Creative Cauldron - Alan Garner

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Artist inspiration and artist influences. No biographies, dates or scholarly research here - this is a personal response to the work of author Alan Garner by Australian artist Fiona Morgan.

Alan Garner booksNo, not a visual artist this time. A writer. A wordsmith. A poet. Many of you will be familiar with the work of Alan Garner. The author of 'Elidor', 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen', 'The Stone Book Quartet' and 'The Owl Service' (probably my favourite of his), among others.

Through the unimaginative categorizing of literature, this lucid poet has generally been labeled a children's author. This is simply not true. What he does so brilliantly is to take the ancient stories that are tied to the places that his family has inhabited for at least 400 years and breathe life into them for people not from those places who live today.

He is a mythmaker.

And that is the main reason I admire what he does.

This mythmaker is a craftsman who works with words. He manipulates time, consciousness, atmosphere, fables and intertwines stories. His words are as pared down as possible and yet they speak on many levels. There is a new weaving of reality. There is always depth and the utmost of integrity to his writing.

What he does in words is what I, one day, want to do in pictures.

Here's Alan Garner the person, telling the story of how he recognized an irreplaceable antique find. This is the storyteller at work, in this case relating a tale that is entirely true. I love how, by including the most ordinary of details of personal experience, this becomes a story that could have happened to any of us. It is made so easy to relate to.

The most compelling of all his writings to me so far has been Alan Garner's collection of essays and lectures. 'The Voice That Thunders' is stunning in what it illuminates so poetically and clearly. Bipolar. An attack of a negative engram. The perplexing responses to his books. How a book writes itself through him. The other world of the ceiling. This book is one of the few books I keep rereading.

More Alan Garner links


About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

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