Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club

Honesty and truthfulness – these are the outstanding virtues of a great artist. And as a creative writer I am currently finding inspiration from  artist Grayson Perry as he showcases “Covid-19 lockdown art” in his TV show “Grayson’s Art Club” on Channel 4. Grayson makes use of our contemporary culture which he transforms into artContinue reading “Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club”

Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 17: West Auckland, New Zealand: Piha and Karekare Beaches

This is the seventeenth in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, which I visited in November 2019. Today is the first of my posts on New Zealand’s North Island. We flew into Auckland from Brisbane, and our first experience of the spectacular scenery was in West Auckland. DrivingContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 17: West Auckland, New Zealand: Piha and Karekare Beaches”

Glass Sculpture Transforming Kew Gardens

I recently made another visit to Kew Gardens, where we were enchanted by several glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. Placed in the most surprising areas – at the top of the Sion Vista, just outside the Temperate House, hovering over the pond in the water Lily House, or cunningly nested in amongst the tropicalContinue reading “Glass Sculpture Transforming Kew Gardens”

The National Portrait Gallery, London: a Cloud of Masters and Witnesses

At the National Portrait Gallery recently, as I wandered through the Victorian and Twentieth Century and Contemporary Galleries, I realised that I was surrounded by all the most amazing people who have moved or inspired me or touched my heart, during my lifetime. The people whose faces I gazed at included preRaphaelite artists John WaterhouseContinue reading “The National Portrait Gallery, London: a Cloud of Masters and Witnesses”

The Beatles, A Cry From the Heart, and a Curious Collection of Letters From Beatles Fans Full of Youthful Passion

Did you know my very first published work under the name of SC Skillman was a cry from the heart, in the form of a poem which appeared in print courtesy of The Beatles? No? Here it is, a cry from the heart of a frustrated fan, as it first appeared in Beatles Monthly editionContinue reading “The Beatles, A Cry From the Heart, and a Curious Collection of Letters From Beatles Fans Full of Youthful Passion”

Book Review: The Beatles Lyrics by Hunter Davies

Having received this book as a Christmas gift, substantial 375-page tome that it is, I devoured it in a few days. I found the book utterly compelling. Hunter Davies starts by describing his search among collectors, companies and auction houses for what must surely rank among the most valuable “scruffy scraps of paper” in theContinue reading “Book Review: The Beatles Lyrics by Hunter Davies”

Hope That Eurovision Might Value Performers for Their Own Sake and Not for Their Country’s Politics

I was pleased to see Austria’s win in the Eurovision Song contest 2014. Not only was there the pleasure in seeing a country win that had not seen success at Eurovision for 49 years, but also I thought it a genuinely good song, performed beautifully by Conchita Wurst who has a wonderful voice. The standardContinue reading “Hope That Eurovision Might Value Performers for Their Own Sake and Not for Their Country’s Politics”

What Do We Do About Art? There’s Always a Little Shop At The End

What do we do about art  when we wander around great art galleries and museums? We see wonderful things on the walls and maybe we’re overwhelmed. These great art works are distanced from us, somehow, by the awesome spaces and dimensions of the gallery. We could never have these original art works on the wallsContinue reading “What Do We Do About Art? There’s Always a Little Shop At The End”

The Dream of William Morris at Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds

My dream, wrote the designer William Morris, is a dream of what has never been… and therefore, since, the world is alive, and moving yet, my hope is the greater that it one day will be… dreams have before now come about of things so good… we scarcely think of them more than the daylight,Continue reading “The Dream of William Morris at Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds”

Passion, Obsession and Curiosity at the Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London

What makes art? A listener posed this  question to our tour guide as we stood looking at two art gallery walls covered with self-portraits of a bag lady, taken in various public photo booths. And this  was the question I pondered as I , with my two teenage children, looked round an exhibition of wondersContinue reading “Passion, Obsession and Curiosity at the Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London”