SPEAK Season 1 Episode 5: Goddess of Nature

Christine Hammond: Girlfriends, acrylic on canvas. Christine Hammond: Girlfriends, acrylic on canvas A painting of three figures with both animal and human features.

I journey to get my artist’s name and am cursed by mother nature.

This episode contains strong language.

You can listen to an unbleeped version here:

Speak Episode 5: Goddess of Nature Featuring Christine Hammond

Rachel [00:00:02] Hi, I’m Rachel Grey, and

Debbie [00:00:04] I’m Debbie Radcliffe, and welcome to our podcast Speak.

Rachel [00:00:11] Yes, a podcast from Being Studio. Being Studio is a community of artists with developmental disabilities. And today, on Speak will be hearing stories from Christine Hammond.

Debbie [00:00:28] When I first went to being studio, I saw this beautiful deer with its. Baby and. It was so beautiful, I was drawn to it like I wanted that painting and particular. And. It was my best friend Christine’s painting, and as soon as I met her, we really hit it off really well together and that’s how come we’re best friends. Ladies and gentleme n, I would love to present my best friend, Christine Hammond.

Christine [00:01:15] Hi, Debbie Are you today?

Debbie [00:01:18] Good, thank you. And you?

Rachel [00:01:22] This is a story of how you got your artist name,

Christine [00:01:26] yeah, which is a big deal,.

Rachel [00:01:28] Which is a big deal. Yeah,.

Debbie [00:01:30] Yeah, it is a big deal.

Christine [00:01:34] Like what I do my paintings, I feel like I’m like I go like I look through my animals. Yeah. I look, I look through them when I paint them.

Rachel [00:01:47] What do you see when you look through your animals,

Christine [00:01:51] happiness and happiness and joy? I am going to take you on a wonderful but horrible journey to get my artist nicknamed. OK, a heads up, it’s going to be bad language, this person doesn’t usually swear.

Rachel [00:02:17] You want them to know that. Yeah,.

Christine [00:02:21] Yeah, because I don’t want my friends saying, oh, no, she swears, OK, I want to know people like I don’t usually swear I’m a really nice person,.

Rachel [00:02:33] I think you can be a really nice person and swear. You know, I think they could go together

Christine [00:02:38] Be prepared for this podcast and has body language.

Debbie [00:02:43] And what did you do to make Mother Nature mad at you?

Christine [00:02:48] I don’t know, I just maybe I did something I’m not sure. Maybe I swear I don’t see what you get when you get mad at Mother Nature, you’ll get what you get.

Christine [00:03:17] My Spidey story, my journey to becoming the protector. I live with my caregiver, Nancy. I can go on my walks independently, so I went for a walk, the walk was far and the journey was long. A cave magically appeared in the middle of nowhere. The cave looked big, rocky and dangerous. I went towards it not knowing what could happen. There was nothing but deep, dark tunnels. The tunnels were so dark you can’t see until you reach the end. Oh my God, I’m scared. I went into the tunnel. The tunnel had a path, it was rocky and curved, which made it hard to walk. Oh, I hope I don’t fall down. I felt long. I didn’t take. Me long to get to the end, when I reached the end, I felt happy and full of joy when I emerged from the tunnel. I was shocked to find myself in a landscape that was pale blue and the air was dry and difficult to breathe.

Christine [00:04:45]  The ground had no moisture. It was hard and cracked. I walked through the landscape. It led to a high dirt cliff. The dirt cliff was very moist to the touch. I looked up and saw that the cliff have many holes. Oh man, those look deep. The holes had silky soft burrows. Man, those burrows look nice. The sacks were light brown in colour when I felt them. They were silky and smooth to the touch. When I looked in the burrows, it was abandoned. Yes, something happened to me. I started to shrink. I was about the size of a mouse.

Christine [00:05:39] What, what, what, how, how did that happen? So I was able to fit inside the sack b urrow. I went in to the stock burrow, silky soft. Part of the burrow was nice against my skin. Oh, I love this smooth touch which didn’t bother me. The dirt inside the burrow was very moist, messy,.

Christine [00:06:10] So I couldn’t walk. I had to crawl on my hands and knees. I crawled and crawled. And crawled, the burrow was dim. The light was faint, like someone pulled a light see-through blindfold over my eyes, I could see a little bit through to know where I was going. I kept crawling and crawling and crawling until I saw an opening. It was the end of the pearl. When I reached and something started to happen. I got goosebumps down my spine.

Christine [00:06:58] My butt changed into a furry abdomen in. It was my idea, but. Yeah, what the heck is that thing, my spider butt has a feeler attached to it which started to tingle whats that feeling? I grew eight arms, they broke out into a rash that looked like bad sunburn. Oh, man. Somebody help me. I’m burning. Then the rash started to grow red spots, my arms started to grow furry hairs. Oh, man, I feel weird. I feel like the bristles on the hairbrush. I even got worse when my hairy arms started to bend and act like legs.

Christine [00:08:17] Man, this is not normal.

Christine [00:08:20] Then my head changed into a spider and my face was very furry. I grew up black, pointy things which were packed with venom. My transformation was complete. Whoo hoo! I was finally a tarantula. I wanted to scream, what the fuck happened? I was a black man, not ghost eating tarantula. I panicked and my legs went out of control, acted crazy. I saw another trancelike coming towards me. She greeted me with a hiss. It was my mom. She looked mad. I said, Hi, Mom. And when she recognised me, she purred in content and cuddled me with her fangs. She walked me slowly back and forth when I was calm. I crawled off of her. She then brought me to my brothers sisters. I had two sisters and two brothers. My first sister was a bright and dark red. My second sister was like yellow and dark yellow. My first brother was bright and dark pink, and my second brother was bright orange and dark orange. We play hide and seek all day until my mom said she had to hunt and prepare a feast. She can’t cook it for us. It tasted crunchy and very meaty. I told my mom, this is very tasty dinner. Thanks, Mom. Then after dinner, my. Family taught me their spiritual ritual dance. And I began swinging my legs back and forth in a rhythm motion when the dance was over, initiate me as a protector of the line. I then said goodbye. To my mom, sisters and brothers, and continued on my journey adventure. My bogus story, my journey to becoming the queen. I continued my journey, I came to a light brown path that felt rough and smooth under my shoes. I followed it until I came to a wide open landscape of fresh then grass. I took off my shoes and came to an alive, noisy river with a gorgeous, rapid waterfall. I went into a deep cold water and swam across the waters cold. I climbed out and wiped my feet on the fresh green grass. There, in the middle of the land was a big round rock. I sat down, took off my clothes and continue walking. I walked and walked until I came to a pathway that was long and wet and messy. I followed the path until I came to a big open forest. I went in and started to walk and walk through the forest. I came to a big, beautiful jungle who last looks gorgeous and I went inside the jungle. It was filled with colourful vegetation and gorgeous trees with yellow, red and pink leaves. Then out of the blue, something started to happen to me. My human arms vanished and disappear. I freak out and say, What the fuck? Oh, Jesus Christ, what ever happened to my arms?

Christine [00:12:57] My human legs started to vanish and disappear. What the fuck fuck, oh, lord, what happened here? Where are my legs? Where did they go? My human body grew six feet long like a log and turned into my snake body. Oh, my God. Please, please. I screamed. Can somebody help me? I really don’t like where this is going, I look rather funny and feel stupid. I grew a tail, which was my snake butt.

Christine [00:13:42] Oh yeah. Oh, God. What is that like? What’s going to happen next? My snake skin turned rubbery and smooth. Weird and strange and started to grow round spots. Then I thought, I look nice. I looked like a cool dude groovier. Then my human head turned into my snake head. Oh, damn, damn Beaver Dam. What’s going on here? My human face turned into my snake face, two small holes which turned into my snake nose that became my breathing hole. My human eyes turned yellow, orange and reptilian. They were my snake eyes. Oh, this doesn’t look good. My face grew a mouth with a tiny, red, wet, slimy tongue. Oh, God, I said I think I suffered enough. My transformation was complete. I was now a rainbow boa constrictor.

Christine [00:15:09] An adult male, yellow, albino boa constrictor came up to me. He was my husband, he greeted me proudly. Then I greeted him as his wife. I said, Hi, dude, what’s up? You took me to his den and we began to have sex. I started getting pregnant and gave birth to four babies. My first baby was bright red boa. My second baby was a bright orange boa. My third baby was a purple boa. My fourth baby was a dark blue boa. I was now a mother. I took my babies boas into the pond and we swam all morning while my husband stood watch for our protection. Then me and my boa babies went to warm up in the sun while my husband stayed close by. I went hunting to catch for mice and two rats to prepare for our family feast. Then I gave a ride to my husband and I write to myself and mice to each of my children. The rat taste very meat packed with a lot of protein and a lot of fur. My meal was tasty and satisfying. After we finished our family meal, my husband and my baby boys initiated me as the Queen. Then I sadly said goodbye to my husband. I was heartbroken to leave my four baby flowers, but I was not worried because I knew my husband would look after them. I went on with my journey. My story and story, my journey to becoming the goddess. I came to a big wide Perry desert. The air was cool and I walked carefully to watch out for rattlesnakes. I walked and walked and came to a second white sandy desert with tons of soft face. And the air was hot and humid, which made me sweat big time. I kept on walking and came to a third desert that had dry, light brown ground with a little bit of moisture and two tall, healthy cactuses with prickly needles out. I hope I don’t touch them and hurt myself. Then the middle of the ground like a brown rustic log under a beautiful sun rise. It was humid and a little hard to breathe. Something started to happen. My human body started to grow long and wide and began to divide into two parts. It was my scorpion body.

Christine [00:18:41] Damn, what the hell? I yelled, What the fuck is wrong with my body? But wasn’t scared when I started to grow a tail with a stinger. I knew it was my scorpion tail. Don’t mess with me. I’ve got a weapon. With that. I started to grow eight legs. I knew they were my scorpion legs. I freaked out. No, no, no, no, no, no. What am I supposed to do with these? Oh, you expect me to wait for Mother Nature to run its course? Well, I’m sorry. Ain’t happening. My human body started getting hard like a raw oh three oh three oh, OK. What is wrong with my head? I screamed, Oh fuck me. Are you kidding me? Right now, this is really happening. This is some kind of joke because I really don’t like what you’re doing to me. Mother Nature, I want you to stop. I really mean it now.

Christine [00:20:01] My human arms vanish and disappear. I started to grow a long, divided sectioned arms. They were my scorpion arms holy jumpin mother God, I have arms now. Ha ha ha ha ha. Look at these bad boys, I think you don’t want to push my buttons, Mother Nature. My face started to grow tonight and adjust my human face with no match for and face. My transformation was complete. I was now a brown yellow scorpion. A black scorpion came up to me. It was my mom. She embraced me and a big scorpion hug, my holding me with her claws. Then I greeted her as her baby. She put me on her back and took me to her den to meet my two sisters and two brothers. My first issue was a red and black. My second sister was yellow and black. My first brother was black and purple. My second brother was black and blue. I went with my sister and brother to play hide and seek in the log while our mother stayed close for our protection. We played clock time near the cactus. Well, our mother watched out for our safety. Then my mom went hunting for six people for my family feast. She gave a bit to each of my siblings, one to me. I held my beetle with my claws. The beetle was very squirming, so I stung it with my tail, injected it with my venom to put it out of its misery. My beetle was dead. I tasted it. It was fat, crunchy, meaty, packed with lots of protein and full of calcium and full of lots of vitamins. After our family meal, my mom and my sister and brother took me to a ritual scorpion Macarena dance, I did the Macarena by putting my paws on my head and whipping my tail five times. When I was done, my mom initiated me by raising her leg. I was now the goddess of nature. So I said goodbye to my mom and my sister and brother. I was heartbroken but not worried because I knew my mom would look after my sisters and brothers. I finally had my artist nickname. I had completed my journey, adventure, the end.

Debbie [00:23:07] Speak is hosted by Debbie the Dragon Radcliffe,.

Rachel [00:23:14] Cohosted and produced by Rachel Grey,

Debbie [00:23:18] music done by Jesse Stewart,

Rachel [00:23:23] Our audio technician is Erin Flynn, and the podcast is presented in collaboration with CHUO 89.1 FM in partnership with Bronson Rise, a collective impact initiative of the Bronson centre.

Debbie [00:23:41] Thank you for listening. If you like our podcast, please tell your friends, your neighbours, your family, anybody that you know. Thanks for listening. Bye bye.

I am a smart, bright, talented creative artist. I love doing paintings of nature because I like to keep animal spirits and love alive, and because I want to keep them in my mind, body, heart and soul.
I am a very outgoing human and as an artist I am passionate about my work. I focus and concentrate and work hard. When I paint I like to put kindness, gentleness and love in my work and my drawings. I like to make my paintings realistic and lively and make them look like they are actually moving and living peacefully in the big, wide world.
I make them so you can see them with your eyes, and their noise and sound will not disappear. It will stay within the painting, so that it keeps memory alive.
Art should be for everyone so it can help other adults achieve their creativity and dreams. I like to paint nature because I want to make a difference in the world.

BEING’s original podcast series Speak is presented in collaboration with CHUO 89.1FM, in partnership with Bronson RISE, a collective impact initiative of the Bronson Centre.  

Artist: Christine Hammond

Written by: Christine Hammond

Co-Hosts: Rachel Gray and Debbie Ratcliffe

Music: Jesse Stewart

Audio Technician: Erin Flynn

Website Design: Luisa Ji

SPEAK is a BEING original podcast.

SPEAK brings you the stories behind the artwork at BEING studio.