Thursday, 31 January 2013
Francis Kyle Gallery is gearing up for its next group show - the one with all the gallery artists. Francis favours literary themes for these shows. I took part in the last one, 'This Twittering World,' based on the T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. The 2013 show will be based on the novels of James Joyce. I have never read an entire novel by Joyce. The sum total of my knowledge was one story from The Dubliners - it was, I think, the one called, 'Clay.'
I am reassured that very few people have read 'the greatest novel of the 20th Century' as Ulysses is often called. I hadn't read it either. I have, however, read the fist three chapters, 'Telemachus,' and the last chapter, 'Penelope.' I've also read bits of the chapters in between. I have to confess that I quite enjoyed it, particularly 'Penelope.' The first three chapters I read with line by line 'decoding' from Frank Delaney, who has a wonderful blog where he publishes podcasts of his careful, exhaustive, analysis of the novel and breathes life into its words. This equipped me to cope with the rest - with a little help from guidance notes - but not too much - it pays to allow the writing to wash over you a little and hear the writer's voice.
So, my contribution to this show will be 'Molly's Odyssey,' based on the Molly Bloom's magnificent soliloquy which occupies the whole of the last chapter, 'Penelope.' This chapter is Molly's musings, her thoughts, her concerns, some of her worries and, above all, her sexual and romantic fantasies and memories. It is immensely sexy, very passionate, very human and very womanly. Molly is nothing if not frank about all her bodily functions. The result is a chapter that feels intensely alive.
I hope I can do it justice. The wonderful, best selling novelist, Rebecca Chance, writer of 'bonkbusters' has agreed to be my 'Molly Bloom.' I am more delighted than I can say about this. The picture above shows Rebecca Chance with photographer Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris setting up the shoot that took place at Rebecca's house in January. Why Rebecca? Because she looks exactly as I imagined Molly Bloom would and also because I firmly believe that if Molly were a real character, rather than fictional, and were she alive today, she would be an excellent writer of this kind of fiction and a consummate performer, as Rebecca is. Molly Bloom was a singer in the novel - Rebecca Chance does readings from her books and is a superb performer in this role.
Just one more thing, I am now represented by Francis Kyle Gallery. I had my first solo show, 'An Extraordinary Turn of Events,' with the gallery in November 2012. The next show is booked. I'll let you know the date as soon as I know it. Meanwhile, Molly's Odyssey, comprising three pots, will show from the end of June to mid September this year, 2013. See The C Word for my post on The SCUB Manifesto, or how to read Ulysses - my suggestion for reading that and other very fat books anyway.