Sinéad O’Connor – July 2023

A week ago I found this AMAZING photo of Sinead O’Connor and saved it to draw next for my Rainbow Bubbles of Collective Effervescence portrait series. Today I heard she died. Om mani padme hum.

Sinead was a huge influence on me and her music has been the soundtrack to many eras. My first cassette I got on the summer holiday when I was ten was “the Hits of 1990’ and I remember playing ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ over and over. I remember dancing to it in my favourite holiday spot. As a child I remember being fascinated by her crying. When I grew older it gave me permission to cry when I needed to. I had to cut off my beautiful long hair as a 14yo due to chronic illness, so as an act of rebellion I shaved my head at 21 to see what it would feel like. (It feels amazing in the shower!) Her angsty empowering voice helped me emote as a teen. Then my bro gave me ‘Faith And Courage’ for my 21st birthday and it was the soundtrack to some of the most pivotal moments of my life as a young adult. I loved all the songs: ‘Jealous,’ ‘No Man’s Woman,’ ‘Daddy I’m Fine,’ ‘The Healing Room,’ ‘The State I’m In,’ and especially the spine tingling ‘Hold Back the Night,’ that speaks volumes even more now. Her music is divine.

I identify with some of her mental health struggles and I feel for her pain. Now, I feel her with me even more than ever before. She’ll always be a guiding light and a source of strength.

I’m only just learning about her troubled childhood, and her incredible political stances, standing up for women with abortion rights, and against racism, and sexual abuse in the church among so many causes. How crowds of people shamed and abused her and the media lynched her. What a stellar human and devastating price of fame.

Rest freely, in Peace dear Shuhada Sadaqat/ Sinead O’Connor. I love you

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