scotland

Angie Lewin, exhibition

Scottish nature drawings – Angie Lewin

There will be a new Angie Lewin exhibition:

Wednesday 2nd May – 2nd June 2018

The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

“Spey Path and Strandline”.

 

Circles, feathers and feather-like leaves abound in this collection of watercolours.  Also known for her strong graphic images as a printer, Angie recently exhibited at City Art Centre, in a group show with a few friends, “A Fine Line”. Previously written about on this blog here.

Read the exhibition catalogue for her new show, here.

And to see Angie at work with her printmaking, pop over to this earlier page in this blog.

 

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Poetry of Rain – W N Herbert

The Scottish poet Bill Herbert went to work in the Lake District of England for a while… and it rained for a month.  He wrote a list poem about rain, finding in it a series of new ways to describe a repeating, unpleasant phenomenon.  A tour de force.  It’s called “The Black Wet” and begins at 33 minutes into this video, ending 35 minutes 12.

It’s a cliche that in the UK, people talk about the weather when they meet – it’s a safe, neutral topic, it’s polite, it’s everyday.  But Bill Herbert’s poem takes that something banal and takes it into unusual wording and similes.

“It is not merely raining, 

it’s Windering and Thurling, it’s Buttering down.

It’s raining lakes, it’s raining grass-snakes,

it’s raining Bala, Baikal and Balalaikas…”

As he explains in the few minutes before he reads the poem, a sense of place is important in that poem – the area he was in, was where the English poet William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) famously lived – but Bill notes wryly that in the thousands of poems which Wordsworth wrote, he did not mention the rain, just once “a rainbow”.  From this, Bill wonders humorously aloud if WW was “on a backhander from the Tourist Board” (i.e. William Wordsworth was quietly paid by the Tourist Board NOT to mention the constant rain in case it put off tourists from visiting the area).

To get the wide range of language in the poem, Bill asked the local English people how they would describe the rain, put in those sayings, added his own extraordinarily colourful descriptions and topped it all off by titling the poem with his native Scottish phrase for rain: The Black Wet (to distinguish from snow which is “the White Wet”).

Creative Takeaways

What is the most every day, boring, banal occurrence where you live?  Might be the traditional conversation opener between strangers meeting at a bus stop.  Or a common relentlessly repeating part of the landscape.  Or particular weather conditions.  Find as many ways to represent that in your art/writing/craft, including the wildest, whackiest ways to describe it, until it become fun rather than humdrum.

Ceramics craft and Fine art: Fiona Byrne-Sutton

What do you see in this featured photo of one set of Fiona’s ceramic works?  (My answers at bottom of this post). Here’s a brief taster of an article in Craft Scotland – full version here.

  1. she’d like her work to be on show at the new V&A in Dundee, Scotland (currently being built)
  2. she makes freestanding ceramic assemblages
  3. very influenced by medieval art in Florence, Italy
  4. studied fine art at Goldsmiths Art College (sounds like the start of a Pulp pop song!)
  5. as mature student, went on to study ceramics at Glasgow School of Art and Cardiff
  6. happily blends fine art and crafts in her work
  7. there are serious health and safety risks in her artmaking

The 8th fact is that I am instantly drawn to her work, its ins and outs, negative space, simple but cheerful colourways.

I wonder what you see in the shapes on the shelf?

What I notice in the constructions on the shelf are shapes and suggestions of:

elephant, teapot, nougat, pointing, half hoops and a bucket, negative space, a well, a house, a still, a pointing finger, a window, a door, niche, archway, cavity, emptying, filling and visual rhymes (where sometimes the shape is actual and the same shape is in an opening or negative space).

stained glass, Arran

Stained Glass and Making films – Richard Leclerc and Make Works

Having had so many posts last week about collage – here are 2 similar in a much more expensive media – stained glass and video.

  1.  Stained Glass

    A brief, one and a half minute film about Richard Leclerc, who lives and works on Arran Island, with a stained glass making practice.

(more…)

Poetry Pilgrimage: Little Sparta

Two days ago, I went to Little Sparta, Scottish home of poet Ian Hamilton Finlay – whose garden contains words set in stone, playful and very often anti-war symbols – a place of imagination with 300 word/art works.

“The garden functions as a political statement…. it suggests that as it is possible to transform this hillside into a garden, so it is possible for man to transform the world or society.  It is an example of action and that’s very important to me.”

Ian Hamilton Finlay (in conversation with Melvyn Bragg, 1983

A theme which Ian brings into the conversation is how gardens have become a place for (more…)

14 tips for new TV comedy/drama writers

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The tone of this seminar at Xponorth2017 was very positive – some advice specifically for Scotland but generally useful for UK writers.

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Advice….

Main advice for new writers:

  1. Look at the website BBC Writersroom for writing opportunities in BBC but also theatres
  2. When there’s an open call for submissions, send in your scripts.
  3. Keep sending them your work so they get a sense of your writing style and you are on their database for future reference
  4. Easier to be a writer/performer (you already have your own audience)
  5. If you get your writing onto podcasts or youtube videos or theatre or radio – it will be spotted by these TV producers
  6. “The Break” is a great opportunity for new writers with no writing record
  7. If you want to write for River City get to know the show and its twenty-odd characters so you can write quickly and appropriately for them
  8. Write a sample script of an hour’s length – but make the first 10 pages fantastic – as these are definitely read
  9. make and send videos to the BBC Social programme
  10. find out the names of producers of TV programmes you like and try to contact them (they’re always looking for new content)
  11. an upcoming script editor is a great person to show work to, as they will champion you as a writer if they like your work (there was an example given where this got a writer noticed)
  12. be prepared to begin work in children or continuing drama (e.g. River city) as starting points, learning to write drama – many wellknown writers started out that way
  13. even tiny bits of experience on your c.v. (e.g sold a comedy sketch) will count towards getting you noticed
  14. the BBC Writersroom website has tons of resources – video interviews with writers, blogs, a script library with examples of layout – do use itIMG_2890.JPG(Lto R: Audrey, Keiran, Rab, Angela)

What are the BBC looking for in a new writer?

  • characters seem full and engaging
  • characters are fresh
  • you can write domestic (ie the ordinary) scenes well and make them exciting
  • a unique voice in the writer
  • you can write a full-length script for 30 mins drama
  • clear story
  • not derivative, something original
  • the reader instantly feels s/he cares about the characters

3 new major opportunities for Scotland-based writers:

  1. from October, the Writersroom based in England changed to have separate writersroom in the regions – so more local knowledge and chance to become known
  2. there is an upcoming new TV channel, BBC Scotland, which will need more content (begins broadcasting Autumn 2018) more on this at http://bbc.in/2m70MPf
  3. there is a new scheme coming up in August for 4 writers to become Shadow Writers for River City (ie be given the same brief as the professional writers, and given a chance to do the same work, in a separate stream).

 

(notes from a panel discussion at #Xponorth2017 in June 2017)

 

Highland Photographer: Iain Sarjeant

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Professional photographer Iain Sarjeant takes wonderful photos of a range of life in the Highlands of Scotland: trees, winter abstracts, land and light, colour and form, a sense of time, human places…

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worth popping over to his website for a look.  You may just find yourself buying a photo directly….

http://www.iainsarjeant.com/