COMMUNITY ART, CARING FOR THE PLANET, Part 2

Snowdrops – Mandy Burton

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

COMMUNITY ART, CARING FOR THE PLANET, Part 1

Mandy Burton teaching children to make Landfill Gulls

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.

Leslie: Can you tell the story, please, of how you became an environmental artist and what has gone into some of your most representative projects. Continue reading COMMUNITY ART, CARING FOR THE PLANET, Part 1

LOVING LIFE, ACTS OF MERCY AND RAPPING WITH M.E.

Stacy Hart as Mama Chill

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 worthyStacy Hart.

Leslie: Can you explain, please, the meaning of the following phrases you use on your website:

LIFE AS AN INDIE FILM-MAKER

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

WORDS AND ART FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE

Nancy Campbell, photographed by Mark Walton.

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

NON-BINARY ARTIST & WRITER DISCUSS CREATIVITY

Karolina
Leslie

Artist Karolina Alexiou and author Leslie Tate exchanged ideas about their creative processes, and how much their work is connected to being non-binary .

Leslie: So, where do we start if we’re relating creativity to stepping outside the gender box?

Karolina: It’s good to speak as queer artists, but it doesn’t have to be queerness that’s the main point of our artworks. So I don’t think queerness manifests in an overt way in my work. Androgyny is perhaps the most obvious manifestation. Continue reading NON-BINARY ARTIST & WRITER DISCUSS CREATIVITY

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CRIME FICTION?

Kate Vane

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?

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?

Barbara Navarro acrylic and sand, Rio Orinoco

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?

Author and Poet