Last week I was invited by University College London’s Young Writers’ Society to host a prose writing workshop. Chaired by writer, activist and all-round good egg Marta Owczareki it featured a mix of exercises, discussion and encouraging thumb-uppery, and it felt good to be gristing those brainwheels again. I hope some of what I said was of use to the Society’s members; I (selfishly + particularly) enjoyed batting ideas around with the students who still seemed energised by the idea of creating prose as opposed to letting the talk become dominated by the familiar scribble-moot screeches of ‘HOW DO I PUBLISH, HOW DO I MARKET’  – when all’s said, I look forward to reading many of their works in the future.

Following the workshop I asked whether I could be involved in the society’s upcoming collaborative project based at nearby SSE Space. The gallery is  showing artist Yorgos Loizos’ first solo exhibition Olympia throughout the summer and YWS members were submitting texts inspired by specific pieces in the show. My image of choice was ‘photographer’s gaze – castiglione legs 2009’, a work based on a ‘flash moment of 1/250 seconds crystalliz[ing] Castiglione’s Legs (from Pierson’s La Castiglione)’. Image below from the artist’s website.


the photographer's gaze - castiglione legs, 2009

Olympia runs from 21 June – 17 September 2011 and is free, with details of the (textless) exhibition available online here. Unspecified but worth noting: you can get a damn fine cup of coffee there too.

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