Sunday, September 27, 2009

Didsbury Arts Festival


The room was packed last night for our 'Talking Fiction' event, and thanks so much to all who came. I meant to take a photo of the audience - ages ago I decided to copy Margaret Atwood who one time took a photo of the audience I was sitting in and told us that she always did that, but I've never yet remembered, and last night I forgot again. In any case, John had the camera, and he forgot to take any photos at all until I prodded him, at which he made me, Cath and Carl come back to the table (where wine glasses had amassed since the reading - we weren't drunk, honest!), and he got this priceless shot of someone taking Balancing down from the great display which John from Morten's bookshop had done for us. Very many thanks to Morten's, too.


There's a really great buzz to this festival, which seems to have hit the ground running. On Friday afternoon John and I were sitting in the Art of Tea having a quiet coffee when my old friend Janet Higgins came in with Phil Portas and they invited us to the photography preview next door in Feel Creative, where Phil's own great photos are on display. After which we went on with them down to the preview at Linda Chase's beautiful Village Hall (where, due to Linda's generosity, we held our rehearsals for my 24:7 play Drinks with Natalie).


Here the resident Life Drawing group are exhibiting, and we were quite frankly stunned by the standard of the work, and to find that so many people we knew had been hiding such talent under bushels. One of the artists turned out to be Maeve O'Connor, who was a member of a writing workshop I once ran at Chorlton library, and Lynne Duric, whom I'd met once briefly at a party, materialized as the painter of this stunning nude full of dynamic tension, with her own show of watercolours at The Drawing Room, the preview of which we went to last night before the reading, and which I thoroughly recommend - they're amazing paintings which somehow twist traditional English watercolour romantic into a kind of Gothic grittiness.


This afternoon I'm off to Pizza Express to hear Adele Geras, and then sprint across to Fletcher Moss park for Nick Royle's bird stories.

6 comments:

Tom Fletcher said...

Sorry I couldn't make it last night Elizabeth - I was going to, but I thought I'd better stay in and write something to read on Friday...

SueG said...

Sounds great! I'm so glad it's going well. But you didn't mention that in the photo of the man taking down Balancing is a copy of Magpies, too. Right? How cool!!

Elizabeth Baines said...

A very good plan, Tom!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Yes, Sue it is!!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

What fun!
A few things: The Art of Tea - loving it!
My sister's name is Maeve O'Connor. I LOVE that nude!
Well done, E & friends. Sounds like a great start to the festival. Hope it goes from strength to strength.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Nuala, fancy that, re your sister!
And yes, I really do love that nude - my photo doesn't do it justice at all, of course.