I’m lying on my side in a darkened studio with lights and a camera pointed at my bare back. Christoffer is taking the pictures, directed by Andreas and Dagmara. The studio is in Aarhus, Denmark, I’m naked, and the film, called ‘Landscapes’, puts together close-up images of seven LGBTQI people over 60.
It’s a four-hour shoot, first across my back then tight on my chest, moving to my hand and finally to my upper body and face. While the camera pans through smoke effects and I’m in the picture, the film crew are exclaiming how beautiful it looks. Dagmara calls the session ‘funky’. It’s as if they’re sightseers in a gallery being constantly surprised and astonished by the artwork they see there. Continue reading ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate→
Librarian Zaberjad Iftikhar talks to Leslie Tate about her views on UK multi-culturalism. Zaberjad is a young, British-born woman, coming from a Pakistani family living in Burnley, Lancashire. As a librarian, she is widely read with a keen interest in culture, diversity and education. Zaberjad describes her younger self as, ‘split into multiple pieces so that I could fit in’ – but goes on to say how she’s come to feel, with age, ‘it’s OK to be different’.
In part two of her interview, artist and environmentalist Mandy Burton talks about what she’s learned from working with young people, her writing, and how she’s overcome personal setbacks.
Leslie: What have you learned from your work to engage young people?
Mandy: I do hope to connect with young people through my writing. Engaging young people through community art is tough, you have to please the funders, the managers and users of the venue where the work will be sited, and inspire and teach the group. All whilst keeping to deadlines and within budget. After moving South, I didn’t have the energy to establish myself as an artist here. Continue reading COMMUNITY ART, CARING FOR THE PLANET, Part 2→
Mixed-media artist Mandy Burton specialises in working with environmental themes, using salvaged materials in her commissioned and personal work. I interviewed Mandy in two parts about her assemblage & installations, her creative work with young people, and her graphic story book for young children. Mandy, who was inspired by the early pioneers of Permaculture, has a passionate concern for sustainability and the environment.
In part one of the interview Mandy concentrates on her upbringing and community art projects.
Watford rapper, columnist and dream interpreter, Stacy Hart, talks about music and dealing with personal loss/illness while continuing to help other people. Stacy, who has M.E., discusses how to stay conscious and respectful of life while keeping a sense of humour. As far as I’m concerned all life is worthy – Stacy Hart.
Leslie: Can you explain, please, the meaning of the following phrases you use on your website:
I interviewed independent film-maker Molly Brown, winner of the Golden Trellick Award at the Portobello Film Festival. Molly is a prolific director who scripts, shoots and edits films involving actors and animations, covering a wide range of genres including comedy, horror and parody – though if asked, she will say that if she has a genre, her genre is ‘silly’ – and does it nearly all by herself! Her work has been included in more than 300 screenings, including official selections in film festivals in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Canada, the U.S., Australia, Serbia, Italy, and France. Continue reading LIFE AS AN INDIE FILM-MAKER→
I interviewed poet, art critic and environmentalist Nancy Campbell about her Arctic residencies, her climate change projects, and her work supporting threatened cultures. Shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection, Nancy is also an innovative printmaker who has won the Birgit Skiöld Award. She was a Marie Claire ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2016 for activities including the Arctic Book Club and The Polar Tombola, an interactive live literature event. Nancy’s latest book, The Library of Ice, a blend of cultural history, nature writing and memoir, is published by Scribner UK. Continue reading WORDS AND ART FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE→
Author Kate Vane guest blogs about the power of crime fiction to question the controlling nature of institutions and explore people’s motivations. As a crime novelist herself, Kate has been praised for her skilful pen portraits: ‘Characterisation was the thing that really made this book great for me.’ – Ashrae (Amazon top 500 reviewer) on Brand New Friend, Kate’s latest novel.
Kate says of herself: “I lived in Leeds for a number of years where I worked as a probation officer. I started writing crime fiction because I thought made-up criminals would be easier to manage (I was wrong). I’ve published four novels and also written for BBC drama Doctors. My short stories and articles have appeared in various publications and anthologies, including Mslexia and Scotland on Sunday. I’ve always loved the sea, and now live on the beautiful south Devon coast. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably in the garden.” Continue reading WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CRIME FICTION?→