Kate Horsley Menu

Permalink:

Review of Vanitas Exhibition

Vanitas_Double_Negative_Darkroom_4736_web

Many thanks to Melissa Tricoire for this lovely review of John Brewer’s and my exhibition at the Double Negative Darkroom, Hackney!

Here’s an extract -

“Magic emanates from Brewer’s still lifes, creating a theatre of curiosities with human skulls, candles, medical instruments, tarot cards and other memento mori. The photographer’s series of acrylotype plates entitled Fragmented Dolls is remarkable for its artistry and kookiness. In these fascinating portraits, we see star dolls pre-dating the seventies made of porcelain or cheap plastic. But their rosebud cheeks, smiling faces and blinking eyes have long been lost – the toys of old now only present a decaying form covered with cracks and chips, bathing in spookiness and grotesqueness.

Vanitas also showcases pieces by writer and artist Kate Horsley, whose multi-media art mixes literature and photography. Her tintypes merge with altered books and her wooden peep boxes create a series of uncanny literary tableaux where the viewer is captivated by such fantastical creatures as a baby-headed spider, flying dolls and stuffed animals.” Read more…

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Vanitas Exhibition

VanitasAn exhibition of unique photographic plates by John Brewer & Kate Horsley

8th December 2012  – 12th January 2013 at the Double Negative Darkroom

78a Glyn Road, Hackney, London E5 0JE; Launch event 8th December 2012

Growing out of the memento mori tradition of Renaissance Europe, vanitas is a genre of art that contemplates the transient nature of life.  Common symbols include skulls, rotten fruit, bubbles, smoke, watches, and hourglasses, all symbolizing the brevity of life and suddenness of death. In a series of unique photographic plates, historical photographic artist John Brewer juxtaposes the traditional still life compositions of the Dutch masters with haunting contemporary interpretations, challenging our perceptions of ancient and modern, the living and the dead. Writer and artist Kate Horsley merges tinted plates with the altered book and wooden peep-box, creating a series of secret tableaux, each one an intimate, private viewing.

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Podcast of ‘The Argument Man in Winter’

I’ve been doing some volunteer teaching at Start in Salford, and recently our creative writing group has been working on poems with a winter theme.  Youth Arts co-ordinator Francine Hayron recorded our pieces and did a lovely job of editing them and adding sound effects, compiling them all into a snow-filled collection. Here’s my contribution, performed by David Jones, a talented performance poet at Start.

The Argument Man in Winter:

You can read the poem here.

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

First Novel due out 2014

redhair

I’m delighted to announce that my first novel, The Monster’s Wife, will be published by Barbican Press in June 2014 as both a paperback and an eBook.  Martin Goodman, editor at Barbican describes the tagline for their fiction as ‘Writing from the Discomfort Zone’ and The Monster’s Wife certainly fits that!

Following in the tradition of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Seaand Valerie Martin’s Mary ReillyThe Monster’s Wife is a literary gothic that re-envisions Mary Shelley’s classic novelFrankenstein from the perspective of the girl Victor Frankenstein transformed into a Bride for his monster.  Oona Scollay is a sixteen-year-old scullery maid living on Hoy, a tiny island in Orkney in 1798.  When her best friend May disappears, Oona starts asking questions, but her search is thwarted by the conflicted loyalties within her close-knit community.  When she turns up shocking evidence, Oona becomes the next victim.  A prisoner in a dark room, living a hellish distortion of life, Oona must find a way to escape before her captor completes his plans for revenge.

I am currently working on a final edit and  the cover art is under discussion.  It all feels very exciting to think of the book emerging into print and I suddenly have a lot of new writing ideas…although I keep reminding myself I have to get this finished off first!

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Manchester Artists’ Book Fair 2012

photoI had a lovely time at this year’s Manchester Artists’ Book Fair, selling books at the Hot Bed Bookstars table.  As usual, there was a fantastic array of book artists from all over the UK in attendance, including Lucy May SchofieldElizabeth WillowGemma Lacey and Sue ShawOliver Flude and Lucy Roscoe. It was sheer pleasure to ogle and play with the beautiful and ingenious creations on the various tables.  It was also nice to sell some of my own cards and handmade books, Humbugs, Origami Girl, Bestiary and a new collaboration between Sam Horsley and myself, The Burrower’s Adventure. This last edition, glued and pressed moments before the deadline, tells the story of a good-natured fellow named the Burrower and his heroic equine friend, Mr Furious.  When the wits of the inhabitants of Tiny Pain are stolen, the pair must travel to the Shivering Moon to save that innocent grey matter from the nefarious King Ostrava…

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Wet Plate Collodion

tumblr_m5qad2m9wa1qd3r29

Today, Sam and I completed the first day of John‘s excellent course in wet plate collodion at his studio. His studio is filled with a cornucopia of curious objects, large format cameras  and Victorian lenses. During the course, we made images on tin, glass and plastic. Wet plate collodion is fantastic fun as well as being a beautiful artistic medium. I can really recommend the course to anyone interested in photography.

Here’s a video of John at work from fab alternative photography site, Film’s Not Dead.

 

 

 

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

The Argument Man in Winter

The Argument Man in Winter

Play Audio:

He had to be angry because
it was his schtick.  You couldn’t have
a happy-go-lucky
Argument Man.

That was the whole point, the USP.
50 cents for a disagreement
A dollar for a spat.
You paid up

and took what you got.  Whichever
side you picked, he picked the other side.
He knew politics, the law,
the constitution.

He was a born debater, never rude
though imposing, standing 6’8″ in socks
wearing his foil cloak with the red
letter K.

One day he didn’t show.
Another day.  A week.
You were sad, but you weren’t
surprised.

Drugs, you thought, or looking
on the bright side, maybe he’d found
somewhere to sleep with winter
drawing in.

You asked the Weather Woman if she
knew anything.  Sitting in state
by Stoke’s Books with her Big Slurp cup
for coins,

she was robust and red-cheeked
and infinitely wise concerning
windchill factor and upcoming
snow days.

Though she couldn’t have predicted
that blizzard headed our way.
Cold caller, it came for him
silently.

Dead white.  Sudden.  Some nights in your
dreams, you see him calmly make a salvo,
reason the freezing
world away.

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

The Bièvres Camera Fair 2012

The 2012 Bièvres Camera Fair was an illuminating experience (as well as a great excuse to spend a week in Paris!). Here’s an extract from my article about the fair from alternative photography site, Film’s Not Dead:

Jean-Claude

Jean-Claude © John Brewer

The 49th Bièvres International Photo Fair took place this year on Saturday June 2nd and Sunday June 3rd in Place de la Mairie, Bièvres, France. Created in 1964 by Jean and André Fage, the fair quickly became a major attraction. Each year, thousands of visitors from all over the world travel 12km south of Paris to what has been nicknamed a mecca for camera collectors and fans of vintage photography.

On a sunny morning in the beginning of June, we arrived by train to the town of Bièvres near Versailles and climbed the hill to the mairie, a large green space divided into avenues and surrounded by trees, where the  Fair had been organized by the Photo Club de Paris Val-de-Bièvre. Stall-holders were still constructing the frames for makeshift blue and white awnings which would shelter their merchandise from the sun.  This included an assortment of rare lenses, vintage cameras, light meters, plate holders, plate racks, printing frames, old books and photographs, vintage cameras, lens and accessories, old books and pictures.  Other vendors laid onto rugs thrown down on the grass and a few people walked around with cardboard signs taped to their rucksacks, advertising individual cameras they wanted to sell.

As midday approached, the fair filled with collectors and photographers hunting for new acquisitions, haggling for the right price and trading rare equipment.  The varied treasures of the stalls ranged from large format wooden cameras and Petzval lenses dating from the 19th century to the latest digital cameras and everything in between; magic lanterns and boxes of hand-painted slides, a range of images printed on paper, tin and glass, Daguerreotypes, orotypes, family albums (some in tiny leather-bound books with their miniature portraits cut into ovals and pasted between leaves of card), postcards, Victorian erotica and beautiful gum bichromate prints, cyanotypes and Van Dyke Browns. Stereo photography has always been popular in France (from antique wooden stereo cameras to digital stereo camera rigs) and so there was a striking range of stereo viewers, cards and cameras for sale as well.

Magic Lanterns

Magic Lanterns © John Brewer

The fair is an inclusive event and you don’t have to be a photographer to enjoy it – graphic designers, illustrators, writers, collectors, second-hand dealers, antique-hunters and photo-fans come here, swelling the numbers to 15000 visitors from Britain, Germany, the USA, Russia, Japan.  Although by all accounts, this year both numbers and sales were down.  Stall-holder Jean-Claude de Guyenro from the Parisian suburb of Antony has been coming to Bièvres for forty years “since the beginning”. When asked about his sales at this year’s fair, he replied that they were très moyen compared to other years, for a number of reasons: too much for sale; too old a clientèle; too many amateurs and not enough connoisseurs buying.  Wetplate artist and tutor John Brewer commented that there were “a lot fewer quality brass lenses than in previous years, because the number of people who are now interested in wetplate and using early lenses because of the beautiful signature they give.”

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Our Lives, Our Stories

Gulu

Storytelling Workshop in Gulu

I’m excited that my article, “Our Lives, Our Stories: Storytelling workshops in Uganda’s refugee camps”, has just come out in Issue 2 of Short Fiction in Theory & Practice, edited by Ailsa Cox, Alison Mcleod and Alan Wall.  The article is based on my experience of leading oral narrative workshops for displaced Acholi women in post-war Northern Uganda.

Whilst I was there, I was involved in a fantastic project, ‘Our Lives, Our Stories’, which took place in two refugee camps in Gulu and Lira, in which I worked with participants in a storytelling competition. The women involved (very bravely) faced the challenge of transforming difficult personal experiences into fiction. In the article, I talk about the project as well as the role of storytelling as a form of advocacy and the ways in which creative non-fiction can make the stories of marginalized women heard.

 

 

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.

Permalink:

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition

I’m thrilled to be judging the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition, deadline April 2012.  Details below -

Competition Details

Short Stories may be on any subject or style and MUST NOT have been previously published, or posted on a website or blog. Short Stories posted on members-only writing groups for workshop purposes as part of the creative process are not deemed to have been previously published. Short Stories must also not be under consideration for publication or accepted for publication elsewhere, and may not be simultaneously entered into another competition.

Length: Maximum 1,500 words per story.

Entry Fees: £4.00/1 story, £8.00/2 stories, £10.00/3 stories, £12.00/4 stories.

(You may enter as many Short Stories as you wish – with the appropriate fees.

Prizes: First: £150.00, Second: £75.00, Third: £50.00, Highly Commended: £10 x 3.

First Publication: The three winning Short Stories, and three highly commended Short Stories will receive first publication in Sentinel Champions magazine in print and eBook in November 2012. The authors will each receive a free contributor’s copy.

Anniversary Year Giveaway: As part of the celebration to mark 10 years of Sentinel Poetry Movement, 1 entrant to this quarter’s short story competition will receive a year’s free subscription to Sentinel Champions magazine.

 Results due: 30th April, 2012 announced in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine online at: http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/results.htm

 

  • You need to be logged in to leave a comment.