The magical world inside a storybook

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Books by Ruth Hartley, Creativity, Dust and Rain, ImaginationLeave a Comment

Where do we go and what happens when we open a book and read a story? Is the story only the product of the printed words on the page or do we create a new personal magical world that goes beyond the print? Where do our thoughts and imagination come from? Such gifts aren’t given us by schools even if […]

The colour of light and the rainbow

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Colonialism, Creativity, Race, Racism, Visual ArtsLeave a Comment

What made the Europeans:- the French, the British and the Germans and the rest so successful at building their empires? What made them so cruel in the execution of their power? Was it that thin epidermal layer that covered their bodies yet provided minimal pigmentation protection? Did their skin colouration make them evil? Did it make them successful? Technology and […]

Lines in the sand erased in the sea of history

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Colonialism, Creativity, History, Power, Slavery, SuffrageLeave a Comment

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ There was a regular history exam question at my school that asked students to debate whether ‘the hour made the man or the man made the hour’. It usually related to a period of history that we had just finished studying. For example – did Britain’s survival in WW2 depend solely on Winston Churchill’s […]

Beauty, culture, colonialism and the purpose of art

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Festival, Hamera and Hartley, Installations, m’Other Art, Religion, Visual Arts3 Comments

Can standards of beauty be imposed on artists? What is beauty and is it an essential part of art? Is there such a thing as a universal standard of beauty in art? I ask because the questions are relevant to discussions about the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures. That’s an enormous subject and there won’t be any quick or […]

Art, beauty, colonialism and Mpapa Gallery

Ruth HartleyAesthetics, Art Process, Colonialism, Creativity, Education, Mpapa Gallery, Visual Arts, Zambia6 Comments

Discussion about art and beauty – and art and colonisation – is challenging. My past connection with Zambia and Mpapa Gallery, and my present connection with post-colonialism and my own art are about how I live my life. It has been said that Mpapa Gallery was colonial in its support for artists. Mpapa Gallery wasn’t and couldn’t be colonial for […]