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→
I talked to artist Barbara Navarro, who lives during winter with Yanomami communities in S. America, creating artworks that protest against the destruction of tropical forests and the degradation of the way of life of indigenous people. Barbara’s innovative art was originally inspired by staying with the Dogon people in W. Africa and later with the Yanomami. She has also written and illustrated children’s fantasy/adventure books about how Yanomami communities live and the magical connection they have with nature. Barbara has a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and now lives, during the summer months, in Paris. Continue reading ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?→
I interviewed white witch, novelist and blogger Marjorie Mallon about her active creative life and the community of creative minds she works with. Marjorie , who is a busy book reviewer, won first prize in the 2018 Bloggers Bash Blog Post Writing Competition. She says about herself: “My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I’m a passionate Scorpio and a lucky rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac, who was born in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong and Edinburgh and now lives in Cambridge, UK. When not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn or Qilin, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.” Continue reading MARJORIE MALLON AND THE GRASSHOPPER OF TIME→
I interviewed Ken Edwards who , with his wife Elaine, plays music that is influenced by ‘Klezmer, Sephardic, Balkan, Cuban, folk-rock and jazz’ – but in a style that is very much their own. I wanted to know how Ken and Elaine have kept their music fresh, alive and outside the box.
This beautiful lyrical essay about growing up in Tahiti and losing her father is byLillian Howan, author of ‘The Charm Buyers‘. Lillian‘s writings have appeared in Asian American Literary Review, Café Irreal, Calyx, New England Review, Vice Versa, and the anthologies Ms Aligned 2 & Under Western Eyes. She lives in Berkley, USA.
Lights from a Distance
Whenever I visited my father in Tahiti, I arrived at night. After a several-hours flight over dark sea and sky, lights would start to appear, and a murmur would arise from some of the passengers – someone saying: look, lights! At first, the lights would be few and distant, scattered in the vast blackness, but then more and more would appear, random dots, and then a long cluster of lights along a coastline, the island of Tahiti appearing out of the darkness. Continue reading TAHITI: THE IMAGE IN THE MIND→
In this two-part feature, Lillian Howan, author of a powerful novel set in Tahiti, offers a revealing interview and a lyrical essay describing her cultural heritage, her creativity and her experience of lupus. It also includes pictures of Polynesian Islands threatened by climate change, taken by Lillian’s sister-in-law, Françoise Holozet-Howan.
I interviewed artist, printmaker and teacher Sheila de Rosa, who is based in Tring, Hertfordshire. Sheila says about herself, “My art combines themes from Sublime Art, through Feminist Theory and into Maternal Subjectivity, and my projects often include a form of printed impression. Materials and form determine my subject matter.”
Leslie: Where did the idea of a coffee shop first come from? How far back does your interest go?
Ender: The idea began when I was young, living in Kurdistan. Let me explain… I was brought up as an Alevi, a traditional way of life in Western Anatolia. It’s one of the two main Kurdish groups. So I was raised in a self-sufficient farming village where men and women shared things and worked together. I don’t recall money in our village – instead people would exchange animals for crops and vice versa. It was a close, caring community. If anyone wasn’t self-sufficient they would be given food and other necessaries to live on. Continue reading COFFEE & PEOPLE – THE KURDISH WAY→