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The Venus Papers: Out Now!

09/08/2015

VP Cover 2015 Burning Eye

In recent times I’ve been more blog-tastic over on my main secret-agent-artist site and recently (should you check and quite rightly query such wild claims) over on 3 The Hard Way’s – with Shruti Chauhan, Jean Binta Breeze and I touring this latter show across 10 dates in October. However, Venus has been far from languishing on the rocks; this month the full length collection (with her name on it) is released into the big bad ocean.

Followers of this site and the progress of V in general, will know ‘The Venus Papers’ as a sequence of poems adapted into a one-woman stage show; this scratch, with music, film and set design thrown in…plus me, prancing around in a leotard (try everything once).

The book, is comprised of two halves, the main title sequence, though much developed –  and a sequence of separate but connecting poems. To recap…

The title sequence takes as it’s starting point Botticelli’s 15th Century painting, ‘Birth of Venus’ where Venus is depicted arriving on a shell at a Cypriot beach. Transported to a UK beach in the 21st century, the poems go on to explore how Venus might respond to what she would find and what might think, feel and do next.

In the sequence’s connecting poems, Venus’s progression from innocence to experience is mirrored across numerous arrivals, departures, journeys and landscapes; from a dancing mother to a psychopathic Barbie, murderous mozzarella and  road trip across the Spanish Badlands.

By viewing Venus as everywoman, outsider, traveller and immigrant I’m exploring how women in particular are viewed and affected by cultural, political pressures in contemporary Britain and beyond. I’m interested in migrations – of people, places and ideas; from the psycho-geography of heritage to the moving waves of feminism.

Throughout the collection I’m drawing on my mixed Hungarian/Welsh/British heritage (without pretending to be any kind of expert – see here) and also my experience as a young(ish!) women growing up in multi-cultural Leicester, a public sector worker, and a life model – so the themes are pretty varied. There’s also the odd love poem to a taxidermied polar bear; nightmare about sharks and unspeakable stuff my mother may need to carefully tear out and burn before sending on to her elderly friend at the Welsh Chapel Society.

Going forward, The Venus Papers stage show team and I will be working on a final, super-honed version to tour with the book. Before that however, I’m really looking forward to launching the collection itself.

The event to do this will take place at Attenborough Arts Centre on September 29th and will feature a reading from me, alongside ridiculously talented musician, David Dhonau and a one man exhibition of connected paintings by the irritatingly clever, Scott Bridgwood – my romantic partner in arms as well as the creator of the VP book cover. In addition to the book, my other baby, Ruby Rose Helena Towsey-Bridgwood (the first) will also be in attendance, making her premier public appearance at 2 months old. So all in all it will be quite a family affair…apart from the poems I’ll be reading, which ironically enough, will not be suitable for families…

Here’s a jolly painting in advance of it all, to go with one of the poems: ‘Venus gets a job as a Glamour Model.’

Venus gets a job a glamour model

As said, The Venus Papers is now at large and dangerous. Do attempt to approach it/her/them on your own. Alternatively come to the launch on the 29th; there’s safety in numbers.

If you’d like to buy a copy in advance you can do so here:

Burning Eye Books Big Cartel. 

Or get one at the launch and off set the expense by quaffing as much of the free Blue Nun and nibbles as you can get away with.

It would be lovely to see you.

Big Venus Kisses for now.

L

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