Tomorrow, a new 10-part series titles Artists in Love starts on Sky Arts; it will feature painters, musicians, dancers, actors and writers and their muses. Each episode will explore the story and relationship of an artist and their muse (read the write up HERE).
I will be watching it if I can, because the central theme of my first novel I Am a Muse is exactly that: an exploration of the intense and all-consuming relationship of an artist and his muse.
In the book, Alda Thunberg has spent forty heady years as the Perfect Muse for her husband, painter and sculptor Alastair Maynard. After his passing, she herself is barely alive: his death has deprived her of her raison d'être; she has been his muse and inspiration for so long that on his disappearance, she is left hollow and disembodied. Even though Alda is herself an artist, she realises that she has neglected her own practice for so long that she finds herself unable to create again.
Can those who inspire be in turn inspired?
Does being a muse equates to surrendering yourself to another, more powerful talent and forgetting yourself in the process?
As we follow writer Dan Brigstoke's work on Alastair's biography, we snatch a few glimpses of Alda and Alastair's life before the painter's demise, and we begin to realise how complex the relationship between an artist and their muse can be.
A few weeks ago, just before the madness kicked in with the house, I interviewed two talented artists for music promoters Chaos Theory's website; I spoke (via email) to Jo Quail and Poppy Ackroyd ahead of their concert at St John on Bethnal Green on 19th March.
I was supposed to attend the event that Saturday, but we just couldn't make it on the day because of stupid, boring real life stuff...
I am absolutely gutted I couldn't be there, and even more now that we had to let go of the house which was the reason for our absence...
Jo and Poppy's answers are fantastic and really give a fascinating insight into their creative processes.
Read Jo's interview HERE.
Read Poppy's interview HERE.
Some great photos of the evening by AngeLM photography HERE.
Some more fab photos by Simon Kallas photography HERE (Jo) and HERE (Poppy).
You can read a review of the evening HERE on the Peek-a-boo magazine website.
HERE's a superb review of Jo's new album, Five Incantations, as well as a piece about the evening at St John on Bethnal Green by Adrian on his Specs blog.
Below is Jo Quail's brand new video, Gold.
Here's Poppy's Timeless.
So after two intense months and loads of money spent lining the pockets of various surveyors, solicitors and estate agencies, I am sorry to say that Arcane's move to Dorset is not going to happen any time soon, and we will remain based in the South East for the time being... We had found a gorgeous house which was everything we wanted and would have made a perfect HQ for our operations but it was a very rotten apple indeed. It just took ages to make the decision to finally let it go...
So we are keeping our base in "sunny Southend" and moving on...
This episode has stunted my creativity and it is going to take a while to get back into the swing of things.
I haven't touched The Right Place since early February...
A writer indeed...
In late February, I hosted my first ever event in London (after almost 20 years in the area, it was high time!) and thanks to the expertise of Alan Pride of event organiser oil54, the evening ran smoothly and was a great success...
Firstly, you will find superb pictures of our London: Winter Tales event on photographer Steve Kenny's website HERE.
You can also download the interview booklet featuring all the artists who appeared at the event HERE.
Hi-Reciprocity's Simon Satori has written a delightful review of the evening, and it is with immense pleasure that we are sharing it with you below.
"This review is purely for my own lousy memory and is not meant as a serious critique of the night or its individual acts; just a few observations and opinions. I may even have the running order slightly wrong but in summary, I loved it! It ran shockingly smoothly for a nine act show and all the work behind the scenes seemed organized, friendly and professional.
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to sort out the issues we have been dealing with recently and have to take a break from social media/blogging/anything fun and interesting, etc.
It is the first time I've had to do this since I started this blog and founded Arcane Publishing, and it is truly heartbreaking to stop doing the things I love the most: writing, researching, going to gigs and art exhibitions and writing about them...
I sincerely hope that things will get a bit better in a few weeks, but in the meantime, please do have a look around my website where you will find more info about my books, the unit I run with Matt ArtPix at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset, and our forthcoming releases.
We have so many projects and are very sad to be unable to work on them at the moment.
The Arcane Publishing website also has quite a lot of info about the imprint and the books... Do go and have a look!
We will be back as soon as possible!
I think therefore I write.
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