Introducing Kubi May…
I grew up in the beautiful little town of Higham Ferrers, East Midlands - which was bloody lucky as it meant that every day began by climbing trees and ended in a river. In some respects, growing up in a sweet little town has been my biggest blessing yet. It gave me the opportunity to learn the importance of connecting to the real earthy world around me, whilst also steadily learning what the outside world had to offer from the most organised woman and imaginative man I have ever met (and of whom I am also blessed to call my parents). By the age of 18, before I had barely even learnt to read a bus timetable, I had finally grown restless and left home to travel the world for a year. Beyond doing all the embarrassingly cliché things (throwing myself out of planes, finding ‘God’, getting dreadlocks and painting art murals in exchange for food), I had also spent the best part of that year living out of a tent in the jungle village of Byron Bay, Australia.
There really is something that happens to those who live out of a rucksack (aside from fleas). You realise the potential of the human spirit; like something that returns to you to stare sweetly in your face that should always have been there, so much to the point that you could swear you were returning home to an innate part of the human psyche. Travel opens up the time for adults to play, to be creative, to be free, completely uninhibited by work, routines and that grubby little idea of society as we previously knew it to be.
And then (when the money pot finally dries up) we stop walking around barefoot and balancing crystals on our foreheads. We head back to reality where we let that beautiful, momentary vision of the real human way of living life, eventually, fade away…
…Nope! I spent the next 2 years scheming; desperately trying to work out how to get back to Australia and become a nurse based citizen, convinced it was something about the place! But after 3 months training as a nurse, I held my hands up- admitted a fear of blood, needles and most things nurse-related, leaving York University with my tail between my legs.
The next few years saw me leaving my cottage, narrowly dodging a marriage and exchanging the dream of children for my two sturdy companions – my two Chihuahuas!
I moved to Derby where I met the most wonderful, spirited friends. Together, we explored spirituality, survived the 2012 doomsday (ha!), had an array of mystical experiences and carried one another through an amazing 3 year degree in Creative Therapies.
Finally, at the age of 25, I decided to try my luck in London, seemingly, as a jack of all trades. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday saw me trained up as a secondary school art teacher, Thursday nights saw me leading workshops in meditation and art activism and to burn myself out in a pile of creative magic altogether, I also worked as an Art Therapy practitioner on the weekends.
Needless to say, I was pooped.
It was around here, when the real magic happened. Through the workshops I was holding, I met the friends who really made London a home for the first time for me...
Introducing Ruben Ireland ...
One of these magicians of my life; Ruben Ireland, became my closest friend very soon.
Growing up amidst the rolling hills and winding woods of the Cotswolds, Ruben was no stranger to the magic of life. The fortunate effect of being a teenager in somewhere like Stroud meant there was always an opportunity to make costumes for parades, paint faces at festivals, decorate trees with colourful fabrics for wild parties or cast away all props and simply get lost in the hills.
At a slightly more serious age, Ruben took to art college and later university to study Illustration in London. With a degree completed during a colourful three years, he managed to make good traction in the illustration and art world. With his career in full swing, a strong and sudden desire for the green pastures of home took Ruben back to the countryside, with a better chance of committing to creativity full time. But sitting at a desk in solitude for many hours and many months, gave birth to a nagging loneliness, a creeping sense of Wanderlust and a bad back.
It was at this point Ruben realised how his work could be done from just about anywhere. So he took his portable career to Cyprus, Barcelona and San Francisco following an invite to exhibit his art there.
Luckily after 2 years, an invite to exhibit in London meant a serious consideration to re approach the place he’d once left so abruptly. As it were, the galactic timing of universe had him strolling into one of my meditation classes there in August last year, grinning like i’d known him for many years already and what a blessing it was to find him!
After soon establishing many twin-like characteristics, we decided to celebrate the first 6 months of our friendship dressing as trademark naked pixies to party at the weekends, visited galleries in dressing gowns to ruffle the feathers of the elite, rallied in protests and started to co-host eye gazing workshops together.
By January, life seemed set on aligning our paths to live together in his flat, where art and creativity soon became a central focus of every day and a new idea began to take form. It was on one evening when we were approaching the end of the renting term there and particularly high on life at a gig, when it was suggested, ‘Why don’t we live on a boat instead?!’
And it was born there in a moment of unfolding golden chaos, like all good ideas that land in the minds of spontaneous fools, where this new adventure began …
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