Excerpt from ‘Purple’, Matthew Lavender’s coming-of-age tale about courtship, free love and the generation gap. In this reading from chapter three Matthew’s gran, Mary, begins her story. Filmed/edited by Cynthia Nolan and Rory Gardner. You can read more about/buy Purple here.
I interviewed Dawn Finch, librarian, activist, novelist and historical researcher about her amazing range of cultural interests. Dawn is the past president of the leading UK professional body for librarians CILIP and writes novels for young adults as well as books about ancient history.
I asked Alicja O’Sullivan, whose photographs have been exhibited in several major cities and in Italian Vogue, about what inspires her. Alicja writes:
‘Photography has been my passion since I remember, although I started professionally quite late. I am from Poland, which was at that time a quite rigorously restricted country…. When I was about 12-13 years old I wanted to join our school photography club, but was laughed at by my teacher and was told to forget it as photography is not for girls. Continue reading THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY→
Jo Young is a modern war poet, shortlisted for the Flambard Poetry Prize, currently researching the subject for a PhD. I asked her about her writing and her views on war as a woman and an army reservist.
Christine Rollitt is a gifted and versatile stitched textile artist, who has worked with several textile artist groups as well as design and retail companies. She has exhibited in Bahrain. London, Newcastle upon Tyne, Harrogate, Dublin, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Redbourne and Berkhamsted. I interviewed Christine about her fine art training and how it has led to her current work which includes, in her own words, her ‘hand-dyed fabrics that focus on painterly qualities’.
Leslie: What attracted you to mixed-media/textile art? Why this medium?
Christine: I have always had a love of textiles. Some of my earliest memories are of items of clothing as a three year old child. My interest was further enhanced by being sent a box of fabric scraps by my aunt when I was about nine years old. My ancestors worked in the lace industry in Nottingham. Stitch is another mark-making tool, just like a brush loaded with paint.Continue reading AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY→
The last colour I remember seeing was outside the doctor’s office where I lived at the time, Decatur, GA, and it was the yellow of some daffodils (or jonquils as they’d probably have been in America). I don’t see colours any more, though the tiny bit of usable sight I have allows me to notice strong contrasts and movement, so if you wave your hand in front of me or open a door in my line of sight, then I may notice the movement and be able to deduce that it is a door or a hand based on where I am at the time. Continue reading THE POETRY OF BLINDNESS→
‘Three Words is an exploration of relationships and love, with its many forms and facets. Love can be the purest and most powerful force for good on this earth. But there are many things that can masquerade as love, and some of them just aren’t. Obsession, possession, manipulation, guilt, false expectation; these all feed into the emotions we have around love and how it should be and can completely destroy trust and relationships.
The book is very loosely based around the fairy tale The Little Mermaid, but pleases don’t be put off. It’s not Disney, I assure you! The original fairy tales as I’m sure you know were very much darker and far from sugar sweet. That’s where my interest lies.
I interviewed distinguished American poet Pamela Uschuk, winner of numerous prizes including the War Poetry Prize, New Millenium Poetry Prize, Struga International Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Daniels Writing Award. In her latest collection, Blood Flower, Pamela writes about the startling, sometimes brutal stories of her Russian/Czech immigrant family and the long-term effects of war on combatants.
‘My concern with war is a theme throughout my life.’
‘I think in my family, I am the keeper and maker of the stories.’