Following a huge response to a call for applicants to their Writer in Residence project, we are thrilled to announce that the successful applicants are authors Alison McLeod and Bethan Roberts. Both will provide different approaches to the project, which has been commissioned in response to the museum’s major, thought-provoking exhibition Eric Gill: The Body (28 April – 3 September 2017).
The exhibition asks visitors to consider whether their knowledge of Gill’s life impacts on their enjoyment of his depiction of the human figure. The two writers in residence will help to capture, interpret and respond to visitor’s thoughts on this exhibition and the challenging questions it poses.
Alison McLeod is a novelist and short story writer. Her most recent novel, Unexploded, was long-listed or the 2013 Man-Booker Prize for Fiction and was serialized on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book at Bedtime’ and is currently optioned or film. In 2016, she was jointly awarded The Eccles British Library Writer’s Award, has appeared at numerous literary festivals, and has served as a judge on many award panels.
Bethan Roberts specializes in short fiction (winner of the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award), and drama for BBC Radio 4. She has also worked in television documentary and has taught Creative Writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College, London. Her latest novel, Mother Island, is the receipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize.
Nathaniel Hepburn, Director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, commented “Art can help us to tackle difficult issues in new and engaging ways. This project will provide visitors with a different and potentially more accessible route into the key question of understanding how our knowledge of Gill’s private life affects our understanding and appreciation of his work.”
The results of the project will be revealed in September 2017.