Friday, 11 June 2010

Towner Talk: Familiar Visions

Robin Ravilious and I will be giving a talk at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, at noon on Saturday 3rd July 2010, to celebrate the opening of Familiar Visions. This summer-long show is the first to feature work by Eric Ravilious and his son James Ravilious side by side, and it promises to be a treat. As far as I know there will be around eighty of James's photos and a couple of dozen watercolours by Eric, along with wood engravings and displays of tools and equipment.

My talk is on Eric Ravilious and the Sussex Downs, and my aim is to take people behind the scenes of several well-known paintings and to introduce characters and stories that I hope will add an extra dimension to the pictures. I have a powerpoint show with lots of photographs, sketches and other images that I hope people will enjoy.

Robin will be talking through a slide show of her late husband's fascinating, beautiful photographs that form a wonderful record of rural life in north Devon in the latter part of the 20th century.

It should be fun. The show runs until September, so if you can't make that weekend, there's plenty of time to get to Eastbourne...

FFI: Towner Gallery

Discovering Harbourside: the Walk of the Book

The other day Stephen Morris and I took a group of 40 people on a Discovering Harbourside walk from Stanfords bookshop on Corn Street in Bristol, and it went pretty well, I think. At least it didn't rain, nobody got run over and we got a sneak preview of the giant World Cup-ovision in Queen Square.

I forgot to read out my favourite nautical quote, which is by Dr Johnson and is on the subject of crimping - the ancient practice of encouraging drunken sailors to rack up a huge bar debt then offering them the choice of joining a ship or suffering some worse fate:

"No man will be a sailor who has continence enough to get himself into a jail, for being in a ship is being in jail with the chance of being drowned. A man in jail has more room, better food and commonly better company."

Quoted on p65 of Discovering Harbourside, out now from Redcliffe Press.