For almost 20 years, Meadow Arts has brought cutting-edge contemporary art to unexpected locations. A new book tells the story, from its birth in a Welsh Border wildflower meadow (hence the name) to its pioneering work in cathedrals and country houses, farms and forests, schools, libraries, museums and bookshops.
Anne de Charmant, founder and curator, Tom Jeffreys, art critic and author of The White Birch: A Russian Reflection, and artist Alex Hartley discuss highlights from the book and its subject.
Colour and scent are the hallmarks of Sarah Raven's style – and they are simple luxuries that everyone can bring into their garden. A Year Full of Flowers reveals the hundreds of hardworking varieties that make the garden sing each month, together with the practical tasks that ensure everything is planted, staked and pruned at just the right time. Tracing the year at her home, Perch Hill in East Sussex, she shares the lessons learned from years of plant trials and explains the methods that have worked for her.
Carolyn Dunster's Cut & Dry shows how to make stunning bouquets from dried flowers, perfect for occasions that require long-lasting displays. The book is aimed at a new generation who are discovering this classic craft, and includes ideas for the home, for gifts and presentations. It suggests the best combinations of colour and texture to brighten up any space in any season.
Arthur Parkinson is a gardener and author of The Pottery Gardener and The Flower Yard.
On turning 80, David Hockney sought out rustic tranquillity for the first time: a place to watch the sunset and the changing seasons; a place to enjoy simple pleasures, undisturbed and undistracted: "We have lost touch with nature rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it". So when Covid-19 and lockdown struck, it made little difference to life at the centuries-old Normandy farmhouse where he had set up a studio the previous year, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation. His book affirms the capacity of art to divert and inspire, based on a wealth of conversations and correspondence with Martin Gayford, his long-time collaborator. Their exchanges are illustrated by a selection of Hockney’s new Normandy drawings and paintings, many previously unpublished. Martin Gayford is art critic of The Spectator. His books include A History of Pictures (with David Hockney) and Shaping the World: Sculpture from Pre-History to Now (with Antony Gormley).
This arts teacher was always a rule-breaker. At her school where more than 30 languages were spoken, she sensed urgent needs: mending uniforms, calling social services, shielding vulnerable teens from gangs. And she tailored each class to its pupils, fiercely believing in the power of art to unlock trauma, or give a mute child the confidence to speak. Time and again, she would be proved right. In 2018, when Andria won the million-dollar Global Teacher Prize, she knew exactly where the money would go: back into arts education for all, because she believes the UK government's cuts and curriculum changes are destroying the arts, while its refusal to tackle the threats of cyber-bullying, gang violence, hunger and deprivation puts teachers on the safeguarding frontline.
How have poets imagined language and how do these imaginings help us understand an essential tool of literature? Hopwood is the only woman to have won the three main prizes for poetry and prose in the Eisteddfod, Wales’ national cultural festival. She has been Children's Laureate for Wales and was awarded the Glyndwr prize for her contribution to literature. Her collection Nes Draw won the poetry section of the Welsh language Book of the Year Awards, 2016. Mererid has been awarded the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival 2020-21/Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship 2020-21. Dylan Moore held the post in 2019-2020.
Many D/deaf children (sign language users/those who are hard of hearing) struggle with Shakespeare as the methods of teaching are not easily accessible to them. There are at least 45,631 deaf children in the UK, only 41% of whom pass five GCSEs; 29% of deaf children use some form of sign language, but there are very few sign language-based resources for studying Shakespeare. The Signing Shakespeare project (born out of the collaboration between the University of Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company) has worked with D/deaf theatre practitioners and teachers of the D/deaf to tackle the problem of access. It has undertaken a pilot study on Macbeth with three schools for the D/deaf, producing active lesson plans based on RSC rehearsal-room practice, and making films of key scenes in British Sign Language.
Abigail Rokison-Woodall, project leader, is joined by Tracy Irish ( RSC), Angie Wootten (University of Birmingham) and Charlotte Arrowsmith (actor and director) to discuss the project's aims and methods and to showcase the films.
When Covid-19 closed galleries, libraries, archives and museums, what did we learn about their role? And how might a year of empty galleries, locked exhibitions and inaccessible collections transform the sector in the future? Now that so many archives are digitised, are these physical spaces and the collections they hold redundant? Join Xerxes Mazda, Head of Collections and Curation at the British Library, Louise Siddons, associate professor of art history at Oklahoma State University and a Fulbright Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, and Charles Saumarez Smith, former Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts and author of The Art Museum in Modern Times. They talk to Erica Wagner, author and critic, whose latest book is Chief Engineer, about the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Launching the Talk Art podcast in 2018, actor Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament had one aim: to make the art world more accessible. Since then, the podcast has become a global hit, featuring exclusive interviews with leading artists, curators, gallerists, actors, musicians and fellow art lovers. Talk Art the book is a guide to navigating the art world, covering media from photography and ceramics to performance and sound art, and introducing lesser known artists. The authors talk to the writer and critic Olivia Laing, author of Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency.
A woman invites a famous artist to the remote coastal landscape where she lives. Powerfully drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision may penetrate the mystery at the centre of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence soon twists the human patterns of her secluded household. From the author of the Outline trilogy, this is a fable of female fate and male privilege, and one of unfathomable attractions. Sheila Heti's eight books of fiction and non-fiction have been translated into 22 languages.
The author of An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to one who saw it, talks about her novel, The High House, to her uncle, the film director, producer, and screenwriter Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday, United 93 and the Bourne series). They discuss apocalyptic books and films, compare their individual creative processes and ask, how do ideas translate to the big screen? What are the influences on their recent work?
Translation is an act of activism that enables readers and citizens to think differently about power. Yet every translator understands their activism differently. What are translators’ roles in bringing about social change? How is transnational activism shaped by class, race, and geography, be it the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, the US or Europe?
Rebecca Ruth Gould is a writer, translator, and Professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature; Kayvan Tahmasebian is an Iranian poet, translator, critic, andMarie-Curie Research Fellow; both at University of Birmingham. They are co-editors of The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism and co-authors of a forthcoming book on translation as activism.
Ed Vaizey, former Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, leads a discussion on how our luxury brands can support our culture and its institutions in a time of crisis. On the panel is Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal and Provost of Oriel College, Oxford University, Iwona Blazwick from The Whitechapel Gallery, and Nina Plowman is managing partner at top PR agency Cultural Comms.
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Imagine yourself in the forest, sit by the fire and listen to the intoxicating song of the nightingale. Every year, as darkness falls in the woods, this mysterious bird heralds the arrival of spring. Throughout history, its sweet song has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world, from Germany, France and Italy to Greece, Ukraine and Korea. The conservationist, musician and folk expert reveals in beautiful detail the bird's song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood. Join us for a spell-binding blend of chat and music.
Leah Borromeo is a journalist, filmmaker and co-founder of Disobedient films.
A year of lockdowns and isolation has reinforced the importance of music and stories in sustaining our souls. We explore this dual topic with two of the finest proponents of these arts. John Densmore was the drummer in The Doors, and has had a long career in the music business, both creating and producing. In his memoir The Seekers: Meetings with Remarkable Musicians, he investigates the meaning of music with other artists and performers.
In Smoke Hole, the master storyteller and wilderness guide Martin Shaw invites us to use stories to face the complexities of contemporary life, from fake news, parenthood, climate crises to addictive technology and more. We are urged to reclaim our imagination and untangle ourselves from modern menace to find the truth in wilderness and beauty.
The ancient Welsh poem, The Gododdin, charts the rise and fall of 363 warriors in the battle of Catraeth, around the year AD 600. The men of the Brittonic kingdom of Gododdin rose to unite the Welsh and the Picts against the Angles, only to meet a devastating fate. Composed by the poet Aneirin, the poem was originally orally transmitted as a sung elegy, passed down for seven centuries before being transcribed in early Welsh by two medieval scribes. It is composed of one hundred laments to the named characters who fell, and follows sophisticated alliterative poetics. The former National Poet of Wales animates this historical epic with a modern musicality, making it live in the language of today.
Rufus Mufasa is an artist, literary activist, poet, rapper, singer-songwriter, theatre maker and a previous Hay Festival Writer at Work.
Growing up in Marsden in West Yorkshire, the Poet Laureate always associated his early poetic experiences with the night-time view from his bedroom window – those 'private, moonstruck observations' and the clockwork comings and goings in the village providing rich subject matter for his first poems. Decades on, that window continues to operate as both framework and focal point for the writing, the vastness of the surrounding moors always at his shoulder forming a constant psychological backdrop. Magnetic Fieldbrings together his Marsden poems, from his very first pamphlet to new work from a forthcoming collection. It offers his perspective on a locality he describes as 'transcendent and transgressive', a unique region forming a frontier territory between many different worlds.
A Vertical Art gathers together the poet's spirited public lectures delivered during his four-year tenure as Oxford University Professor of Poetry. Armitage tries to identify a 'common sense' approach to an art form that can lend itself to grand statements and vacuous gestures, questioning both the facile and obscure ends of the poetry spectrum. He asserts fundamental qualities that separate the genre from prose and song lyrics, examining who poetry is written for and its value today.