Saturday, 2 August 2008

Words and Pictures

Earlier this year, I responded to a request by MMU photography student Danielle Ridyard, who was looking for writers to take part in her degree project. Writers were asked to create a brief poem or prose piece inspired by her striking images of ‘found objects’ - things and fragments of things that she’d discovered around the apartment block where she lives. I was intrigued by the idea – even more so, when my image arrived and I had no idea what it might be. But very quickly, I saw that it could embody so many different ideas and images, and before I knew it, a (tiny) story had emerged.
Danielle’s degree show apparently went splendidly and last week, a beautifully presented booklet appeared through my letterbox; it was my little story, entitled ‘Tooth’. I feel very grateful to have played a part in Danielle’s project. She’s intending to sell work from her exhibition (including ‘Tooth’) at the Annual Artist Book Fair at Manchester Metropolitan University this November.

So I’ve been thinking about photographs.
When I wrote ‘How We Were Lost’, my pc was surrounded by old seaside holiday snaps. During ‘Before the Light’, I’ve referred to pictures we’ve taken when out walking in the Peak District. I’ve also pored over ‘Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour’ for its wonderfully atmospheric images.
However, none of these pictures are described directly in my stories - but (as with Danielle’s photo), they’ve often provided a starting point, from which ideas and feelings, and other images could grow.
For me, so much about writing seems to be about making and remaking vivid pictures.

In other picture-related news, the fabulous Nikki Pinder, responsible for ‘How We Were Lost’s stunning cover art, is taking part in a joint art exhibition at the Islington Arts Centre. The exhibition runs from August 8th to September 5th. Check it out, if you can . . .

12 comments:

watching9987 said...

I know what you mean about photos and inspiration - atmospheric shots are always handy, thats sort of why I have music on too, it's got me music that matches the mood.

Does Danielle or the uni have a website with stuff on, it sounds preety cool? You must be chuffed. You're, like, ART and stuff...

Megan said...

Hey Nik, sorry to take so long to reply, I've been away, but cheers!
I'm going to think of myself as ART all day (:
I don't have any more details right now, but will post them up if/when I do . . .
m xx

Eli Regan said...

MMU has a photography website... I looked to check out the 'competition' when we (stockport) we're having our degree show... it's at http://www.photography.mmu.ac.uk/photo2008/danielleridyard.html#

Megan said...

Thank you Eli - you are an all-round superstar!

Eli Regan said...

thanks for my first comment!

Jon M said...

Pictures are good starting points but I'd never really thought about pasting them around my writing space. I with Nik on the music.

Megan said...

I still don't get how you lads write beyond the music, it's always too specific for me (I wish I could though)
Horses for courses, I suppose (:

Shanta Everington said...

When I was writing Marilyn and Me, I stared at a lot of pictures of Marilyn Monroe in library books and I had zillions of scraps of paper stuck over a pinboard with comments and inspiration. I haven't been using pics for my teen novels, hmmm, maybe I should? Thx for the idea!

Brian Gardner said...

Heya Megan, thought I'd swing by and say hello at the same time mention that I'm nearing the final pages of your book. I'm sure I would have had it done a long time ago if it wasn't for the fact that free time lately seems to evaporate before it starts, even without wasting any time.

The real reason I'm bringing this up is that in a future chapter of my podiobook I'll be talking about your book at the end as a promo for it. While I might not have a huge listener base ... yet ... if only a single one of them becomes interested, checks out your work and buys it I will feel like I've succeeded at bringing your work to a wider audience.

While I haven't decided which Chapter will promo your work yet, I'll let you know so you can listen to it once its out.

Brian Gardner said...

You've been reviewed ... by me at least.

'How We Were Lost' by Megan Taylor book review on Shadowcasted Realities

Also posted on Amazon and like I said earlier, I plan on talking about your book as a promo as well after a future chapter of my podiobook like I did with Shanta's book. I hope it brings you a wider audience! ^_^

Megan said...

Brian - thank you so much for that! You are very, very kind, and huge apologies for not responding sooner. I've been away and then away again and caught up in various domestic blah, but I hugely appreciate your time and your generous review
Very best to you,
megan

Sarah said...

Awesome. I will send you them as soon as I get them typed up. See ya!!