For those of you who don't know her, you need to know the following... Lisa Hassell is iron woman!
She's not only the strongest person I know, but she is loyal, driven, focused, generous, beautiful, creative and fun! She's an incredibly talented artist, a very independent young lady, and she's also at the top of the list for the dude who hands out karma.
The details of why are not really relevant here, but about a year ago, Lisa found herself in a less than desirable situation which meant that she had to leave the city she had come to love, and also leave all her Bristol buddies who had come to love her just as much.
Despite the life-changing events that resulted in her departure, Lisa's resilience and optimism prevented her from crumbling, and she is now not only all of the wonderful things I described her as previously, but also an incredible mum to a gorgeous baby boy.
Before Lisa left us to move back to the Midlands, I made her a leaving book to document some of her amazing memories of Bristol. Alongside the obligatory photographs of all the Brizzle fun times, I wrote her a fairytale built around some of the people she had met whilst living in the city, and featured the work of some of her favourite artists as well as her own creations.
Here's the fairy story that was featured, and some of the pics to go with the tale (keep your eyes peeled for the future edition 'When Lisa and Ryder moved back to Bristol and made our dreams come true!'):
There was once a young lady, Miss L B Hassell,
Who lived on a mountain in a beautiful castle,
But not out of choice, I must hasten to add,
As something had happened that was awfully bad.
This is the tale of how our girl Lis,
Was snatched from her world of joy and peace,
And was trapped by a monster who caused her much pain,
Who ensured that her world was never the same.
I’ll start at the beginning, a very good place to start,
When Lisa was a child, a girl with a big heart,
Who lived in a land far away with her mum,
A funny little place all the locals called ‘Brum’.
She had a head of blonde hair (sometimes dipped in pink)
Was happy go lucky and never kicked up a stink,
A girl who would scribble wherever she went,
(It was only when drawing that she was truly content.)
|Copyright freeboprich photography 2010|
She was always so smiley and made many a great friend,
Like Finders and Petey, the Ginge and McBellend,
There was Grimbo and Larry and the rugby head case,
All who adored Lisa’s shiny, happy face.
But then one day, whilst chomping a bacon baguette,
Lisa created a character that she would live to regret,
A creature that would go on to cause a right kerfuffle,
The (now notoriously evil) creation… Mr Shuffle!
|Mr Shuffle from the L Hassell collection|
“But how can a drawing be evil?” I hear you say,
Because this one had an agenda, and wanted Lisa to pay!
He was feeling hard done by as Lisa’s career was soaring,
And Mr Shuffle didn’t get a look in when Lisa went off touring.
From Belgium to Berlin, Lisa took her latest work,
But where was Mr Shuffle? At home like a berk!
So feeling cast aside like a manky old shoe,
Mr Shuffle started sulking, and feeling really blue.
|Coraçãozinho de Merda | Little Shitty Heart by Maria Imaginário|
‘She will never get away with this,’ Mr Shuffle said,
So late one night when Lisa was snuggled up in bed,
Mr Shuffle hatched a plan that would teach her well and good!
And get her banished from the Kingdom (Sutton Coldfield’s neighbourhood).
Now I maybe should have mentioned that this Kingdom had a King,
A lovely chap who’s praises all the residents would sing,
A fellow who was worshipped all the way across the land,
But anyone who broke his rules from the Kingdom would be banned.
So with this in his mind, Mr Shuffle built his plot,
And whilst the town were sleeping, he had all the animals shot!
If there was one thing the King loved more than power it was pets,
But now not a single one could be saved by the best of vets.
Whilst Sutton Coldfield’s residents were tucked up in their beds,
Mr Shuffle, as if not bad enough, took all of the animal’s heads!
And mounted them in Lisa’s room, masking his prints with socks,
So it looked as if she was the killer of the badger, the stag and the fox.
|Work by Paul Roberts at Deep into the Woods Exhibition, Bristol.|
When Lisa woke up the next morning, ready for a day of design,
She was overcome by aromas of wood, of bark, speckled alder and pine,
And when she looked out of the window, Lisa was staggered to see,
That she was surrounded by a dark forest, as far from Birmingham as could be.
She’d been taken by the King’s servant, a giant woman with skulls in her hair,
Who carried her away to the castle that was destined to be her new lair,
And locked her away in the tallest tower with no comfort to offer a guest,
It could only be described as a prison – a murky place of unrest.
The forest was crawling with creatures, tormented souls living in trees,
|Another beauty from the Hassell archive|
Crooked specimens who shrieked and cackled, floating along on the breeze,
A mermaid and her friend Mr Snowman, to whom she was constantly chained,
|By Gary Baseman|
None of them friends with our heroine, not even the bird that came when it rained.
|By Dave Bain|
Lisa began to grow lonely, and her world started turning to doom,
But then a miraculous discovery! A pencil appeared in the room,
So Lisa had an idea, a brainwave that would solve her plight,
And started to sketch away furiously, late on into the night.
By dawn she was exhausted, but her work had come to an end,
For Lisa had drawn a small person who was to become her greatest friend,
But the only difference with this new pal was that he had come from inside her,
The greatest of all her creations, her little baby Ryder.
Lisa looked upon his face and saw a twinkle in his eye,
It glittered bigger and brighter than any star up in the sky,
And from that moment the monsters outside may as well vanished into air,
For this tiny baby was the only thing that needed her attention and care.
© Holly Purcell 2012