Issam Kourbaj, artist and mentor – “Dark Water, Burning World”

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Burning World, Cambridge, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Human rights, Issam Kourbaj, Kettle's Yard, Migration, WarLeave a Comment

Wonderful good fortune Sometimes you know that you have been really lucky! I was when I met Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist in Cambridge. I can’t remember who told me about Issam’s workshops but I went along to one without a clue about what to expect. Possibly I heard about Issam from someone at Cambridge Artworks where I had a […]

The very Special Olympic Games and stories of sex, love and politics

Ruth HartleyArt, Politics, Sailing, Sport, The Olympic Games, Writing2 Comments

 The Special Olympics and my good fortune                 How could I not write about the Special Olympics when the media are bursting with stories about the Winter Olympics and its stars? I can count myself among the very privileged because I was at the Special Olympics with John in both Shanghai and Athens. […]

Parisot Literary Festival – writers, readers, books, stories – a weekend of pleasure and good company

Ruth HartleyArt, Books, illustration, Reading, Reviews, Storytelling, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing, Writing Process1 Comment

Good company and pleasure at Parisot 82 What better company can there be? A delightful French village called Parisot, the well-organised Parisot literary festival with good companions, excellent food and wine – and BOOKS!! John and I enjoyed ourselves so much that I failed to get photos of the people I met and so you’ll have to do mostly with […]

Pascale Petit’s art and poetry: The Survival of the Artist and of our World

Ruth HartleyArt, Migration, Storytelling, Writing Process2 Comments

What connections are there between art, song, poetry, dance and all of us? Pascale Petit has generously agreed to let me put her video about her art on my post. I was moved by what she says in it and I found many thought-provoking links and connections in it to my own feelings and experiences of art, poetry and the […]

Falling out of Wonderland – Alice Backwards

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Books, illustration, Imagination8 Comments

Alice Backwards Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson) – one of the most wonderful books of my childhood. I’ve written an upside-down poem about a book I love that has been beautifully illustrated by so many inspired artists. I hope you enjoy my take on it. To go with the poem are links to some film clips […]

Storytelling in words and pictures and & what it means for history, fiction and our lives today

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Books, Colonialism, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, War, Zambia3 Comments

The importance of art and photos – Gallery 37d Lusaka Zambia Its wonderful when things come together to help enrich our lives and our understanding of the world. There is an art gallery in Lusaka Zambia – Gallery 37d – that is the home of the stART Foundation which supports Zambian artists. Apart from this important work they have been […]

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

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Art Process, Creativity, Zambia5 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, Zambia14 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 […]