December 2011. A brilliant new exhibition of Graham Sutherland's work opens at Modern Art Oxford, curated by the artist George Shaw. Richard Cork and I discussed Sutherland on 2016. ‘During Wind and Rain’. A 10-part ‘narrative history’ series for Radio 4. Produced by Tim Dee. August-September 2015 ‘A Walk of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf on Foot’, a 4-part series on Radio 4, produced by Sara Jane Hall. Tuesday mornings at 9.30 from 11 August. In the first episode I follow Woolf to Southern Spain, where she visited her friend Gerald Brenan in 1923. In the remote mountain village of Yegen, I hear stories of how she sat sunbathing under citrus trees… Front Row.
November 2011. I will be at Radio 3's 'Free Thinking Festival' in Gateshead on 5th November, and as it's bonfire night I'll be talking about fireworks. I love a firework display, whether it's an extravaganza on the Thames or sparklers in the back garden. I wanted to know more about the history and the art of fireworks - from China, to medieval mystery plays, to eighteenth-century pomp, to our modern civic celebrations. Listen to my programme 'Twenty Minutes' here.
July 2011. Tim Dee produced an excellent series of programmes on the theme of 'Dark Arcadias' for The Essay on radio 3. I contributed an essay on Rex Whistler, Cecil Beaton, and arcadian fantasies between the wars. It's not available on Listen Again but details of the series are here.
The Wilton estate, much loved by Rex Whistler
June 2011. Each of the New Generation Thinkers (see below) presented a short piece on Nightwaves to give a taste of their research. I gave a first public outing to my very embryonic thoughts about English culture and the weather in a 'A Brief History of Being Cold'.
June 2011. I am very excited to have been chosen as one of ten New Generation Thinkers in a collaborative scheme run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Radio 3. Read the Guardian article about the scheme here.
Here we all are (as featured on the Guardian front page!)