Saved events

At the Barbs with Swarzy Macaly

8 Nov 2022

Listen to the first episode of our new five-part podcast and video series, At the Barbs.

Join DJ and presenter, Robert Bruce for this five part series, At the Barbs, as he delves into the best of creativity at the Barbican Centre with some of the freshest names from the world of film, music, and even football. From Brutalism to Beyonce, Schneemann to Social Media, this podcast is going to challenge the way you see and think about art, blur the lines of culture and turn your expectations inside out.

This week, Bruce is joined by presenter and entertainer Swarzy Macaly. The duo delve deep into Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics, the continuing media focus on body image, Beyonce, creating art in defiance of your audience, and everything from cancel culture to artist Kazvare Made It. You can find out more about the exhibition here.

Warning: This episode contains conversation surrounding extreme racial violence and harassment of minors.


Robert Bruce: Yo, what's happening It's Robert Bruce, and I'm here at my favorite place. Right here at the Barbs, the melting point of art and culture. There's some amazing shows going on, I'm gonna be exploring some of them and we're gonna be talking about it as well.

Today, I have an amazing guest with me as well. We both went to an exhibition by a lady called Carolee Schneemann and she was just a force to be reckoned with. She rose to prominence in the 1950s with work on sexual exploration, womanhood, health. She literally, Through her life into . Her work, and my guest is someone who I can say has done the exact same thing.

If you've ever been around her, you'll know she's a bundle of joy. Her name goes ahead of her, and she is in the seat today. Swarzy is with me everybody! If everybody was here. 

Swarzy Macaly: How are you? 

Robert Bruce: I'm good thank you Swarzy. Before we jump in, I'd like to give you just a light intro, But for people that are coming across you the first time, what do you do? What's your thing? 

Swarzy Macaly: What's my thing, well I try and stay up early the same times you probably try and stay up early for a Saturday morning though, so I'm on one extra. I host the breakfast show from seven to 10:00 AM Um, I voice BBC sounds and I am the founder of too much sauce. So it's an exhibition with live events, that are dedicated, celebrating black British creatives who are making history today. So, um, yeah, lots of things around nourishment and celebrating people and yeah, I'm usually on stage trying to live up to my six footness because I'm sitting down. You can't say so. hahaha, that is 

Robert Bruce: Wicked. You came down to the barbs. We're at the Barbs right now. We actually saw the same exhibition. 

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm. 

Robert Bruce: Before we jump into Carole's, What was it like walking into the bars for the first time? Or have you been here before? Like,

Swarzy Macaly: I have been here before. 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. I hadn't been to that . Exhibition space before. Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: Um, and I think just coming out of Zoom, just coming off of Zoom and doing a real, and what I love about the exhibition to be fair, is that you could do it at your own pace. Like no one was rushing you. So I came with a friend and we had to ehh jump back out and the gal was like, Take your time sis is actually, is actually fine. So yeah, just coming into the barbican, um, to be honest, isn't a space I always come to. And so to come for an exhibition, Um, and to take my time in a space that feels fresh and new. Yeah, I really enjoyed 

Robert Bruce: We were at the Barbs and we came to this exhibition, right? 

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm.Carolee as I mentioned, rose to prominence in around the 1950s with her artwork and her paintings, and she, when I was looking at her work, I was like, How can one person, be so creative?
Mm-hmm. , 

Robert Bruce: like, what is creativity to you? Like, how would you sum that up? 

Swarzy Macaly: Ooh, what is creativity to me, I think. , isn't it just the outward expression of whatever it is you think and feel inside? I feel like sometimes talking about this stuff, you could feel so airy, very, or whatever, but at some point everyone has this idea of this vision and you think if this was to go to plan, it would bang.
And the fact that only you could do it, you bring your Sauce, you bring your vision, you bring your ideas and your story to it. They can only be one of one. And so I really respected the exhibition to think. Some bits were my thing and some bits were not my thing. But to rate someone who said, I'm still gonna put it out anyway, I don't actually care for your opinion, like it's gonna go ahead. And I think that is something that all creatives need to have in the tank. Like, I'm gonna go ahead with this. I'm gonna persevere and get it out from my mind, from concept to, to something tangible and real. So creativity I think, really does reflect what is going on inwardly to hopefully put something outward as well.

Robert Bruce: And as I was. Carly was sort of documenting her time and we're lucky now, like we could just jump on Google. I feel. We were like, we could even just jump on TikTok. Now we use that to find everything. But what she was doing was really painting the picture for her time through her life experiences, the different countries that she went to. And I don't really view art in terms of drawing and paintings often.

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm.

Robert Bruce: But when I was looking at it, I was like, Rah, there's a story, behind these pictures and these painting, How are you with art and paintings and stuff? First and foremost, 

Swarzy Macaly: Yes. I think it goes to the question of like, what is art? 

Robert Bruce: Yeah.

Swarzy Macaly: And so that really. Challenged me actually, cuz I was seeing some stuff. I was like, bro, to be honest, woo. I don't really know what it is. I don't really know how to interpret this. But yeah, I think art is, it always for me reflects beauty. So, no, actually should it two? I think it's twofold. One, it being beautiful.
and reflecting and representing things that are beautiful, but two think it represents things that are to be reconciled. So lots of art is not on the front face, beautiful. It's, it's talking about big topics that you think actually this is wild. Like we shouldn't even be having to talk about this, cause the world should be put to right in some senses, but when you reflect, actually this is wrong and it needs to be reconciled with what's.
Um, that is also art. So I do better with art that I can see literally and be like, All right, cool. I get it. 

Robert Bruce: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: Abstract stuff. I'm like, Hmm. Ball the kettle because I'm really having to sit here longer and having to process. So yeah. The exhibition I think did both. 

Robert Bruce: I feel that's the good thing about it though, is like ,it's down for your own interpretation.

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm.

Robert Bruce: Like, are some look watching, looking at some of the pictures and paintings like. My mind was going to a complete different place, and then I'll read the description and be like, Wow, I did not expect it. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah, yeah, yeah. To be like that.

Robert Bruce: But she was really documenting her time and I feel expressing herself, and that expression is so important, like you mentioned about if you have an idea, only you can sort of bring it to life. If Carolee was an artist, let's say a musician of today yeah , who would she be based on what we've seen at exhibit? 

Swarzy Macaly: Who would she be? 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: Can I circle back round to this? Only because I struggled with one point in the exhibition where the exhibition was very honest. Part of the exhibition was her saying, As a white woman, I know that I have a privilege of coming here and doing my art in such a way because my body is political as a woman, but all bodies are political . In a sense and as a black woman, you don't always have the freedom to have done what she had done, and so when I looked at the first thing that I clocked was the time, The time of year. I said 1962, so what was going on in sixties in America, you have a white woman here who is portraying art in the sense of, I wanna be free with my body and display how I want. Cool. That was what was speaking to her in that time, and that would've been pushing the boundaries in ways that maybe haven't done before or whatnot. But at the same time, you've got. The bus boycott. You've got black people actually dying at the hands of white people also, and so those two things happening in the same time period, but I'm sure that would've been not worlds apart, but just the fact that it happens at the same time. I was like, that makes me feel conflicted because one, I think what is going on in the same world as me at the same time as me, but also, yes, your body is political, but the world affirms white beauty anyway.

Robert Bruce: Mm-hmm.

Swarzy Macaly: so. I struggled with that. I was like, Oh. So if she was to be a a musician today,

Robert Bruce: where would she land? 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. Where would she land? Like I think she would land in spaces where she's pushing conversations forward that perhaps people think, Oh, that's edgy, that's new. You can't be doing that. Good. Push that.
But then I think she'd also land in spaces where people would say, You have a platform. You have a platform to have a voice and voice things that other people who don't share your same body need to benefit your, from your platform. So talk about that stuff at the same time. But then you think as an artist, she might not wanna do that.

Robert Bruce: Yeah, yeah, yeah . 

Swarzy Macaly: And is she in her right to say, I don't wanna do that? [00:08:00] I don't know. So I feel very conflicted in all of it when. 

Robert Bruce: You unpacked bare stuff there. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. I just thought it's sad. Like I, I saw, I dunno if I can use this, but. I think that the, um, bit of the exhibition called Meat Joy really struck me, so I'm just gonna read it cause I don't wanna misquote 

Robert Bruce: anything.

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. Meat joy, um, was, she describes as an exuberant sensory celebration of the flesh. Um, it's where people came together and it says here they rolled, Let, moved in tandem and alone while shredded paper, raw fish, chickens, and hot dogs rained down on the stage. , I gotta be honest, I was a bit. In the same sixties where people are being lynched.

Robert Bruce: That really struck me and I thought, I dunno how to feel about that. I dunno how to, um, reconcile those two things. And so with art, you always question what's the purpose of that? How, how, what is that trying to get to? What do you think that may have been if you just look at it from her. Perspective,

Swarzy Macaly: yeah 

Robert Bruce: solely, what do you think that might have . Been?

Swarzy Macaly: I, I think she's talking about flesh, right? But what I don't understand then is, is the, the use of dead flesh. Because you've got live people rolling and sitting and lying on dead flesh. That, that for me was the, I didn't understand those two things. 

Robert Bruce: Mm-hmm. 

Swarzy Macaly: Especially when there is actual people's dead flesh in the sixties, just not getting the care or the dignity that, that we know deserves to be there.Yeah. So 

Robert Bruce: even in what you're saying it is of , probably reflective of the times in a way that she didn't think she was reflecting it based on what you are seeing that as in 2022. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: So it sort of leads back to why art is sort of important. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah, 

Robert Bruce: because we live in a culture now where it's like you can get canceled for anything, 

Swarzy Macaly: Anything , and that's why I think she was brave about it because. who, I don't know, I dunno, who was doing the similar things that she was doing and she crossed borders, like she came here. 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: When they said, Oh, she came to London in, in 2002. I said, Did she like ? [00:10:00] I didn't know she came to London in 2002 to bring the same exhibition across. So I was like, well, surely there is some people talking about this, and she's brave enough to go on record and say, I will do something that is so out, like out of the ordinary and out of the box to, to put together. so as a woman, I'm sure, regardless of what time period you're in, Yeah. It will be forever difficult to be pushing things and your ideas as a woman.
So like, not to critique it at all, I'm just saying when I walked in, that was what stunned me and, and I didn't expect to see like dead meet, raw meet with live people, and I was like, Oh, I didn't quite, And that someone from the barbican was in the same room as me and we both had the same, He was a guy. 

Robert Bruce: No way did you have a conversation about 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So he was like, Yeah, it's not even. it, it, I just think the flesh element or dead flesh really rocks him. Yeah. Really, and it rocked him as well. I was like, okay, at least I'm not the only one being rocked by this. So, but I think art should do that. I think art should make you stop in your tracks and really, uh, cause you to think, what, what is this? What is going on? That's why I think art in my idea is twofold. It's both beauty but reconciliation. What's she trying to reconcile here? What's gone wrong? 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: She's trying to put a message in to make sure that it points back to whatever.

Robert Bruce: That's nuts that you talk about shock factor. Cause I feel like now we are sort of desensitized to things.

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: Cause we have access to so much media. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah, true. 

Robert Bruce: We've become desensitized to things. Has anything of recent times artwise shocked you? What would like, what would that be? That in 50 years time when they're listening to us at the Barbs, that it's gonna shock them, if that makes sense. 

Swarzy Macaly: I, I think if I go back to music and being in radio, what still shocks me is the, and art, music is art in all forms, but the length of song, like sometimes I'm in radio, I don't even have time to go toilet, you know?
Because , some of these tick songs are so short. 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: And then you play it . Against, I don't know, a classic r and b track from the early noughties for example, and then songs are four minutes long. 

Robert Bruce: Four minutes. Four minutes. 

Swarzy Macaly: Stormzy's latest track is like seven minutes. Right? You're playing the full edit on radio, so you think, Wow. I, I think in art form, The quicker sound, the quicker beat. How exceptional it is for someone to say, I communicate my message in a minute 30 and it's still got narrative. It's still got a good beat to it. Like people are still enjoying it. So I think, art, yeah, in, well I dunno, maybe we'll circle back to having track like a four minutes long again.

Robert Bruce: Mm-hmm. 

Swarzy Macaly: Cause I think, yeah, back in the day and when I was watching stuff, I think it's over in a minute and a half. Where's the punch land? You know what I mean? So 

Robert Bruce: What was here for . You at caroline Carolee's exhibition? 

Swarzy Macaly: I think what was here for me, was the, did you see the wheel bit? And it had like cluttering cans?

Robert Bruce: Yes, yes, yes. It was just growing around. You just go around. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. And, and then round the other corner there was a mop that she was just 

Robert Bruce: Banging 
the tv .

Swarzy Macaly: Banging. Yeah, and do you know what, I heard this mop from time. I said the barbican. Have you not heard that? There's a, not realizing it's part of the exhibition, but using sound and visuals and creating the journey to be like, Okay, you might hear something over here. But you may not see it revealed until room four. And I really like the idea that you could keep your audience engaged from the beginning when you were first walked in right through to the end. So I think even as a creative, how do you keep your audience engaged for longer than the immediate opening or the immediate drop of, whatever it may be, and I think as a host, it's true. You know, I love to think of myself as a host because you're hospitable. You walk in, have you got a drink? Have you come with today? Are you not come with no one? I'll come and sit with me because, But that was youth group. That was youth group. Because when you're in school, everyone don't really wanna be talking to someone else outside of their clique. You wanna make sure people are warm and, and, and ready to jump in because by the time you've got q and a going, you want people to ask as many questions as possible. So yeah, I think like whatever for me. The idea of how can I stay engaged all the way through, because people was walking around and I could see them. I was like, You haven't read all of that. You've definitely walked ahead . But some people are laed twice because they hadn't even moved from the second room. So I was like, Oh, what are they reading that I didn't Glock then let, let me go back to room two and and see what was there. So yeah, being engaged and how much of that is the audience versus the artist's responsibility is 

Robert Bruce: It's so funny that you mentioned the CAN and the mop. Cause I literally videoed it. 

Swarzy Macaly: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Robert Bruce: And just thinking about. It is so mad that she had to live her life to get to that stage. But somehow that mop and the TV is connected to the first piece of art cause it's connected through her. So there's something that that's like, you don't know where your story's gonna end up and how it's gonna be written and the things you're gonna explore, but. You've just gotta do in the now and at the end. The big picture sort of builds into one beautiful piece. Like

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah.

Robert Bruce: Do you reflect that on like sort of life? Do you see your life like that? Like it's a big canvas that you're painting now, or are you someone that. , this is the end picture that I want to paint and I'm gonna draw until I get there.

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. You know, as you just said, canvas, this is such a baby girl move. But have you seen Prince Egypt ?

Robert Bruce: Oh, many are Moon .

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. There's one banging song in there. Yeah. About like tapestry. And he's basically like, the character is basically saying like, your life might be this little bit, but in the grand scheme of the tapestry, everyone's lives weaves into each other and I think as a creative. You, I personally, how my hands up can get bogged down in this bit of the canvas when actually the canvas runs all the way over here. You know, like, Swarz, get your head out of this , Say yes to this project. Do it with all your heart, but move on. Like, don't, don't let that consume you. So yeah, the idea that things circle back around before we started recording, there was someone that I said hello to who had written a piece on Chris Kaba and I teach English on um, Thursday evenings to, um, someone in year 11. And we. used uhm, the writer's, text, as the practice paper, text. Wow. And this kid was like, Oh. And I said, You know, the writer is alive. Because half the time we'd be writing in critiquing work of people who have long gone before us, but to think, no, this person is alive. And, and then today it circled [00:16:00] background. So of course life comes back around in full motion. Of course it always comes back. So the power of saying yes to things and not knowing where they were end up, um, as a creative, I think that's our life story. Like things, Yeah. Things always come back round again. So 

Robert Bruce: Facts facts facts ,

Swarzy Macaly: yeah. 

Robert Bruce: Right. Swarzy, if Aliens landed on the planet today? Nope. 

Swarzy Macaly: They landed at the barbs just outside this window that we're looking at. Mm. 

Robert Bruce: And you are the first people to go and talk to them, and the only word they had in their mind was womanhood. 

Swarzy Macaly: Mm. How would you describe that and break that down to them? What would you say your perspective of that is? And I know that's a huge place to start, but what's the first thing that pops to your mind?
Joy, Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: Explain why. 

Swarzy Macaly: I'd say joy is a lot of joy in being a woman. A lot of joy in being a girl. There's a lot of joy in being around other women and other girls. Um, there's a joy in sitting with your girl and seeing something funny and she clocking it before you, but you've clocked it already and the two of you are like, Ah, you saw the same thing. That's beautiful. There's a joy of walking in rooms that you don't know anyone and you spot your girl from the other side and you're like, Thank Goodness my girl is here at the same time, um, I think you would also have to say, um, wisdom, like being a young girl, I'll never forget, like I was walking home from netball.
When I was, oh gosh, like year nine. Like we just come back from Dorcast. Dorcast. If you're watching this, I . Love you sis, the two . Of us . Walking home. And I think we won, so we were gassed, we were in our own minds. This is like October evening, maybe even November. It was dark and we got to, my road Dorcast lives a little bit further up and we walk, walk in our netball gear like skirt, black blazer, oblivious. Walk side by side and I saw this guy behind me and he crossed the, when we crossed and I thought, Oh, that's interesting. We kept walking. Dorcast is chatting, Dorcast is not clocking nothing. We cross again, This guy crosses. I said, Dorcast. I think, I think someone's following us. She's yapping. Yapping about the game. Yeah. I said, just stop here. By the time I stopped here, I was opposite my house on the other side of the road and there was a blue van in between my house and where we were, and I just stopped by the blue van to see if this guy would walk past. As soon as I poked my head through the blue van, his face pale was anything poked his head through.
On the other side, I grabbed Dorcast, I said, Run, run, run, run, run, run. I had never run so quick in my whole life and in that moment, at that age, I. What if is he gonna grab? Like I was waiting for someone to grab me. I really, really was waiting for someone to grab me. And we got to the church that my friend mum used to work at the time, and they were just like, just sit. Like we were so shook up and when I looked back, he wasn't there. But, . I think stories like that to aliens, I'm appreciative because they will believe me. So many times you tell these stories and people will say, Oh, he was just trying to cross the same time as you. No, he was trying to do harm. He was trying to take us like, 

Robert Bruce: Yeah, yeah.

Swarzy Macaly: Just believe what I'm trying to tell you. So as much as there is joy in being a girl, there is always room to be like, Am I [00:19:00] safe? Am I right? Like, who's gonna believe me when I tell them this has happened? Um, and so I would also tell this alien, the gospel. 

Robert Bruce: Mm. 

Swarzy Macaly: I would tell the alien that this world that you were crashing landed into is broken, bro.
Like maybe your world is better than the one here, but things are fractured and things are broken, and this is not, it was intended to be, but there's a God who rules this world and he's lud over this world and he loves me, and because he loves me so much, he's gonna come and correct it. He's gonna come back.
But in the meantime, the gospel says, If you believe in Jesus Christ, you died on a cross rose again. And put your faith in him. Actually, the things that are broken in this world, you live for another world that is no longer painful, no longer stressful, no longer has people running after you at the dead of night and trying to follow you in your netball outfit. Those things will be gone, and so there's hope there. There's hope that goes beyond the grave and I. Yeah, Being a woman, being a girl and putting that in the, in the, in, everything that the gospel offers me is beautiful, but it's safe, and there's, there's, there's joy in that. So yeah. 

Robert Bruce: So mad that you contrast it like that. Cause you literally said the same thing about art. Art is beauty, but there's also something that needs to be reconciled. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: And I guess that's a wider narrative of life itself. And the reason I wanted to explore. What Womanhood meant to you because obviously Carolee depicts womanhood in her way and how she does, and if them aliens were to walk through the exhibition 

Swarzy Macaly: mm-hmm.

Robert Bruce: What do you think their representation of womanhood would be through Carolee's, artwork? 

Swarzy Macaly: Whew. I think they'd be like, Oh my gosh, do you not rate these lot like ? These are sick. And, and the fact that you were, I, I think, I think if Carolees and I were to sit down together, She would tell me stories and I would have to say to her, I believe you sis. Like you'd have to convince me. I believe that what you were going through in the sixties and the fifties whenever was, was happening. You'd have to tell me twice. I believe you. And the sad thing is, if [00:21:00] I were to tell her this is happening in 2022, she might be like, No way. Surely the world has come a lot further on. My math is terrible, but 60 years, whatever that is, from when I was, and I, I. Yeah, I think that would also play a factor in it. But I think if aliens were to walk through, I think there would be a sadness in the idea that you have to put an exhibition up to highlight things of female safety, or don't look at us as sexual objects or like our dignity, our respect.
All of that is, is, is intact because we are made in the image of God. We are made with those things. And so when anything wars against that, you then have to have a Carolee to say, No, no, no. Remember that we are human. We are, we are humans just like you guys are as well. Um, and I think that's political and will continue to be political until it's reconciled.

Robert Bruce: Something that struck me whilst at the exhibition, Yeah, Carolee's work was really reflective of the time. So we got to [00:22:00] the technology bit and it's the TVs and all of that sort of stuff, and it made me. longevity is so important, and you was talking about earlier how we get such short songs right now and things are so popcorn here then and gone, whose, what do you think from today that we consume? Or someone? One of your personal favorites. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: An artists are creative that we consume today will last the next 60 years. 

Swarzy Macaly: Oh gosh. Um, . Who do I think? Well, I think of the greats who have lasted. Like the Nina. Sam for example. 

Robert Bruce: Yeah. 

Swarzy Macaly: Or the Lauren Hills or Beyonce for example. Um, I think in the art world, um, I wanna give a massive shout to Kazvare made it, I dunno if, you know, if Kazvare made it. She is my favorite. She's able to capture what is going on in this world and put an illustration to it, and then the text or the title or the caption, it basically throws your heart onto timelines and it's like what you were trying to say in articulate. She's been able to do it in two sentences or less, and I just think an artist ability to just socially commentate on what is going on and put sati to it, or sarcasm or just humor. Because if we don't laugh, we will cry because at the end of it, think, Oh my gosh. But you can always go to her to think, and often in the comment you think, What have I missed? What's gone on? What's popped off that I didn't see that I didn't know?
And I think for that reason, Kazvare will really, really stand the test of time because there will always be something to talk about. There will always be something to comment on, but to do it articulately but also with humor to keep you coming back and thinking, I wasn't the only one who thought this was mad.
So the fact that she's able to do it in such a quick turnaround. Um, yeah. Kazvare made it is one for me. 

Robert Bruce: And she's an illustrator. Did you say Illustrator? Okay. Illustrator or writer? 

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm. 

Robert Bruce: sort of a, Yeah. Yeah. The way Can you find her? Just the people that listening. 

Swarzy Macaly: @kazvaremadeit on all socials and she has got a book called Stay Woke Kids, and that is brilliant as well, not just for kids. Go and get it as well. But yeah, lots of things that you think or feel. Oh, I'm not too sure on how to explain this. She does it. So basically follow her 

Robert Bruce: And put in a mirror. I forget. You imagine I'm holding the mirror. 

Swarzy Macaly: Oh no. 

Robert Bruce: What do you wanna be known for in 60 years time or what do you want your work to have communicated or your art to be talking to people about?

Swarzy Macaly: Um, that's a great question. I think, I think every, it's easy to say legacy, but what does your . Legacy look like? Right. I think, um, generosity in, in, in all forms. Like if we went to dinner and you're like, Swarz, I can't come because of coins. Please don't let coins be a reason why you don't come to dinner. So I think generosity, but also in time, like the idea that you'd sit with someone in the good times and the bad times.
I think people remember you for how much time you spent with them. Um, so that would be one element, but then two, just join, man. Like if Swarz is doing anything, you're gonna have a good time. You're gonna get fed well, you're gonna dance and shake her leg, you're. Just be able to remember, Oh yeah, this is what it feels like to have fun against all the stresses of life. I think you know, like when I first became a Christian, I didn't clock that Jesus was a real guy. Like I didn't know, like I thought he was a fairy tale. I just thought he, he, he was like the BFG or something. But when I went to youth group and I was like, Wow, there's young people who clocked that this guy really did walk, and if he died and rose again, there's a joy to that. He said, I'll come to give life and life to the fullest. And when you experience that joy, you're like, Why would I settle over anything less? Like there's people that you read about who have that joy to them and so yeah, just to inject that and I think legacy and joy and just being heard, um, would be a lovely legacy. So if I am around by God's grace in 60 years time, woo, then yeah, definitely joy would be, would be lovely to be mindful. 

Robert Bruce: And that will be your mirror to the world and oh, that is absolutely beautiful. And I really enjoyed going to the exhibition, right One. Out of my world. Like, 

Swarzy Macaly: yeah. 

Robert Bruce: I don't remember the last exhibition I went to.

Swarzy Macaly: Mm-hmm. . And as a guy, how did you, what did you take away? 

Robert Bruce: Yeah, so there's, there's little bits where sometimes you need to be on the bench mm-hmm. and watch the game play out. And sometimes you could be on the court or you can be on the field, right? 

Swarzy Macaly: Mm. 

Robert Bruce: So for certain times when it got to the technology bit, I was on the field because I can see that, I can relate to it, I can connect to it, but there's also, being an advocate for injustice, which you need to sort of educate yourself on and be aware of. What does your position in look like in that? An one of the things I took away from it was body image because the perception of body image, especially into today's society, is like everything has to look a certain way and the filter has to bang like this, An I've got sisters, I got married last year, so I've got a wife and Aww congrat. I sort of see the pressures of being a woman from a different angle. 

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. 

Robert Bruce: do you think? Body image and the perception of body image in this day and age right now, Like do you feel any of those pressures? Can you see people feeling them pressures and how do we push those boundaries and break those boundaries as well?

Swarzy Macaly: Yeah. The pressure is there, like I'll tell you that straight facts, like the pressure is there. I was at an agency and um, literally they would say to me like, Could you just wear, less . 

Robert Bruce: Really? 

Swarzy Macaly: Could you wear more makeup? Can you look more like this? And to be honest of you, that's just not me. Like if someone wants to go ahead and do that, do you?
But the fact that that was in connection to, But your followers will go up, your traction will go up, your clout will go up. And I was like, Why can't it just go up? Because I'm a good host. 

Robert Bruce: Mm,

Swarzy Macaly: Why can't it just go up? Because I know how to hold good conversations. Why can't it just go up? Because I don't wanna do those things and I will flourish anyway. So I think, yeah, there is a pressure to look a certain way and to act a certain way as a girl. Um, And to go against it is actually quite radical in this day and age. It's actually quite radical to say to the client, No, I don't wanna do that. Like, have you got another outfit that would also bang? Like, have you thought about this? Um, and it goes back to being heard and trusted. Oh my gosh, you would think that you haven't, you've been doing this since you woke up last night. Like, I know how these things are. I've done lots of events, so trust me when I say this will do well. Um, but I think also what plays in them, I'm, I work with a lot of kids often, so I'm also thinking, oh, well the age range of who. Well, hosting, networking with all of that, I, I try to be conscious about as well. So, um, yeah, the pressures are on and I think as a woman, your life will, is a forever a radical state. So yeah, keep on pushing boundaries, girls like yeah, be, be confident in, in your decision making and what you think works best. Um, you can't go wrong. 

Robert Bruce: You see, I read there was so many things that you can pull from exhibit. For people like me and you, who sometimes we didn't get some of the abstract bits, but 

Swarzy Macaly: yeah,

Robert Bruce: we've still managed to have a big conversation about it. Mm-hmm. , how did, if you were to sum it up, how did this exhibition make you feel overall?

Swarzy Macaly: I think overall, um, the exhibition made me feel, um, challenged and conflicted. I think, um, my fight is not everyone else's fight and nor is their fight. Um, so don't get angry s FARs if someone is not fighting your fight, because they're probably thinking that about you. But also accountability. Like I wanna, It made me think who was happening, who was also doing art at the same time.
I just took sixties and was like, that's why I brought Bear MLK stuff, because also MLK in color, he's cute, you know, like literally he's very cute and often you see things in black and white. You think he's older than it is. Like lots of our parents generation, it is from the sixties, so you think, whoa.
They had color, like, let me see color. So I. Yeah, when I came away from it, I was like, Let me go and dig a little bit deeper because I don't want to say this is one story and one story fits all. There was so much happening at the time, which is why I'm grateful for you, like on and off camera, like the fact that you are doing what you are doing and so many creatives, you build a collective story of the time that if you dropped an alien in, they're like, All right, lemme go see whats is doing, but also let me go see what your doing. You know what I mean? And I think everyone needs that in order to build. That wholesome like holistic story of what's happening. So yeah, challenge conflicted, but I'm glad I win. I'm really, really glad. So thank you. Thank you for having,

Robert Bruce: And even on the back of that in three words, how was your time at the Barbs?

Swarzy Macaly: It was great. 

Robert Bruce: It Was great three words. 

Swarzy Macaly: Three words. Yeah 

Robert Bruce: Very much 

Swarzy Macaly: was great. 

Robert Bruce: Thank you for coming down. Thank . You for being a guest on the show as well. Thank you for coming to the exhibition. 

Swarzy Macaly: Naah blessings. Thank you for having me.

Please consider donating

We rely on the money we raise through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising to deliver our arts and learning programme. It forms more than 60% of our income. Show your support by making a donation and help inspire more people to discover and love the arts.