persecution?

 When I first read this masterwork as a teenager, it did seem as if western society at least, had insured itself against the risks underlined through its pages. Now it seems that perverse humanity has collectively snatched defeat from the jaws of what was perhaps in retrospect a mirage of victory. 

82178654_3116177191744361_7926946608212606976_o6079 Smith W.


This series of moth paintings is an attempt to find an imagery to incorporate a notion of surreptitious discourse within mechanisms of crypsis. A dissident giving voice to his or her ideas publicly, rather than merely in secret, by appearing to be saying one thing, but smuggling through a different subtext under a surface cover to convey a quite different meaning. 

  The visual deceptions observed in the structure, patterning and coloration present in British moths provided me with visual material to use as metaphor for operating under the radar; fully functioning in plain view, but hidden from all but the closest scrutiny. An inversion on the idea of sleight of hand; not by distracting the eye away from the real subject, but rather fooling it into a misreading of evidence presented directly.

Julia 2Julia [alt. version 1]

Julia 1Julia [alt. version 2]



  However, as Winston Smith was to discover to his cost, that repressive state is equally adept at employing the same strategies. The small piece of raised bark on that tree trunk, the lichen on that stone wall, the peeling paint on the window frame; even the bird dropping on that nettle leaf. Watching.. Through each day, wherever we are, our movements are being monitored by small pairs of eyes hidden behind sophisticated crypsis. The state too, is hidden in plain sight; monitoring our tracks through actual and cyberspace… 

Big BrotherBig Brother




Do it to Julia“Do it to Julia”

All watercolour on paper 42.5×61      All images ©Glenn Ibbitson 2020


Alan Pergusey: Cold War legacy

“This series of paintings is based on American and British radar and ‘listening’ installations in the north of England. The geometric structures create a striking and sinister contrast with the pastoral landscapes that surround them and with a constant police presence on the roads that surround them, high security fences and situations on hill tops they are the epitome of restricted sites. To the point where, even the local firefighters who have been given training and security clearance to deal with blazes on the sites are not allowed access to certain buildings and are instructed to let them burn rather than enter.”
Alan Pergusey
Interference #1
Red Light Tower
Interference #2
Radar Station

Room 103 coming soon to West Wales

Orwell dustjacket‘Room 103: a visual tribute to George Orwell’ is a web-based project which invites the participation of artists whose work reflects some aspect of the writer’s expansive oeuvre.  The aim is to provide a bank of high quality, innovative artwork from which any venue or gallery will  be able to select work for an exhibition on this theme. So far, the website has led to exhibitions at Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester, Studio 24, Leeds, and the Faculty of English, University of Oxford. The next exhibition will be at Oriel Q Gallery in Narberth, Pembrokeshire in July 2020.

Please send up to 4 Images in jpeg, about 1mb file size. [Work in progress is welcome at this stage] together with a] brief biography, and b] why Orwell and his work are relevant to your art practice [about 500 words each]

Submission to the website is free. If selected for the Narberth exhibition, there will be no charge, though artists will be responsible for delivering and collecting their work to and from the venue. Participating Artists agree to their work being used for purposes of advertising the exhibition in any publicity material, press and social media.

Details of the exhibition will be finalised shortly.

Room103 @Oxford University

fb Orwell

Programme cover and introductory page for


fb1fb3fb2fb dfb aOct. 10th: Carole Cadwalladr and Fintan O’Toole in fine, provocative form at this evening’s talk ORWELL AND JOURNALISM at The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford University.


Room 103 @ the Foyer of the English Faculty Building, Manor Road, OX1 3QU.

Contributions by Paul Steffan Jones, Garry Barker, Tony Baker, Nigel Pugh, Mark Elmore, Liam Ainscough, Alan Pergusey, Glenn Ibbitson.

This event was organised by Dr. Lisa Mullen and Dr. David Dwan


ROOM 103 @Oxford University: The Artist’s Videos

Glenn Ibbitson barcode poster

A week-long event in Oxford exploring the legacy and impact of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Artists videos from Room 103 will be shown at the evening talk: ORWELL AND JOURNALISMA conversation about contemporary journalism and politics with
Carole Cadwalladr – winner of the Orwell Prize 2018 and Fintan O’Toole – winner of the Orwell Prize 2017
Organised by Dr. Lisa Mullen.
Video contributions from Kath Wilkinson, Sonia Boué, Kerry Baldry, Emma Saunders, Dave and Will Stephens, Glenn Ibbitson.
10 October 5.30pm-8pm
The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB