TAKING ACTION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE: MY ARREST

An account, written on Easter Sunday, 2019, of my arrest in London during the climate change protest :

‘It’s 8.30am and I’ve just got home after being arrested yesterday on Waterloo Bridge at about 4.00pm – yes, I was part of the Extinction Rebellion London occupation… Continue reading TAKING ACTION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE: MY ARREST

THE LIFE OF AN AUTHOR, ART DIRECTOR AND XR WRITER

Caroline Grebbell reading at Event Horizon. Edinburgh. June 2016.

I interviewed Northern Irish author Caroline Grebbell about her many creative projects. Trained in animation and set design, Caroline has been an Art Director in film and television for over twenty years. In 2017, she achieved an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Edinburgh Napier University, and has since been nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. Her speculative novella Cala Briste is to be published later in the year. Caroline is a contributing writer for Extinction Rebellion.

Leslie: You’ve worked in writing, films, theatre, opera, photography and you’re a climate activist. What have been the tipping points from childhood onwards that pushed you into different forms of expressive activity? Continue reading THE LIFE OF AN AUTHOR, ART DIRECTOR AND XR WRITER

THE JOYS OF ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Sarah Lodge (right) with Jane Porter (left) at the House of Illustration Summer Fair

I interviewed children’s book illustrator Sarah Lodge, who has been shortlisted for the AOI World Illustration Awards New Talent Award, asking her what goes into her artwork for books and exhibitions. Sarah says about herself: “I would get more enjoyment and purpose out of a child picking up a book I had illustrated than I would from an artwork hanging on a gallery wall.”

Leslie: How did you begin as an artist? Who and what has helped and hindered your artistic development? Continue reading THE JOYS OF ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS

UNTAMED MUSIC FOR HEALING THE PLANET PART 2

Ailsa Laurel Crown. Photo by Karel Mujica,

In Part Two of my interview with Ailsa Mair Hughes she talks about working with musicians, circus performers, storytellers and exploring indigenous music.  Ailsa describes several creative projects, including her ‘Moonchoir’ and  ‘Soundmapping’ and the healing power of ‘the myths of the land where we live’ .  In all of her projects, Ailsa says that she brings with her, ‘A passion for the connection between music and nature’.

Leslie: What have been your most exciting artistic collaborations so far – why them? Continue reading UNTAMED MUSIC FOR HEALING THE PLANET PART 2

UNTAMED MUSIC FOR HEALING THE PLANET PART 1

Ailsa Mair, fire spirits, photo by Barnaby ‘Badger’ Brown

I interviewed musician and storyteller Ailsa Mair Hughes who improvises on her cello outdoors, sings, composes, and works with other artist in dynamic site-specific creative projects. Ailsa describes herself as ‘an untamed musician’ who performs ‘up trees, on boats, streets and beaches and more’.  In all of her projects, Ailsa says that she brings with her, ‘A passion for the connection between music and nature’. Continue reading UNTAMED MUSIC FOR HEALING THE PLANET PART 1

CHISATO MINAMIMURA – A DEAF DANCER’S FIFTH SENSE

Chisato Minamimura. Photo by Mark Pickthall©

I interviewed Chisato Minamimura, a Deaf dance artist who has performed in over 40 international locations working with Candoco Dance Company, Graeae Theatre Company and others. She appeared at the London Paralympic Opening Ceremony 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Cultural Olympiad. Chisato, by collaborating with cutting-edge digital artists, has created a unique style of choreography from a Deaf perspective that she calls ‘visual sound/ music’. Continue reading CHISATO MINAMIMURA – A DEAF DANCER’S FIFTH SENSE

HEATHER TWEED – DREAM ART AND TREASURE HUNTS

Heather Tweed – Anubis Installation, Centrespace Gallery. Lifesize, faux fur, mixed media.  © Paul Chapman

I interviewed artist Heather Tweed whose creative work embraces painstaking historical research, popular 19th Century entertainment, and dark & mythic dream-figures. Heather’s often teasing and evocative art has been shown in Venice, Bristol and at The Edinburgh Festival. Heather, who studied at Exeter, Leicester and City University London,  is a multi-media artist and teacher practised at using paper maché, sculpted clay, language and sewn fabric.

Leslie: What was it about your childhood and education that gave you your continuing interest in art, sculpture, sewing and books? Continue reading HEATHER TWEED – DREAM ART AND TREASURE HUNTS

A SOUTH AFRICAN HERSTORY

Bridget Pitt

I interviewed Bridget Pitt, anti-apartheid activist, environmentalist and novelist. Bridget’s story ‘Next Full Moon We’ll Release Juno‘ was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story competition, and ‘The infant Odysseus’ was runner up in the 2015 Short Sharp Story Award. Recently, ‘The Rhino’s Child‘ came second in the Aftermath End of the World Short Story contest.

Bridget says about her novels: “My first published novel, ‘Unbroken Wing’, was written in the sleep-starved daze of early motherhood, and draws on my experiences in the anti-apartheid struggle. ‘The Unseen Leopard’, published after 12 years of procrastination and feverish rewriting, reflects my growing concern with environmental issues… Continue reading A SOUTH AFRICAN HERSTORY

TXLIPS – WOMEN WHO ROCK

Txlips

I interviewed Gabriella Logan (Guitar Gabby) who founded and manages the all-Black Woman, Afro-rock band Txlips. The band describe themselves as “…a dynamic group of diverse Black women across the U.S. whose mission it is to challenge the boundaries set for women in the music industry as well as to inspire girls and women worldwide to be an unstoppable force.”

Leslie: In a nutshell, what kind of music do you play? What’s behind your name ‘The Txlips Band’? Continue reading TXLIPS – WOMEN WHO ROCK

Author and Poet