Robert Loder and his gift to Zambian artists of the Triangle International Artists Workshops

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Creativity, Zambia4 Comments

Making Art This blog is a tribute to Robert Loder, a great and generous person. Some of the best things that happened to me in Zambia were because I met Robert Loder and he involved me in his passion for setting up artists’ workshops. “Making art is what is important,” Robert said to me one day. I have never forgotten […]

Gabriel Ellison – artist, writer, designer and extraordinary woman

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Books, Zambia11 Comments

  Gabriel Ellison Gabriel Ellison, MBE and Grand Officer of Distinguished Service, was a very private person. You would never have guessed from her manner what an important role she has played in Zambia or that she was decorated by both the British Government and the Zambian government for her services to the arts in Zambia. She worked tirelessly all […]

The sound and colour of an authentic African voice

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Colonialism, Learning, Nuanced Thinking, Racism, Slavery

Slavery and Slavers, Black and White and Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B A similar debacle to the recent Whitney event mentioned in my previous post, took place in London in September 2014 when a South African artist, Brett Bailey, showed  Exhibit B. Did Bailey want to make the descendants of white colonists and  slavers think about their historic involvement in this […]

Do writers and artists think about the colour of their skin or what is inside and outside it?

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Racism2 Comments

Right and wrong writing and art My last post had some very interesting comments made about it. I also had follow-up by email and I was sent this NBC News article from the USA which contains a quote that seemed very important for me personally. Thank you to those who sent and forwarded this article. Here’s the quote but the […]

Is White Writing Black, Right Writing or Wrong Writing?

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Politics, Race, Storytelling, The Tin Heart Gold Mine8 Comments

Writing black and white people, men and women, good and bad. This is a rewrite of post on Marginal Scribbling that contains some complicated ideas that need thrashing out with other writers and readers. I intended to repost this anyway but it seemed more relevant after the launch of my novel The Tin Heart Gold Mine because I was asked […]

Writing and selling The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Promotion, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing5 Comments

Writers need to sell books Writers write – rather than talk about what they write – but the current publishing market forces us to become Independent Authors and acquire self-promotional skills entirely different from writing. The idea of a book launch for The Tin Heart Gold Mine gave me sleepless nights, but, nevertheless, we decided to hold the event at […]

See you at The Tin Heart Gold Mine book launch!

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Reading, Storytelling, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing Process0 Comments

Excitement is building for The Tin Heart Gold Mine official book launch, to be held at the Café du Centre, Maubourguet, at 19:00 on 24th March 2017. I’m looking forward to enjoying a glass of wine and some snacks with interested readers and friends. As well as reading some excerpts from the book, I will answer questions about it and […]

Tomorrow Mountain and the writing of Today’s Stories

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Education, Politics, The Tin Heart Gold Mine21 Comments

Tomorrow Mountain today There were debts to be paid. I knew that. I hope that I’ve made a small repayment in The Tin Heart Gold Mine. When I was a girl of 16 I lived with my mother and stepfather one day’s walk from Tomorrow Mountain. It stood out against the sky, a long shape humped at both ends like […]

Paris, Africa and Otto Dix’s war paintings

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Graphic novel, The Tin Heart Gold Mine4 Comments

I have just returned from two nights in Paris where I visited a museum exhibition about Africa, saw paintings, and was reminded of Otto Dix’s war paintings — and his paintings of war injuries in particular. We travelled there by train, which gave me many lovely hours of dozily dreaming and reading. It was a foggy, misty day so staring […]

The challenge to write The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Mining, Politics, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing Process4 Comments

My life in Zambia was a challenge but wonderful. I was lucky to have extraordinary and enriching experiences. It gave me respect and love for its people, its wilderness, wild animals and beauty. There aren’t many stories written about this period so that was an opportunity to write something new. It was a time full of confusion and conflict as […]