Red and Black – M.J. Bedford

 Posted by on May 11, 2012  Add comments
May 112012
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Canterbury’s takin’ a whuppin’!  ……..                                                                                           


Sudden, swift, and hard, the right sings and strikes paydirt.  And before the brain stops sloshing within its skull, the left torpedoes in.

Damage upon damage.

A geometric progression of damages leaves him crippled as if hog-tied.  Pain, surprise and confusion muddle his reaction. He flails his uncoordinated limbs forward as he weaves and stumbles.

It seems both forever and an instant and it is not over.All together we watch, stunned and waiting for what can only end in a judge’s decision.

This fight of an indeterminate number of rounds is exhausting and infuriating. We didn’t buy tickets for this show. We want the battling to end. We want to go home to sleep and forget; and then wake to a sunny morning in our gardens where we play with the children and the dog.

Transfixed in our horror, we can’t escape. Old rules are rendered irrelevant and all bets are off. The only certainty is that nothing will ever be the same again.


I made this picture (a scan from chrome) 12 years ago.  At that time, I knew that I could do anything and go anywhere. Here and now in Christchurch, that image is speaking to me. I find myself puncher, punchee and viewer all at once. I feel the punch but the fight is far from over!

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  7 Responses to “Red and Black – M.J. Bedford”

  1. Hi there Mary-Jo. I hope your words don’t mean the earthquakes are giving you more than heaps of bad stuff. I hope you are ok out your way. Take care, Barbara

  2. An interesting image Mary Jo. It is interesting how an image made in the past can jump out and be so relevant, long after it was made. I like your words. It is a differcult boxing match we are living through. One where the referee has got involved. You have to fight with both hands tided behind your back and you are not allowed out of your corner. Still head butt the bastards I say. I am intrigued by the figure in the top right. Who is that?

  3. My “story” from this is that the guy in the red headgear comes back from this moment and wins the title!!!!

  4. There is the cliche saying, “It’s not whether we win or lose but how we play the game”.

  5. Your words and image leave me pondering on the future – nobody knows what will happen – either in the ring – or around its perimiter! Life is a gamble and and we’ve been dealt a poor hand – but with courage and patience our future will change for the better.

  6. Welcome Mary-Jo, and thank you so much for posting for us. I love your words around this image and the metaphor is fantastic.

  7. Thanks to all of you who have thought to comment. I had brilliant news on Friday 18 May. My sections have been zoned green! And just in the nick of time.

    My heart aches for those who are still waiting for an outcome while trying to live their lives. It is a deep agony.

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