Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium

I'm thrilled (and daunted in equal measure) to be writing a new story inspired by Leonora Carrington to read at the Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium at Edge Hill University. The internationally acclaimed artist and writer is a long-time hero of mine who grew up in Lancashire (I can never get over how little known she is around here). I wrote this post about her back in 2011.

To make the story I'm drawing from Carrington's cauldron of metamorphosis, decay and wonder to create a new fairy tale. The story’s roots will be in the Lancashire landscape of her childhood, but its branches will reach towards other worlds inspired by her artworks, fictions and life.

Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium
30th June 2017

9am at Edge Hill University, UK – Book Now
Full programme availble here

The Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium will celebrate and bring into discussion the work and legacy of Lancastrian-born Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011).  This timely event forms part of the existing body of research and creative practice that has already emanated from across departments at Edge Hill University, including Film Scholarship (Professor Roger Shannon), Creative Writing (Professor Ailsa Cox), and Dance Performance and Choreography (James Hewison and Michelle Man). We now call upon artists and scholars from a range of disciplines to share research and creative practice that explores Carrington’s work as an artist, a theatre and film collaborator, and writer.

Acknowledging recent scholarly interest in Carrington’s life and work (Dawn Ades, Susan Alberth, Chloe Aridjis, Catriona McAra, Ara Merjian, Joanna Moorhead, Marina Warner) this event wishes to extend the legacy of this British-Mexican artist who gained a stellar reputation in her adopted country, whilst remaining arguably “one of Britain’s finest – and neglected – surrealists” (James, 1975). Carrington was reluctant to analyse her artwork, insisting, “I warn you I refuse to be an object”. In light of this, when mapping Carrington’s legacy, we approach this task through a lens of give and return that the artist musingly offers in her 1965 Jezzamathatics, “I was decubing the root of a Hyperbollick Symposium…when the latent metamorphosis blurted the great unexpected shriek into something between a squeak and a smile. IT GAVE, so to speak, in order to return.”

The symposium will feature keynote speaker Dr Catriona McAra from Leeds College of Art, whose co-edited book is published in Spring 2017 (‘Leonora Carrington and the International Avant Garde’; editors, Jonathan P. Eburne, Catriona McAra; Manchester University Press; 2017).

Guest Speaker, Joanna Moorhead, cousin of Leonora, will discuss her new book, ‘The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington’ (Little Brown, 2017).

The Centenary Symposium will also welcome from Mexico City Gabriel Weisz Carrington, Leonora’s son, as Guest International Speaker. Gabriel will discuss Leonora’s work ‘in conversation’.

New films about Leonora Carrington will also be screened – ‘The Lost Surrealist‘ (for BBC; directed by Teresa Griffiths; Exec Producer Tilda Swinton), and Josh Appignanesi’s ‘Female Human Animal‘ starring novelist/curator Chloe Aridjis. Haunted by Leonora Carrington. Prod: Jacqui Davies.’

The Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium seeks to offer a space for discussion, engagement and debate.  The event will take place at Edge Hill University’s Ormskirk Campus, UK.

Image: Leonora Carrington, The Pomps of the Subsoil (1947)
© Estate of Leonora Carrington / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017