About

Mike de Sousa is an advocate and contributer of public art and uses words, music and light. His work in digital form is free for personal enjoyment, and he sets out his approach to publishing in the short essay Private and Public Art.

Mike de Sousa

Biography

Describing oneself is a difficult task fraught with illusion. Each person carries a singular image of themselves and of those around them. If life is kind, that image may encourage others close, if life is cruel, dislocation often follows.

One thing I have come to realise is that the self is a constantly changing entity despite ones best efforts to pretend otherwise. As you journey through the pages of this site and others I have produced you'll travel to many states of mind and ways of being.

You'll find some of my music, words and images presented on my Portfolio Page which provides a glimpse into those things that are most important to me.

Narrative

I was born on 29 September 1961, Saint Michael's Feast Day, in the Shrubbery Maternity Hospital, Basingstoke. My early life was complicated by the separation of my parents at a very young age. I and my two sisters spent time with various foster parents within Hampshire. My memories are few and fragmented from that period. Although there was never any question that my mother and father loved the three of us, both found life very difficult for different reasons, and neither were able to take care of us.

When I was three and a half, my father's twin sisters decided we three should be brought up together.

My sisters and I each dealt with the insecurity of our early years in different ways. My energies were spent pursuing music and other creative activities, and the unconventional background of living with two aunts who had arrived from India a decade earlier as young teachers, and who experienced prejudice, taught me a great deal about tolerance and the wider world. My circumstance gave me a thirst to learn about the differences between us, and the things that bind us together.

My aunt Merlyn who was the linchpin of our new family unit, a strong, warm and beautiful woman, died when I was fourteen. My mother died when I was nineteen, and my father, who had tremendous potential that was never realized, when I was twenty three. My aunt Connie later flowered after her sister's passing, and continued to encourage me unconditionally in all my creative pursuits.

I married in 1993, and our son Gabriel was born in 1998.

An Evolving Retrospective of Art, Music and Poetry

100 Artworks is an online publication of my selected works in all media.

Visit 100 Artworks

Questions and Answers

An Interview with Mike

Aesthetica, the international art and culture magazine, featured an interview with Mike in its June/July issue (2016). Read The Full Unabridged Interview

 

Notes on Life Into Art

My life On Earth (completed in the year 2000 for the exhibition Our Town) touches on my early history.

A wine glass is an object we often find when we: celebrate; commiserate; relax, enjoy; are alone; are with others.

Numbered from left to right, each glass contains earth from a place that has shaped me.

Life Into Art

Life Into Art

•  The first wine glass contains earth from the site of The Shrubbery, the old maternity hospital, now demolished, in Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. This site was the place of my birth

•  The second glass contains earth from Mansfield Road, my first home

•  The third glass contains earth from outside the Hammer and Tongs, my father's favourite drinking hole

•  The fourth glass contains earth from the grounds of Saint Annes Infant School, my first school

•  The fifth glass contains earth from the grounds of Parklands, the renamed place where I often visited my mother as a child

•  The sixth glass contains earth from Worting Road Cemetery, the place where my mother, my father, my grandmother, my grandfather, and my aunt lay buried

•  The seventh glass contains earth from outside the old Registry Office, the place where I married

•  The eighth glass contains earth from outside the Maternity Wing of North Hampshire Hospital, the place where our son was born.

Achievements

The following sets out my achievements to date in a more conventional format.

 

  • Creative Work

  • Websites

    ·    The Rights of Living Things: a declaration that sets out the rights of living things, and in particular, sentient beings.
  • ·    100 Artworks: an evolving retrospective of my creative work across media.
  • ·    Think This Today: one fresh thought each day - the best place to find out about my news and newest work.
  • ·    One Family One World: a distillation of my hope and efforts for the future.
  • ·    Altruism Today: my guiding principle.
  • ·    With Life, Love: three words that bring purpose to my world, accompanied by five lines of elaboration, an image and music.
  • ·    The World Without Money: the poetic adventures of Adam and Eve: together, alone, with others.
  • ·    The Profit of Art: the case for the importance of viewing art as essentially non-commercial.
  • ·    My First My Last: one word begins and ends my day...
  • ·    Be Kind Today: a simple message that lays at the heart of happiness.
  • ·    Make Peace Today: my modest contribution that gives voice to those who advocate tolerance and non-violence.
  • ·    Active Pacifist: an exploration of pacifism and the need for non-violent resolution to conflict and war.
  • ·    EyeInvent: the image library of my photographs and artwork.
  • ·    Lunar Mission Gallery: my artwork, commentary and thoughts about a space mission to the moon.
  • ·    Abstention Today: my view that the vote in democratic countries should extend to formally recognize abstention.
  • ·    Public Art World: a place to discover freely accessible works of art.
  • ·    AbleStable: over 500 free resources that stimulate and encourage creativity (no longer in development).
  • Mike also publishes anonymous and less easily attributable websites. Read more in the essay Private and Public Art.

  • Art and Photography

  • ·    Multiple works in oil, watercolour, pencil and digital (1984-present).
  • ·    Freelance Photographer (1982-2004).


  • Music

  • Listen to Mike's Latest Compositions
  • Instrumental Work: over eighty works ranging from piano solo through to orchestral (1975-present).
  • Songs: words and music (1977-present).
  • Mike is the originator of 'audiotexs': an audio recording of music, speech, and ambient sounds forming an integrated whole and where all elements are treated musically.
  • Our Town: a four movement, seventy minute "Audiotexs" with over a hundred contributers; Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, The Willis Museum (1997-2000). Full project details and credits can be found on the Our Town web page.
  • Listen to Audio Excerpts from the music compositon Our Town - scroll down the song list on the music player.
  • A Silent Movie. A forty five minute audio work for voice and instruments; independent (1986-1988).
  • Exhibition Piece London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1987).
  • Works for Six Dancers South Yorkshire Dance; performed at the National Dance Umbrella Festival, London (1985)
  • Darkness and Light [reflections] Commissioned by Queen Mary's College, a forty minute, three movement dance work for piano and flute. First performed at Central Studio Arts Centre, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK (1981).


  • Literature

  • Examples of my writing can be found on my websites listed above and on My Portfolio Page.

  • For Children

  • ·    The Royal Spanner (1995).
  • ·    The Bugle and the Barge (1995).
  • ·    The Nervous Knight (1995).
  • ·    The Magical Stream (1991).
  • ·    The Apple Orchard (1992).


  • For Adults

  • ·    The Rights of Living Things (available as a PDF).
  • ·    The Burial of Georgio Sánchez (available as an eBook).
  • ·    100 Artworks (selected poetry)
  • ·    An Object of Desire
  • ·    With Summer Light (poetry).


  • Work in Education and the Community

  • ·    Founder and Director of Our Town, a community arts project with 500 contributors and 10,000 visitors (1997-2000).
  • ·    Founder and Director of 'Musicality', a music workshop programme for schools, colleges and universities (1995-2002).
  • ·   Teacher and Music Workshop Leader (composition, piano, guitar, percussion) (1981-2002).
  • ·   Composer, Teacher and Musician for Modern Dance including London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1985-1991).
  • ·   Dance Accompanist ~ Piano and Percussion (1983-1989) working with:
  • Professor Marisa O'Neill, Webster University, St Louis (USA); Michelle Benash, New York Ballet; Daniella Lorentze, Ballet Rambert and Paris Ballet; London Contemporary Dance Theatre Company Residency Member; Extemporary Dance; Mantis Dance Company; Sadlers Wells; Festival Ballet House; Pineapple Studios; The Actors Centre; The Place Theatre; Essex Theatre Umbrella; South Yorkshire Arts (UK).


  • Work in the Commercial Sector

  • ·    Creative Freelancers: the free directory that connects clients with independent creative professionals.
  • ·    Copy Editor Expert: clear and persuasive copy for websites and digital publications.
  • ·   Co-Founder and Creative Director of 2BrightSparks. (2004-2015).
  • 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd. is a company that develops and sells utility software used by millions of individuals, small businesses, corporations, non-profits and governments around the world. Two well known Windows freeware programs SyncBackFree and InfoHesiveEP feature on this site. Mike retired from 2BrightSparks in September 2015 to dedicate himself to the creation of art, music and literature.