The Launch of Sculpting the Elephant at Antiques on High
Sylvia Vetta’s second novel Sculpting the Elephant is inspired by her own life experiences in a mixed marriage and in a twenty year career in the art and antiques trade. You are invited to explore the ideas behind Harry King’s shop Deco-rators with the author Sylvia Vetta and with Caroline Henney – vintage jewellery expert at Antiques on High and one of the inspirations for the character of Kathy in Sylvia’s novel.
Thursday May 2 @ 4.30pm : Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for sales and signings. There will be the opportunity to take part in a fun antiques hunt quiz and a Deco prize will be awarded to the winning entry. (In the case of more than one –there will be a draw. )
At 5 pm there will be a short video about Sculpting the Elephant and some archive material from the world of art and antiques in Oxford will be on display. Caroline and Sylvia will talk about the book and guide visitors around Antiques on High pointing out relevant twenties and thirties objects fashion and jewellery. For those who would like to continue conversation with Sylvia, Caroline and other interesting guests they will cross the road to St Mary’s and everyone is welcome to join them for
TEA @ the VAULTS approx 5.30.
Monday May 13: Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for conversation, reminiscence and book signings from 3.30- 5pm
Saturday June 1: The finale of the May Sculpting the Elephant theme in Antiques on High Sylvia will be present from 2.30-4.30 pm. She will give away copies of features she wrote on Deco and we will raise a glass at the end!
The View from Antiques on High- Queens College to the left and Teddy Hall to the right
The view from St Mary’s: The charming Vaults cafe where we will have tea is in the ground floor.
Tuesday January 8
Talk to Holton and Waterperry WI in Holton Village Hall at 7.30.
Subject : The Importance of Life Writing and How to Begin
Saturday February 2
Indian Republic Day Celebration
Rose Hill Community Centre 6.30
Thursday February 7
Oxford Brookes University
Sylvia will be on the panel of 4 with Catherine O’Brien chaired by James Harrison (Oxfordfolio)
(Essential Audiobooks recorded Brushstrokes in Time)
Thursday 21 February
South Leigh Village Hall 2.30pm
The Importance of Life Writing and tips on how to begin.
The launch of Sculpting the Elephant
The Jam Factory opposite Oxford Station
6.30 -7.30 (Free but please book with Sylvia )
(optional meal in the restaurant afterwards £20 )
Saturday March 16,
7pm @ Kennington Village Centre (OX15PG)
This cabaret style Indian Evening launch of Sculpting the Elephant includes entertainment & a free Indian meal but please bring your own bottle!
(Spaces are limited so please reserve your place)
May-June: Antiques on High (85 the High, Oxford OX14BG)
Many items mentioned in Sculpting the Elephant will be on display and a free leaflet on C20th design titled From Dresser to the Ad Man written by Sylvia will be available in the centre. Dates to be confirmed when Sylvia will be present for discussion and book signing. Click on link for details of May 2 launch etc.
Friday June 7 @ 7pm The Friends of Watlington Library: Sculpting the Elephant, Mixed Relationships and Lost Histories
Saturday June 15 @ Claret Press (Clapham) The London launch of Sculpting the Elephant.
WI Talks Coming Up in August
How I Castaway 120 people
1) Charlton on Otmoor Primary School Tues 14 August 7.30
2) The Heyfords The Reading Room , Upper Heyford Wednesday 15 August 7.30
Wednesday September 19 @ 4.30
Brushstrokes in Time
China under Mao and what some courage artist did next .
@ Adderbury Library
Saturday 22 September @ Sculpture in the Vineyard
Bothy Vineyard Poems in an Exhibition with me and Heather Rosser and world music from Confluence Collective.c
Wednesday October 3 11-12 am
Life -writing session at Kennington Library with Pamela Allen
October 9 @7.30
Long Wittenham WI
Thursday November 8@ 7.30pm: China from 1963-1993
This photograph was taken at the launch of Oxford Castaways 3 – some of the inspirational people I have had the priviledge to interview.
One of the last public pictures of Sir Roger Bannister.
Saturday December 1 10am-4pm
Oxford Town Hall Green Fair
Book signing and selling
A brilliant line up for The Kennington Festival Arts starting with Peggy Seeger. Read my profile feature on her here.
The Kennington Festival of Arts kicked off with the memorable Peggy Seeger.
She had the audience in the palm of her hand and her empathy shobe bright. I can recommend First Time Ever .
Many memoirs have too much detail ,this one is perfectly balanced has narrative drive and is poignantly honest. If you can’t buy the book ro don’t have much time you can read my 300word castaway feature on her life here.
It kicks off on Friday 20 April @ 7.30pm with Peggy Seeger talking about her book First Time Ever. Her life has been lived at the heart of major world events making her memoir truly MEMORABLE. Tickets @ £5 (in advance) are going fast.
Click on the pdf for the full programme for Saturday which includes me talking about China under Mao and what a courageous group of young artists did next. A day ticket in advance £10.
Memories! Korky Paul led our 200 yard Pied Piper Procession. Korky is the Friends (FOKL) Honorary Life President and will help our fundraising on April 21 at Kennington Festival of Arts with a family event aided by Winnie the Witch and Wilbur.
Qu Leilei is a founder of the Stars Art Movement. When he told me his story it inspired me to write Brushstrokes in Time. Recording the trial of democracy leader Wei Jingsheng (1979) catapulted his life into nightmare. (again) He left China for the UK in 1985. Like most refugees he had to start all over again. He earned his living as a pavement artist in Piccadilly Circus, washing dishes in Chinese restaurants, cleaning houses and typing translations in Mandarin. Quite a journey to becoming an internationally acknowledged master! The late Michael Sullivan (1916-2013), who founded the gallery on the ground floor of the Ashmolean where the exhibition takes place, said of Qu Leilei: “What sets Leilei apart is the strength and depth of his feelings for people his warm heart, his generosity that sees the essential nobility of us all.” We need a lot more of that spirit! You can read his castaway feature here. I tell it as 9 lives! Qu Leilei Castaway
Leilei is not the only Chinese artist with connections to Oxford. Brushstrokes in Time OLE
Qu Leilei’s castaway feature (Oxford Castaways 3) has been translated into Mandarin. Read it here.
Qu Leilei feature in Mandarin
Below are 2 of the paintings from the exhibition
Poems in an Exhibition : An accidental but delightful celebration of diversity in aid of Standing Voice.
Oxfordfolio are sending ‘Poems in an Exhibition’ to the printers today. Hatred of the ‘other’ has been rearing its ugly head everywhere. ‘Poems in an Exhibition’ has accidentally become a celebration of diversity. The backgrounds of the poets and artists who have contributed to this anthology are wondrously diverse. The youngest is 18 and the oldest 93. They were born in 4 continents, represent most religions and have every shade of skin of colour. But there is unity in our diversity. We sing under the same book cover! Our poems are inspired by a visual image and most of the poets ( &2 artists)ended up in Oxford or regularly come here. We have come together in support of Standing Voice. I encountered this young human rights charity when my village raised the funds for a skin care clinic for people with albinism in Tanzania who dying of skin cancer before the age of 35 ( Easily preventable! ) My journey to this anthology was inspired by the documentary Standing Voice made for BBC titled ‘Born too White’ and I wrote a poem with that title inspired by a special young man. The book will be launched on November 30 in the Old Library in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. It was the university library before the Bodleian.
Many of the poets are awarding winning. I am honoured to have poems side by side with theirs.
SYLVIA VETTA Tate St Ives…………………………………………
JENNY LEWIS The Rosewater Basin………………………….
SIMON ALTMANN Hands……………………………………….
SHAKIRA MORAR The Cracked Jug………………………..
SUDEEP SEN Jacket on a Chair………………………………….
DAVID OLSEN Migrant Mother………………………………..
HEATHER ROSSER The Bronze Chalice……………………
DWINA GIBB My Songbird Has Flown……………………..
SIMON ALTMANN Potsdamer Platz ……………………….
SYLVIA VETTA The Mists of Dao ……………………………..
ARABELLA CURRIE First Light………………………………..
PENNY BOXALL The Wheelwrights…………………………
EUTON DALEY In Emergency – Break Glass…………….
ADNAN AL-SAYEGH Extract from Uruk’s Anthem….
And finally …. Born Too White
To buy copies of Oxford Castaways 2
and click on the cover image.