The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art is thrilled to welcome painter Simon Ling to deliver the first talk of our fantastic Visiting Artist Talk programme in The Royal Dockyard Church at the Historic Dockyard Chatham on Tuesday 11 October from 6.15pm.
Born in 1968, British artist Simon Ling studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design and then at the Slade School of Art in London. His practice is involved in a deep engagement with painting and his subjects can often appear banal street scenes, still lifes, rocks, stones or patches of scrubland – but through a process of sustained and rigorous looking, his works transcend the ordinariness of their initial appearance, taking on a strange and at times unsettling quality.
In 2015, Ling had a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle, Bergen, and London art gallery, greengrassi, as well as taking part in numerous group exhibitions including Tate Britain, Camden Art Centre, and CAPC Bordeaux, France.
When I was a child, I longed to have my own horse. This was destined never to happen, because apart from living in an urban area, my parents couldn’t afford it. So I created my own private horse world.
I drew horses in pencil and ink, mostly copied from photographs. I collected pictures of horses from magazines and stuck them into a series of scrap books, often thinking up stories to go with the pictures. In my art class at school, we were given a lump of clay to create a ceramic piece. Obviously, mine became a horse of sorts. I struggled with the legs, so the solution was to have the horse lying down. His tail kept falling off, so he became a cob with a stubby tail. He was glazed and taken home proudly to my mum. He occupied my windowsill for years and I still have him, 40 years later. Maybe he wasn’t exactly a work of art but he had been born from my imagination, moulded into shape and was mine.
Drawing horses, collecting pictures of them and making them from clay was not enough. It was natural that as I developed my passion for creative writing, I would write stories about them. I created the horses, characters and the experiences I desired through my fiction. The ultimate wish fulfilment.
I would love to know how many other writers or artists create the fantasy world they would love to inhabit through their art.
Her trilogy of Matty Horse and Pony Adventures books for pre-teens and teen (and nostalgic older readers) are available for Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. All profits from these stories are going to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Matty and the Problem Ponies is FREE TO DOWNLOAD from 7th-11th November!
We’re fast approaching November, which is important for a number of reasons; It’s almost December, which means Christmas and New Year’s Eve are coming up, bonfire night is always good fun and it’s National Novel Writing Month.
Admittedly, if you’re not a writer the last one probably isn’t that important to you, but for those of us enamoured with words it’s a pretty huge deal.
A quick jaunt to NaNoWriMo.org lets you know what’s going on: you are encouraged, by what is essentially a charity, to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Any genre, any plot, almost anything you want (although I think erotic fiction is out, I’m not sure) in thirty days and nights.
This is a tall order, as anyone will tell you; some people, usually the less writerly-types, will baulk completely when they spot ’50,000 words’, but it’s a fantastic creative exercise in that you essentially have the freedom to do whatever you want and a very tight deadline in which to do it. You must cast off all frivolous thought in order to produce better frivolous thought. Interesting.
I haven’t done one yet. I signed up (for free) just after last year’s ended, so I’m looking forward to this year’s immensely.
Here are my worries, though:
Do I start planning the story in my head now, a month before writing begins, or do I wait until November 1st and fully commit to dreaming up, planning and writing a novel in exactly one month?
How can I split my time effectively to make sure I maximise the amount of words I write per day? Should I splurge 10,000 in one coffee-fuelled all-night binge? Or should I do a more manageable couple of thousand every other day or so?
It’s a lot to think about.
I urge you to take a look at it anyway, even if you don’t consider yourself to be writer. You never know what may come flying out of your head when you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and everyone has a story to tell, whether they think they do or not. Don’t be put off by the projected word-count; it’s not set in stone after all and as most writers will tell you, if you hit on something you really like, a scene, a character or a whole story, you’ll eventually glance at the clock and notice it’s four in the morning and that you’ve written sixteen pages. You’ll also be dimly aware that you’re starving and that you have to be up for work in four hours.
It’s a labour of love.
I look forward to reading yours.
By James Bovington
Now I must ask something of you:
I have awful trouble naming characters. I try to avoid using the names of people I know, on the off-chance they think I based the whole character on them (which is only sometimes true), so I’d very much appreciate it if the lovely readers of Creatabot (or the lovely contributors, anyone really) could leave me some suggestions down in the comments below. I’ll probably even credit you as ‘The Namer’ or ‘The Name Giver’ or some such needlessly grandiose title.