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Posts Tagged ‘Kaylee Baucom’

When I first learned, through one of Paula Maggios’s tweets, about the Virginia Woolf inspired art exhibit in Las Vegas, I shifted my calendar around so that I could visit the gallery as soon as possible. I then learned that two of my colleagues from the College of Southern Nevada are a part of the community of women whose work is on display at the Left of Center Art Gallery as part of the “A Room of One’s Own” All Women’s Art Exhibit, and so I went to the gallery immediately!

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The gallery provides a space for women artists to create, discuss, and display their art. This specific exhibit features both literary and visual art pieces. Some of the pieces directly reference Woolf, such as the piece “Freedom” by Yvette Mangual, which quotes “A Room of One’s Own”:

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“Freedom” by Yvette Mangual

Some pieces seemed to allude to Woolf’s misty, Modernist aesthetic, such as Elizabeth Blau-Ogilvie’s gorgeous piece, “Glacial Pour” which gave me visions of James’s, Cam’s and Mr. Ramsay’s final boat ride in To the Lighthouse:

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“Glacial Pour” by Elizabeth Blau-Ogilvie

Dr. Karen Laing and Professor Erica Vital-Lazare are two of the 26 women artists whose works are on display in the Woolf inspired exhibit. After an inspired visit to the gallery, I interviewed Karen and Erica to learn about the ways that Virginia Woolf has inspired them as artists, and to gather their views on being woman artists.

Karen Laing is an activist and artist who teaches English composition and literature at the College of Southern Nevada. My interview with Karen is featured below:

Karen, your poem, “Thanks Sharon” reflects on oppression and resistance. In what ways does your work speak to and for women?

Among my deepest desires for the contribution my work makes in the never-ending conversation about what it means to be human is the hope that women locate ourselves in the center of every discussion, armed with a voice as authentic and indispensable to the outcomes present and prophetic as it is sufficient to the challenges reality places before us. I hope my life and art unleash the initiative of the creator within us so that we create a world worthy of our best and healing of our worst.

Karen, in what ways has Virginia Woolf’s work influenced you? 

Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own inspired me to create spaces in which I could listen for and attend to my heart’s desires. It soon became apparent that for this to be more consistently and sustainably possible, I would need to encourage others to find and forge similar spaces and permissions of their own.

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“Future Primitive” on display at the Left of Center Gallery by artist Lolita Develay.

Erica Vital-Lazare teaches creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada where she is the editor-in-chief of the Red Rock Review literary journal. Our interview is located below:

Erica, you work as a Professor, artist, and editor within the Las Vegas community, so you have a unique view of women artists in Sin City. In what ways do you think that Woolf’s ideas in “A Room of One’s Own” connect to today’s women artists?

In 1929 when Woolf was asked to write about women who write, she raised the artful and sanctioned notables—the pluck of Jane Austen and the blunt-edged realism of George Eliot with the intent of taking the discussion further than those points of comfort to address the gap between woman-art and its creation and recognition. The gap she addresses is parity. The bridge she dares to construct deconstructs. In a time when women are chattel she makes public the keys to artistic freedom when she says a woman must have these things of her own: her own money and her own space within the canon. Agency. Nearly 90 years after Woolf penned “A Room of One’s Own”, women-artists build their own, even though sometimes it just might mean they must first burn down a few houses.

In what ways has Virginia Woolf’s work influenced your own writing?

Virginia Woolf’s fearlessness as a woman-artist in an era when capitulating and cowing under the weight of gender was so deeply embedded in the culture that furniture was specifically designed and appointed in the homes of finer society to catch our feinting and fainting-fragile selves is a wonder and an inspiration to me.  I know many women writers in many genres who think of her and the essay as they carve out space for themselves.

If you are in the Las Vegas area, I highly recommend making a trip to the Left of Center Gallery to enjoy some moving art, as well as to support women artists. The exhibit is free and will continue until March 31. Read more about the exhibit here.

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Chanya Button will direct Vita and Virginia

Deadline.com is reporting that the film Vita and Virginia is now set to be directed by British Director Chanya Button.

Button recently directed Burn Burn Burn (2015), and tweeted her excitement with her new project, writing, “Thrilled to be Directing this. Collaborating with & celebrating brilliant women!”

This is a switch from the news we got last year which indicated that the film would be directed by Sacha Polak, the Dutch director of such films as Hemel (2012) and the documentary New Boobs (2013).

The film is based on Dame Eileen Atkins’s script Vita and Virginia, which is based on her play by the same name. The film is still set to be produced by Mirror Productions and Blinder films, and casting choices have not yet been announced.

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Virginia and Vita in 1933

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After an unforgettable time at the Woolf Conference in Leeds, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a short stay in London as a reward for ourselves. I successfully presented a paper at the conference (and didn’t pass out from being so star-struck over all of the scholars!), while he had successfully completed chapter two of his Ph.D dissertation.

We tried to pack in as many literary trips as we could, and we couldn’t leave England without making a trip to check out the Dalloway Terrace, named after Clarissa Dalloway herself.

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Menus and a Woolf book outside of the restaurant.

The Dalloway Terrace restaurant is located in The Bloomsbury Hotel which is in a fantastic location in the heart of Bloomsbury. The hotel is a three-minute walk to the British Museum, seven-minute walk to Russell Square, and ten-minute walk to many Woolf sites, such as the lovely statue in Tavistock Square dedicated to the author.

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A view of the terrace.

The dreamy atmosphere is the highlight of this outdoor restaurant. Marble topped tables are surrounded by benches which are made comfortable with big pillows. Each chair on the terrace is draped with a wool blanket in anticipation of the ever changing English weather. Candles flicker on tables which are separated by big pots of lush, green plants. It is absolutely lovely.

The servers were kind, helpful and highly attentive, and the food was delicious. The restaurant offers several different menus, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner menus, along with a tempting cocktail menu. The afternoon tea at the Dalloway has been getting rave reviews, and many Londoners suggest making a trip to the Bloomsbury Hotel specifically to enjoy the tea service.

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Cake and cream at the Dalloway.

We ordered a few British specialties, such as fish and chips, and we couldn’t skip the delectable dessert menu, from which we ordered a few ice creams and cakes. Everything was presented very elegantly, and every bite was full of flavor. We decided that the old cliche about British food being bland is highly incorrect and dated!

After a few Bloomsbury-themed afternoon cocktails, we started to feel that Clarissa herself might enjoy this restaurant; one could almost see her among the twinkling lights, charming friends between the spatter of rain drops on the clear dividers—planning her next party perhaps.

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Afternoon tea on the terrace (image from TripAdvisor.com).

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The dissertation felt worlds away while at the Dalloway!

The meal was delightfully regenerating and the terrace was a perfect place to take a break from enjoying one of the most exciting and literary cities in the world. One could easily spend a few hours on the terrace, sipping cocktails, enjoying small cakes, and discussing the importance of Modernist literature. We did this several times during our trip!

My partner and I enjoyed the Dalloway Terrace so much that we dined there multiple times while in London–and we are already dreaming of our next meal at the this beautiful and delicious restaurant. Enjoying yummy food in such a dreamy environment was a highlight of our trip. We highly recommend making a trip to visit this lovely retreat in the heart of London.

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A happy Yankee on a London terrace.

We did not make reservations for our dining experiences, but the restaurant highly recommends reservations, especially on the weekends.

The Dalloway Terrace accepts reservations for individual dining, group dining, and private events.

If you are in London you can find the Dalloway Terrace inside of the Bloomsbury Hotel located at 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN, or phone the restaurant at +44 (0) 207 347 1221.

You can find information about booking a room at The Bloomsbury Hotel here.

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Image from the “Rebel Riders” series featured in Vogue Italia (shot by Tim Walker)

Celebrated British fashion photographer Tim Walker recently spoke with The Business of Fashion and revealed that his aesthetic vision is inspired in part by Virginia Woolf.

In Tilly Macalister-Smith’s article, “Tim Walker’s Fantasy World,” Walker, who regularly shoots for Vogue magazine, describes his styles as, “Fellini crossed with Sarah Moon crossed with Dirk Bogarde crossed with Virginia Woolf.”

When Walker was asked to photograph the December 2015 issue of Vogue Italia, he chose the theme of ‘horses’ for the issue, and he made a visit to Charleston House where was inspired by Woolf:

A visit to Charleston House in Lewes, Sussex — the famous haunt of the Bloomsbury set, a group of literary and artistic bohemians working in London at the turn of the 20th century — sparked his imagination for the first shoot. “It was this idea of Virginia Woolf riding to see Vita Sackville-West, and it then led to the Bloomsbury set,” he remembers.

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Woolf in Vogue, 1924

In 1924 Woolf was photographed for Vogue magazine wearing her mother’s wedding dress. Do you see any similarities between Walker’s “Rebel Riders” series and Woolf’s Vogue photographs?

 

Read the full interview with Tim Walker and watch the video below to view more photos from Walker’s Woolf inspired “Rebel Riders” series.

 

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Shot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia

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From the “Rebel Riders” series (shot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia)

 

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Vita BiographyA new biography on Vita Sackville-West, Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville West, by Matthew Dennison is now available in hardback, paperback and as an audiobook.

Vita was a celebrated poet, author and gardener whose love affair with Virginia Woolf is highlighted in Dennison’s biography.

This is the first biography of Vita that has been published in 30 years, and this new piece explores the “triumph and contradictions of Vita’s extraordinary life.”

From HarperCollins Publishers:

Dennison’s “narrative charts a fascinating course from Vita’s lonely childhood at Knole, through her affectionate but ‘open’ marriage to Harold Nicolson (during which both husband and wife energetically pursued homosexual affairs, Vita most famously with Virginia Woolf), and through Vita’s literary successes and disappointments, to the famous gardens the couple created at Sissinghurst.”

Early reviews of this biography are mixed:

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While a review by Gerard Henderson for Express praises Dennison’s treatment of Vita, “Dennison, whose previous work was a biography of another remarkable woman, Queen Victoria, shows true affection and admiration for his latest subject,” Rachel Cooke’s review, featured on The Guardian, challenges this new biography and calls it “deficient.”

Cooke writes: “the information contained in his book is so obviously inadequate, so frequently incomplete. I need give only one example to make the point. What kind of biography of Vita Sackville-West, I wonder, refers to the suicide of Virginia Woolf in a single sentence? The only possible answer is a wholly deficient one. This friendship was one of the most significant of her life.”

The author of this new biography, Matthew Dennison, is the author of several biographies, including one on Queen Victoria.

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Sighting Virginia Woolf on the Web is a popular pastime. My evidence? The fact that in the past few days, readers of Blogging Woolf and my Facebook friends have sent in a number of Woolf sightings.

Here they are:

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Loyal reader Kaylee Baucom, professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada, sent Blogging Woolf a sighting from Jezebel that irreverently proclaims “The Literary Canon Is Still One Big Sausage Fest.”

Writer Doug Barry imagines himself at a cocktail party full of the kind of people who generally don’t make a very fun party — “stony-faced older white dudes” who are “milling around, some of them openly glaring at each other.” The lone woman writer at the event is Emily Dickinson, who flees to the bathroom when approached.

Barry goes on to lambast the way women are slighted when lists of notable writers are compiled by popular magazines. They include:

  • Commentary Magazine‘s list of the top 25 American writers included only five women, and none of them were in the top five.
  • The 2009 list of the ‘100 Greatest Writers of All Time’ on This Recording included just 14 women. The Woolf sighting was the fact that Virginia Woolf was #14 on the list.

Barry also complains that even though women are the main audience for novels, the best press reviews of new books are overwhelmingly written about new books by men, and the rosters of publishing houses of all sizes generally include far more male than female authors.

As Barry puts it:

Just by the numbers, women are minority shareholders in an enterprise whose success they fuel.

Meg Wolitzer takes up the same theme in “The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women” in the March 30 Sunday Book Review of the New York Times.

She expands the argument by discussing how books are marketed differently if they are written by women. From the way the books are categorized on Amazon to their covers designs, the code is easy to read as “Stay away, men,” she writes.

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