Monday, 4 October 2010

John Byrne @ The Wigtown Book Festival

John Byrne at The Wigtown Book Festival
It was the final day of the Wigtown book festival yesterday. I spent three days there in all, and had a brilliant time.

The last speaker I heard, John Byrne, definitely made the festival end on a high - he had us crying with laughter at points in his talk. What a fantastic story teller he is, with incredibly charismatic looks and personality - you could feel the whole audience enjoyed every word he spoke.  I am looking forward to the publication of his children's book 'Donald and Benoît - The Story of A Cat and A Boy' next year. Donald is a black cat who wears silk Boxer's Shorts and baby bootees. He lives with Benoît, son of a french mariner, in Fishertown, Nairn, Scotland. Benoît comes up with lots of adventures and Donald the cat chooses what they are going to do. He talked of how this story was originally for his two youngest children.

I went to eight different talks at the festival, apart from John Byrne my favourites were Alastair Grey, Irma Kurtz and Martin Creed.

One interesting observation - when Alastair Gray and Martin Creed were asked about why they make art they both gave the same answer - almost word for word - that they wanted to be loved, and liked by people.

Alastair Gray talked about how as a child he noticed what great attention he got when he produced a drawing, and how it has probably driven him to make art to this very day. How very interesting, perhaps that how it starts for a lot of artists?

1 comment:

Sandy's witterings said...

I bumped into John Byrne a couple of years ago on the Grassmarket in Edinburgh and said hello and he rushed off. He must have thought he'd been a bit abrupt because a few moments later he rushed back, asked who I was, shook hands and rushed off again - he didn't have to but gets a few extra points in my estimation.