On Influence: The Art that Shapes Us

On Influence: The Art that Shapes Us

In this series, we take a close look at the art and artists who have been a source of inspiration to others. From musicians and painters to writers and poets: what is it that makes some people – and pieces – connect so deeply with us? And how do the stories of artists and their work influence the creative output of their devoted fans? We hear from authors moved and motivated by the legacy of another, and reflect on the role art, music or literature can play in shaping who we are and what we go on to do.

Objects passed down the generations can provide a rich source of stories. Travel writer Helen Attlee hit on a particularly interesting example of this when, at a folk concert in Wales, she was struck by the gorgeous tone of a violin being played by...
 

Caleb Azumah Nelson: Diving into Black Culture

Monday 16 August 13:00 - 14:00

Every so often, a novel arrives that perfectly captures the feeling of a time: of summer, of political turmoil, youth, the tentativeness of falling in love. Open Water is one such book, the debut novel from Caleb Azumah Nelson, a writer and photographer...
 

Edmund de Waal: Objects of Desire

Thursday 19 August 19:00 - 20:00

Captioned
There’s a house on the Rue de Monceau in Paris that’s home to a museum of lavish art and objects, all collected in the name of young Count Nissim de Camondo. This belle epoque treasure is a few doors down from the home of Edmund de Waal’s...
 

Doireann Ní Ghríofa: A Ghost in the Throat

Sunday 22 August 19:00 - 20:00

The narrator in Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A Ghost in the Throat is acutely conscious that she’s occupying a female body, and that her body is itself a kind of ‘female text’ that bears witness to her life experiences. But A Ghost in the Throat is...
 

Alison Watt with Andrew O’Hagan: The Joy of Influence

Tuesday 24 August 11:30 - 12:30

Alison Watt is one of Scotland’s best-known living artists, renowned for her paintings of human figures and more recently for her intimate depictions of the folds in fabrics and draperies. With titles such as Phantom and Aware, these evoke the human...
 

Craig Brown: The Slippery Art of Biography

Tuesday 24 August 13:15 - 14:15

In One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time, Craig Brown gathered a kaleidoscopic mix of letters, news reports, diaries and much more besides into a brilliantly quirky not-quite-biography of the most successful pop group ever. It won him the prestigious...
 

Max Porter: Pen Portraits

Tuesday 24 August 19:00 - 20:00

His first two short novels, Grief is the Thing with Feathers and Lanny, underline Max Porter’s ability to paint vivid mental pictures with words. Now Porter has turned his attention to the last days of a famous British painter. The Death of Francis...
 

Ali Smith: Art in a Time of Lies

Thursday 26 August 17:30 - 18:30

BSL Interpreted, Captioned
In each novel of Ali Smith’s Seasonal quartet, the narrative closely follows real world events. Brexit, the internment of migrants and the Coronavirus pandemic: each is woven into the fabric of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, lending them a keen...
 

Jackie Kay: My Libidinous, Raunchy, Fearless Blueswoman

Thursday 26 August 20:30 - 21:30

Captioned
‘Bessie Smith showed me the air and taught me how to fill it.’ And Janis Joplin was certainly not the only person who fell in love with the Tennessee blues singer’s unforgettable voice. As a young Black girl growing up in Glasgow, Jackie Kay found...
 

Matt Haig: Reasons to Feel Okay

Friday 27 August 14:30 - 15:30

BSL Interpreted, Captioned
Since the publication of his 2015 memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig has become one of Britain’s best-loved and bestselling authors, gently guiding his legion of fans on a path towards better mental health. Haig’s most recent novel The Midnight...

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