Year Of Troublemaking

The ‘Tiny Stories’ vending machine, curated by Coralie Oddy-Propsting, is now out in the world and creating wonder everywhere it goes.

Tiny Stories Vending Machine

A few months ago I wrote about my lockdown art project — converting a broken down vending machine into one that dispenses artworks. The Tiny Stories Vending Machine is now out in the world.

Its first home is at Cave, a vibrant community art space in central London dedicated to anyone with the impulse to make. …

2021 #YearOfTroublemaking

Join a project to connect strangers by dispensing tiny stories — straight out of a vending machine

As part of the Compassionate Troublemaking plan to make 2021 the ‘Year Of Troublemaking’, we want to spotlight amazing mischief-makers and their wonderful forms of disruption. We kick off with Coralie Oddy-Propsting and her ‘Tiny Stories’ Vending Machine.

Photo by Lisheng Chang on Unsplash

As a new lockdown beckoned, I decided to put into action a collaborative art project I had been thinking about for years. The goal: to transform a small snack vending machine into one which dispenses ‘tiny stories’ in the form of different, beautiful pieces of artwork from a range of creative storytellers. …

How I (secretly) asked my husband to marry me

Photo by Daniel Álvasd on Unsplash

I like to make origami cranes for people. Sometimes I make them for friends. Sometimes I slip them into books or the pockets of clothes destined for the charity shop, for strangers to find. I often write secret notes inside the paper, knowing they are unlikely to be unfolded. Notes like — I love you, you’ve got this, you are enough.

I gave an origami crane to my husband once, before we were married. I told him I wanted him to look after it, and that this was really, really important…

How a stormy year finally let through the light

Photo by Max Di Capua on Unsplash

Four days before you were born — waddling painfully through the wet streets on the advice that ‘walking will make you feel better’- I saw the soft arc of a rainbow in the sky. It was a misty slice between clouds, the colours smudgy and not too defined. It wasn’t the perfect rainbow, but it was mine. And it was beautiful.

I had known for months that I wanted to surround you with rainbows. I’m really not the nursery decorating type (‘nursery’ sounds a bit grand for the spare room in…

How life modelling changed my life

Posing naked for art classes made me happier, healthier and more grounded than I’ve ever been

The first time I life modelled was at an event called Spirtied Bodies. It was women only. The model would talk while she posed, letting her body speak her truth and her truth speak her body. Models at Spirited Bodies spoke about their breast cancer and masectomies; their activism as they watched their home countries slip into dictatorship; their experiences being black; queer; fat; old; their loves and heartbreaks; and what modelling had taught them about themselves and…

Opting out of anti-racism isn’t an option

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Racism is a lot like a viral pandemic. It spreads everywhere and permeates everyone’s lives. In our own small actions, we personally may have had a hand in spreading it, even though we may not have known it or intended it. Nonetheless, everyone has a responsibility to fight against it.

With Covid, many people will come into direct contact with the virus and still never know it. Many will be infected but suffer no symptoms at all. Others have suffered and will suffer drastically. Others have, and will, die needlessly. This is why it is everyone’s responsibility to respond and…

The flickering rainbow

Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

The last time I found out I was pregnant, I punched the air. I crackled with excitement. I did a second test just to watch the twin lines swim into existence, the way the life inside me had. This time, I burst into tears. They were not happy tears. I’m so sorry, little one. I feel already I’m letting you down. I am just so scared. I don’t want to lose you too.

When my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at twelve weeks — just three months ago — I knew I could never treat you like the first baby…

Our miscarriage experiences need to be spoken about, and our stories deserve to be heard

Photo by Oscar Nord on Unsplash

TW: Graphic descriptions of the medical process of miscarriage

‘Wait twelve weeks before announcing your pregnancy’, everyone advises. ‘After that, the risk of miscarriage drops sharply.’

I was already twelve weeks pregnant when I saw the blood.

It was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know if the sudden spotting was normal. Henry and I called the pregnancy advice line at midnight, who told us to go to A&E if there was still blood in the morning. We waited at the bus stop in the…

Coralie Oddy-Propsting

Exploring art, activism, adventure and radical compassion, while finding my way as a parent and person

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