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Anne Yarwood


By Gallery / Archive



Our Gallery displays paintings and photos suggested from our Story contributors:-

IRAQ – Ban Hikmat, Retired Community Dentist

IRAN – Ziba Zarei, Post Mistress, local community shop

IRAQ – Zainab Khan, Events Coordinator, RISC Development Education Centre, Reading


Together with a selection of images of wonderful Iranian and Iraqi architecture and art.


Other interesting links :-

Jiddoo Mohammad Salih Zaki – Zainab Hikmat, Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia November 2018  – HERE

British Museum Blog ‘Sparking the imagination: the rediscovery of Assyria’s great lost city’ – HERE

Modern and Contemporary Iraqi and Iranian Artists – more information on artists displayed in the Gallery – HERE


May 2019

The Iraqi Nights

By Blogs

In Iraq,
after a thousand and one nights,
someone will talk to someone else.
Markets will open
for regular customers.
Small feet will tickle
the giant feet of the Tigris.
Gulls will spread their wings
and no one will fire at them.
Women will walk the streets
without looking back in fear.
Men will give their real names
without putting their lives at risk.
Children will go to school
and come home again.
Chickens in the villages
won’t peck at human flesh
on the grass.
Disputes will take place
without any explosives.
A cloud will pass over cars
heading to work as usual.
A hand will wave
to someone leaving
or returning.
The sunrise will be the same
for those who wake
and those who never will.
And every moment
something ordinary
will happen
under the sun.

Dunya Mikhail (born 1965 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi-American poet based in the United States. In 2001, she was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing.[HERE)


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No. 18 – Wake Up to Iraq and Iran

By Wake Up
  • Oil reserves in the world 2017 – Iran 4th largest 157.8 billion barrels; Iraq 5th largest 144.2 billion barrels.
  • At the end of the war of invasion 2003 the US formerly ended the occupation of Iraq. Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell remain.
  • Biwater Wood Hybrid scheme for Basra, Southern Iraq includes delivery of potable water for local population and the oil industry. Funded from U.K. by JP Morgan and U.K. Overseas Development investment Fund . §1.45 billion  – SEE HERE 
  • Iranian economy shrunk by 1.5% 2019 …by 3% 2020. Before President Trump extended trade sanctions, IMF predicted 4%.current growth .
  • Brain drain from Iran estimated by IMF to 91 developed & developing countries of educated individuals- 150,000 to 180,000,every year.
  • Iraqi emigres to UK include: Jim Al-Khalili,Professor Theoretic Physics, Charles and Maurice Saatchi, Alan Yentob formerly BBC, architect Zaha Hamid.

May 2019

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CALL TO THE WILD: Images that inspire Kesty Gallery

By Gallery / Archive


CALL TO THE WILD: Images that inspire Kesty 


Paintings and photos which inspire Kesty and shown in the GALLERY come from –

–  Snowdonia – where the Vision Quest took place

–  Young foxes in meadow at Sladebank Woods, the day after Kesty’s return from the mountain

–  Quantock Hills – painting by David Macfarlane 1990, Kesty’s father

–  Wolf & Moon lino cut by Kesty, Sacred Arts Camp May 2018

–  Artwork by local artist, Jaine Rose

–  Rosa Davis, sculptor – ‘ This sculpture was gifted to me by Rosa Davis. I love her, she sings of stone & moss & deep wild nature. Rosa is an inspiring local artist in Stroud who has made figures from a young child’.

–  ‘I have been inspired by Carolyn Hillyer’s writing and songs for many years.  Her book ‘Sacred House’ is a great treasure to me.’

–  Sladebank Woods – photos from the beautiful woods

–  Sleepout Event poster for the Gloucestershire Deaf Association; a fundraising sleepout on 16 March at Sladebank Woods as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.

–  ‘Mute Appeal’ is Kesty’s journey to find a dog – Remy is her new rescue companion who inspired this poem :-


Dog Kills Cat

Snapped up in a chase.

Lengthy strides catch in a flash,

silent paws too slow.


Claw pierces dogs ear.

The cat clung on for dear life,

stolen in moments.


It was not gory,

just brutally quick, savage,

leaving me shaking.


Nature kills easy.

Instinct drives, animal quick.

We think we can tame.


Kesty Jakes

March 2019

No.17 – Wake Up to benefits of Forest Schools

By Wake Up

Being outdoors has huge benefits for children, both physically and mentally, and the growing network of Forest Schools aims to tap into those benefits by educating children in the fresh air.  Forest School and nature based learning has now become very established in the UK with more than 12,00 trained leaders.

Forest School offers children and young adults:

The inspiration to be curious, fascinated, interested and inventive.

The freedom to explore different ways of ‘being’, feeling, behaving and interacting.

The opportunity to:

Experience beauty and wonder in the woodland and become ‘lost in the experience’

Gain confidence through learning new skills

Develop imagination and creativity

Meet challenges and learn to handle risk in safety

Feel relief from stress and anxiety

Develop their spirituality through a sense of awe at the natural environment.

Increase their autonomy and independence

Take responsibility for own learning and building self confidence

Stroud Forest School

Wild Roots Forest School

Forest School: 9 ways children benefit from learning and playing outside

March 2019

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Jumping Mouse

By Blogs

In Hyemeyohsts Storm’s vision quest story of Jumping Mouse (from book Seven Arrows), the little Mouse meets Frog, who is sitting on a lily pad at the edge of the Sacred River.

This beautiful tale (SEE ELSEWHERE FOR WHOLE TALE)  points to the essential wisdom of the threshold time of the Vision Quest. Prompted by the spirits of Nature, but under our own power, we jump as high as we are able.  Ultimately it is not what we see that transforms us.  It is the act of jumping, of reaching for the Sacred Mountain shining so near yet so far, that defines us and gives direction to our life quest.  If we do not gather all our strength and jump, we will never see further than the end of our nose.  By jumping we transcend our own limitations.  We enlarge the circle of purpose.

Taken from: The Wilderness Quest by Steven Foster & Meredith Little.  A handbook for adults, UK version adapted by Jeremy Thres and Caroline Wood.

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Homes Houses Gallery (February 2019)

By Gallery / Archive




The Gallery shows different aspects of HOME HOUSES – inspiring in their unique way


– Handbuilt tree houses in forests  – HERE 

Tiny Houses – HERE

– Whiskey barrel houses, Eco village in Findhorn, Scotland –  HERE

– Experience a community-driven response to the global migration crisis  – Hyundai Commission: Tania Bruguera: 10,148,451 – Exhibition at Tate Modern  HERE

– Homes in Medellín, Colombia: reinventing the world’s most dangerous city – HERE  and  HERE            Mayor of Medellin  – HERE

– ‘Right To Buy’ your council house HERE

– Squatters – HERE

– Living in a Beirut refugee camp, Lebanon –  HERE

– Homes flooded in Kerala  – HERE

– Houses devastated in Indonesian Tsunami  – HERE

–  See the current Vincent Van Gogh @ Tate – while he was homed in Britain  HERE


Anne Yarwood

February 2019

Homes, Houses

By Blogs

“Hestia: goddess of fire, the hearth”

The first – born of the Olympians; symbol of the home, around whom the newborn child would be carried before being received by the family.

Some years ago a friend Sarah and I painted, every week. Our teacher Becky helped us enter the space of PAINTING FROM MEDITATION; detaching our conscious minds from our painting…inspired by British painter Cecil Collins’ paintings of visionary subjects. Collins attacked the great spiritual betrayal of love and the workings of life by the dominance of the scientific and technical view of life. He was inspired by poet William Blake. I recall my painting of Hestia. Squat figure, enveloped in Cerulean blue cloak, cross- legged on the floor, tending a small fire on the ground before her. I feel her presence now … safe, reliable, a defender.

Ref. Cecil Collins –  HERE

William Blake video ‘Room’ –  HERE

William Blake – Khan gallery –  HERE

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No. 16 – Wake Up to information, national and international, about Home

By Wake Up
  • The forecast worldwide is that that owning a house is the prerequisite of the wealthy
  • In London 1,137 people sleep rough on average, every night
  • Sleeping rough shortens lives to average 47 as opposed to the national norm of 77 years.
  • Every year, year on year, failure to tackle the supply system ratchets up the pressure on English housing. Many more families will suffer from over- crowding, more families will struggle with rising rents and larger mortgages, fewer young people under 30 will be able to leave the parental home. Shelter.
  • Truth about property developers: how they are exploiting the planning process and ruining our cities –  HERE 
  • ‘No (Mrs May) -the housing crisis will not be solved by building more houses.The Crisis is the result of banking failure’ –  HERE
  •  Grenfell Tower – HERE
  • Global figures: likely be 1.3 billion without Houses. UN Sustainable Development goals at best over- ambitious, at worst DELUSIONAL.
  • Medellin, Colombia: remaking the world’s most dangerous city. The remarkable example of change happening because of radical leadership – HERE
  • AND AT THE FRONT OF OUR MINDS..MIGRANT data – dead / missing crossing the Mediterranean 2016: 5,143. 2017: 3,139. 2018: 2,297.
  • AND INSECT loss, internationally …up to 85% . Primarily because of destruction of their habitat by the human species
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No. 15 – Staying Awake

By Wake Up

In the struggle to oppose hate, and to replace it with fierce love and compassion, it’s necessary ─ though often or usually stressful ─ to remain awake, watchful, hopeful.

One way to remain awake and hopeful is through the arts. Below there are links to six pieces of artistic creativity. All contain music, and all contain elements of drama and theatrical performance.

The countries of origin include France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom and United States.

Transformative power

An illustrated talk (about 20 minutes) about the power of music to transform lives, yours, mine, everyone’s – HERE 

Light in dark times

A sermon in December 2018 beginning and ending with affirmations of Bono’s song There is a Light, written after the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 –  HERE

Happiness – and watch out !

Animated film (about four minutes) that takes a wry look at doomed searches for well-being, fulfilment and bliss somewhere apart from where we actually live – HERE 

Strictly inclusive

TV celebration of inclusive choreography, everyone but everyone special, November 2018 – HERE 

Joy in the public square

That famous dream of shared humanity and world community, adopted as the anthem of the European Union – HERE

I didn’t die, says he

‘What they forgot to kill went on to organise’, the unending a luta continua onwards and upwards to justice , and to positive peace – HERE 

Hold On

If there is a light
We can’t always see
If there is a world
We can’t always be
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light
Don’t let it go out

Hold on, Hold on.

Bono 2017


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