Saturday, June 06, 2015
From Finland with Love
I was on a rare trip to Bury Art Gallery last night, which is probably my favourite of the municipal art galleries in Greater Manchester. There have been some good shows on over the years, and it was the opening of a new show of contemporary Finnish Art, "New Narrative and Reader." As a big fan of all things Finnish I was interested in seeing this show. It seems a strong collection, both austere and playful, with a partial focus on portraiture that is then subverted; as well as some superb installed works, which make good use of the large open galleries of Bury. Its well worth popping on the tram to see.
Next week another important show - "Real Painting" - opens at Castlefield Gallery. The launch will be on the evening of 11th June.
With the sun streaming through my window and the word "June" on the calendar the year is going by far too fast. I'm sure I had some plans - like finishing the first draft of my novel by end of May! Hasn't happened, of course.... that's why deadlines are sometimes so useful. The annual Anthony Burgess/Observer competition prize for arts journalism is now open, and with a deadline of November, even I might make this one. Its good to see it becoming an established event in the calendar.
As I've not been writing this blog as regularly as before, I maybe forgot to mention that the 3rd issue of Manchester-based Confingo Magazine is now in the shops or available to buy online. Magma and Home are the shops in question, I think. Upping the art content for issue 3, its now got more of an art object feel to its production. Always fascinating to see how magazines evolve. A paying publication, its now accepting submissions of art and writing for issue 4, but please buy issue 3 to see what its all about.
Part of my being busy is the plethora of literary events in the city - I think maybe everyone's clearing the decks before Manchester International Festival hits. Didsbury Arts Festival comes before then however, and seems bigger and better than ever this year. My friend, the novelist Sarah Butler has a "residency" during the festival "walking the edge" of the ward, and uploading a new piece of fiction each day. Such place-based writing is becoming very popular these days - and is just one of many events at this years festival which starts on 20th June.
I'm also hoping to get along to Jackie Hagan's well received show "Some People Have too Many Legs" which following a successful tour is back for the Didsbury festival. Jackie says her show changes all the time, so even those who have seen it might welcome its return.
Nightjar publishing, Nicholas Royle's occasional short story publishing venture returns with two new pamphlets from Alison Moore and Tom Fletcher. Single-story booklets, elegantly produced, but more importantly, with a high quality of stories, they are all limited editions, so grab them while you can. A review of the latest couple coming soon.
I'm hoping to be doing a reading myself before too long, but more details soon. In the mean time, you can read a short story of mine "The Good Citizen" in VLAK, an extravagant 600+ page magazine of leading contemporary art, poetry and fiction, published out of Prague.
Other recent work - my long poem "Parallels" is in PROLE, you can read an interview with me and my poem "The Octopus" (free) in "Bunbury Magazine", and I've a poem forthcoming in the next Cake Magazine.
Given that BunBURY is published out of Bury, and my poem in Cake was written in Helsinki, it nicely brings this roundup to a close.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 12:34 AM