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Choreopoet, Performer - of song, music,poetry playwright,director,publisher, composer,multi-media artist, journalist, blogger, creative visionary arts, cultural activist, sojourner, urban griot,chamelon dreamer

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Alan Silitoe - RIP Inspirational Literary Iconoclast & Working Class Hero

I sat watching the BBC Big Screen Leicester enjoying the uncommon sunshine, the intriguing short films and of course sports and news. To read 'Alan Silitoe has died' it was a shock, I felt sadness for his family and friends. I thought about his ground breaking and substantial literary legacy. I am part of that legacy this piece, this very project is inspired by his classic - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. I had fancifully imagined, stirred by certain literature colleagues from Nottingham, who knew him and often invited in to Nottingham. That I might have met him even...I had the details of his literary agency, I had tried to contacting them with no joy so far - as a curtesy..well we will see what happens in time but I know it changes everything somehow.... Just I had read 'belief, courage' on a mural on the street , done by young people celebrating the Special Oypmpics I turned to the attributes my character would need . How writers that come from working class backgrounds require these qualities, to overcome so much to write. How families, loved ones, of of the recently deceased need these qualties too. Yesterday there was walk of fame unveiled in Leicester , Sue Townsend (writer of Adrian Mole ) is celebrated and in between the lines of her brief profile, I felt there would have been so much struggle, for her to be able to write given the many challenges that were part of her everyday life . This can be all to common characteristic for would be writers from a working class backgrounds. That have little or no meaningful support for their literary ambitions. Has much changed today compared to the way Alan Silitoe and others like him, in the 50's stormed the literature world ? What writers are doing something like this in literature now ? Alan Siltoe, through the aforementioned work showed me what could be done , the importance of the authencity of 'voice' and the value of working peoples experience. Something I could deeply relate to and connect to on a number of levels . I do not know what more to say now, except that I did connect to the fact he wrote novels, stories but clearly also he wrote and enjoyed poetry. I will always wonder what he would have made of the work I was doing ? Would he have liked it or not ? I will no doubt look at the Alan Silitoe obituaries, retrospectives etc. etc. I had hoped to meet him one day, but not able to now, but I can be even more inspired - he would probably approved of that.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Why Crtics & Art

After reading a really interesting article about critics and 'verbatim theatre' that David Hare has pioneered, along side a radio Forum discussion about human evoloution and art, its universality and the ubiquitous landscape calenders (grassy meadows and blue vistas water present) research shows, collected across diverse cultures, sited as proof, of our common need for art in all its forms 'high' and 'low' . I particularly like the philosopher of art, ideas around, emotional engagement, pleasure , virtousity, skill, 'the hairs up on the back of the neck' moments that define our experience of art I was convinced even more that the winter of post modern art was slackeninge its grip on us. It is a drive, a faculty, even where there are culturally defined forms of doing soemthing, one piece of work varies widely from another.

Then there is the business of aesthethics, who decides sets them all out. It seems to me that critics should at the very least engage with some artists that interest them over time, rather than just cynically pander to readers, circulation figures , inflate their own egos and casually rubbish the hard earned efforts of said artists . Without at least having the knowledge , the experience of seeing or doing it themselves - where and how can 'critics and artists meet and dialogue, do we really need critics ? How do they add or subtract to our own experiences of a work ? I mean human progress clearly shows we most essentially need artists..so what for the future of art and critics how do engage with art without them. I have reviewed my own role as a 'critic' in the past, in order to write cogently about an artist's work there is a need for my total absorption intheir work , for me to even begin to try and express how you feel about a particular work - this can happen best sequentially and over time.