China, Art & History

Dissidents and Cultural Appropriation

There was something poignant about receiving the news that sales of the audio book of Brushstrokes in Time (BiT) have been hit by hints of ‘cultural appropriation’ on the same day that Liu Xiaobo died . Liu appears briefly [...]

Wonderful review of Brushstrokes in Time in the Madras Courier!

I am over the moon with this mind-blowingly wonderful review of Brushstrokes in Time  in the Madras Courier and  on their website too.
The Madras Courier
The free on line quality newspaper is reaching almost half million people mostly [...]

Brushstrokes in Time (BiT) A moving new review and interviewed with Katie Isbester on TV !

The thought of someone reading my novel over Easter is  wonderful enough but her tears are strangely heart- warming. We all need empathy and now more than ever.  I’m amazed by the brilliant reviews of Brushstrokes in Time on [...]

Exciting new work by Weimin He (Bodleian Weston Library January 7)

Fifteen exciting new works of art by Weimin He went on display in the Bodleian Weston Library on January 7. Here is a taster. One of them has inspired me to write a sonnet  which I  have titled ‘The Mists [...]

Some Reactions to Brushstrokes in Time

A stunning eye- opening fictional tale set in China from 1963-1993; WILD SWANS MEETS DR ZHIVAGO,

In September 1979  some young Chinese artists who had abandoned socialist realism were bravely exploring self-expression. They  tried to find a venue to display [...]

TALK to mark the 50th Anniversary of the show piece rally of the Cultural Revolution.

The Albion Beatnik Bookshop (34 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AA Phone: 07737 876213)

Thursday  August 18 @7.30m

A talk by journalist and author of

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the showpiece rally of The Cultural Revolution

which led to this!


Sylvia will talk about [...]

How I became an expert on tea (in China!)

The history of tea is not quite the peaceful story one would expect. In the C19th, it was an almost fanatically sought after commodity but British and Indian companies wanted to trade opium in exchange. ‘The Ibis Trilogy’ [...]

Exclusive Chinese New Year feature : Qu Leilei one of the founders of the Stars Art Movement which changed Chinese art forever!

A coup for Chinese New Year! Exclusive interview for Oxfordshire Limited Edition with one of the founders of the Stars Art movement the courageous Qu Leilei.

Ai Weiwei, Ma Desheng, Wang Keping and Li Shuang are among [...]

Talking about Brushstrokes in Time and Oxfordshire Limited Edition on Local TV

Chatting with Eve Ahmed and Linora Lawrence on That’s TV’‘s Talk Oxford. As well as talking about Brushstrokes in Time, we promoted our friend Gina Clay’s lovely and useful book ‘Don’t let them tell you how to Grieve’ [...]

Syndicated reviews

Newsquest have syndicated a lot of the reviews listed below. Here is one of them. Maybe it is down to my Cornish heritage but I loved reviewing this exhibition.

Until recently I wrote two reviews a month for Weekend which [...]