Bloomsbury Festival Day 8
Writer In Residence: Irene Lofthouse

‘Yellow ochre, burnt umber, terracotta, all blooming around me. Why had I not seen them?’ she wondered, taking a new perspective on the streets around her, on the stories the bricks could reveal.

The neatness of Bloomsbury gardens irritated her until she saw how they connected across place and time. Plane trees a hybrid like the population; planes that had menaced the area caused rebuilding, creating small wilder green spaces of plein air; places where dead and living co-mingle; tales of movement from one place to another, where the gardens had morphed through past and present to future ideas, plain or fancy.

Deep in the gloom of a sunken garden, she encountered confused creatures lighting on branches, pecking at personal problems, squawking at supposed slights, hopping, flapping, missing connections, growing and diminishing, imitating migrating flight patterns of feathered visitors we wonder whether we’ll see again.

Breathing in autumnal scents scuffed free from scattered leaves, her feet halted at a place redolent with future possibilities and inspirations – #26Inspirations to be precise. An eclectic collection of artists, creators, makers, writers, collaborators – sharing thoughts, art, and words revealing what gets the juices flowing (or not), that leads to new work, responds to themes, gives them direction.
Found objects, blank screens, bowls painted and created, instruments, folklore, walks, loved ones, alienated ones, travel, curiosity and more – so much to see and ponder. It made her smile to see it housed in a building centre, reminding her of the blooming bricks…


Back to 26 Writers In Residence 2022

Day 8 (Fri 21 Oct): Irene Lofthouse