Anyone can participate, design and place a Blue Mark. Read the text below to understand what this art project is about. I hope to hear from you and I would love to see your blue signs out there.
The Artist – First and foremost a human being
Being trained both as an artist and as an art historian, art was my way of life. When I was not drawing or painting, I visited a museum and/or was reflecting on art. Until I suddenly got ill and never recovered. I ended up with M.E.
M.E. is the abbreviation for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. For anyone who wants to know more about this disease there is plenty of information you can find on the World Wide Web or in any library, I presume. But that is mostly about facts and figures.
If you are interested in the patient behind all these theories about M.E. (and there are a lot), again you turn on your computer and visit blogs or forums.
I am an M.E. sufferer. I can give you endless theoretical stuff. I can tell you how it feels to be unwell all the time. But that is not my main concern.
With this art project I want to emphasize the most important fact, no matter what I am or what chronic condition I have to deal with. It is my mission to let the world know that apart from being a patient, I am first and foremost a human being, like anybody else. So is every M.E.-patient.
If you want to know more about my art works, click here for more information (and click on the underlined ‘Toon meer’ for an English abstract about my work).
When I became ill I started knitting again and nowadays I design knitwear as well. You can find me on Ravelry and please feel free to take a look at my online web shop with all kinds of knitted gifts for any occasion or to treat yourself!
I live in Holland. For Dutch speaking participants there is this part of the website: www.BlueMarkForME.com/nl
The Mission – The need for laughter and fun
This art project is not about complaining how we, as a chronic patient, were insulted or not taken seriously. Surely that happened to every single one of us, but we can live with that. We are bigger and better than any ignorant person who feels the need to accuse an M.E. sufferer of being lazy or unstable. We are also human beings, individuals with needs.
And one of the necessary needs we share with the rest of the world is the need for laughter and fun. That is what this underground movement is all about: let our fellow M.E. sufferers and the rest of the world – even those ignorant persons – know that we are still around.
Although every single patient is different from the other, I am aware that many of us live an isolated life. Mine will not be that different. Patients with M.E. tend to have another way of living than they were used to. But we are still here and through this art project Blue Mark For M.E. it is my intention to make the world aware of our existence as human beings. And to get connected with other M.E. sufferers all over the world.
Hello there, to all of you out there! We are alive and kicking. At least sort of. Still a human being, even though not as we have been before. Perhaps not up to the levels of average people. Possibly indoors most of the time. But don’t forget, that we can still be a part of the world. We can leave a mark and let that be the evidence of your outdoor trip. That moment away from home, from your sofa or bed on which you spend more time than you want to.
Don’t get me wrong: this project is not about positive thinking and how this can have a prosperous effect on your illness. Nor do I want to moan about how annoyed I get by hearing about cognitive behavioral therapies. This is simply about the M.E. sufferers: we exist and we try to make the best out of it. We will be heard. Don’t underestimate the power of the Blue Mark!
How – Anything blue will do
If you are an M.E. sufferer, a supporter of someone with M.E. or just a nice person that wants to contribute to this mission, follow these instructions:
Get yourself something blue. You can use anything for your own design. Keep in mind the golden rule: anything blue will do. An easy way is to buy a blue ribbon at your local craft-shop;
Add a label with ‘www.BlueMarkForME.com’ or use the image below;
Pick a spot somewhere in the wide open world and put your Blue Mark there;
Take a picture and send it to fleur (at) BlueMarkForME (dot) com. Please let me know this information by email:
* Your name – obviously;
* The location – the land and town. It would also be nice to know the street or exact GPS-details. Then I can add it to the World Wide Map;
* The date – when did you put your Blue Mark there?
You are done! Give yourself a big pat on the shoulder.
If you feel like it, you can start over from step 1 * wink *
Let me make clear that this art project is a personal campaign without commercial activities or aspirations for profit. The fun of placing a Blue Mark and the acknowledgement of us as human beings should be the main issues here.
M.E. has much in common with other chronic illnesses – think about F.M., autoimmune diseases, cardiologic, neurologic or (post-) viral things. It is evident that anyone can place a Blue Mark to support someone with whatever chronic condition. Every Blue Mark is very welcome.
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This post is also available in: Dutch