For the last couple of months I have been working on a new project, my first novel, with the help of a development grant from DaDaFest (which was announced here: http://www.dadafest.co.uk/rookies/rookies-development-grants/).
I have used the grant money to enable me to study a course with Penguin Random House’s Writer’s Academy. The course is called Constructing a Novel.
I started the course in April and it has been helping me shape a fictional account of the life of artist Louise Bourgeois. As well as looking into her life and work, I want to use the project to examine the changing roles of women in the twentieth century. Bourgeois lived from 1911 until 2010, so the world went through several huge shifts whilst she was alive; and the art world she existed amongst was constantly adapting in order to reflect this.
I particularly want to look at the textures, which stretch out from Bourgeois’ work, into her life, connecting the two in both directions. As a child her parents ran a tapestry shop, which influenced her later textile works. Her other works also constantly looks at texture, due to the many methods she used to make art; ranging from works on paper to marble sculptures, to long thin pieces of driftwood.
I am finding the course very useful; it is helping me to look in detail at technique whilst crafting a first draft. I am using lots of the skills I have for playwriting, but there is plenty new to learn as well!!